One of the things we do in the beginning of every year is work on name recognition. It starts with their cubbies and water cups. The seniors are starting to recognize the names of their friends as well.
Aside from the everyday things like their cubbies and cups we have some activities that also encourage name recognition.
We put out name cards and letter tiles and invited the children to match the letter tiles to their name. This is a great way to introduce letters and letter sounds in a functional way.
We also set out clay and letter stamps and the children chose the letters in their name and stamped them into the clay. This activity is always a big hit. We talk about beginning letter sounds, and how our name is written from left to right. We also counted the number of letters in our name and compared it to our friends. Who's name is the longest?, whose name is the shortest? In another fun activity we shaped our name out of clay.
In a related activity we invited the children to write their name for the first time in our class.
Using a chalkboard we write the child's name in chalk and the children trace over their name with a paintbrush and water. Some of our younger friends spent some time tracing just the first letter of their name and some traced curvy, wavy and straight lines.
These are all important pre-writing , pre-literacy activities.