Fall Name Activities for Preschool {Free Printables!}


Name activities for preschool are naturally engaging!

Kids are interested in anything involving their very own names. Even better, you can use name activities as a stepping stone to alphabet activities.

Name activity on a cookie sheet and the image title "Free printable Name Activity"

I like to start with teaching children just to recognize their name in print. Then, you can progress to talking about the letter their name starts with, and what sound or sounds it makes.

Kids can usually recognize and spell their names before they are able to write them.

With that in mind, I like to use manipulatives and colorful printables to provide practice “writing” their names at this early stage.

These hands-on name activities for preschool go with your fall themes…

Apple Name Activity

I made up this free printable name activity with an apple theme so that it fits in well with your September activities.

Apple tree with apples that have letters in a child's name printed on them, plus the printable mat to spell the child's name out on.

I’m giving this printable away for free to newsletter subscribers. Would you like to subscribe? (Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time – but I think you’ll want to stay!)

RELATED: Here are a few other apple theme resources you might like:

Plus, for children ready to work on letter sounds, you might like this Apple Letter Sounds Boom Cards digital activity. It coordinates really well with the name spelling activity.

ipad showing a child using an apple letter sounds boom cards activity with audio

Preparation

The apple baskets in the PDF are editable with Adobe Reader. See how I was able to type “Michael” and “Maria” in the examples here?

Name activity with letters on apple cutouts in the process of spelling the name "Michael"
  1. Print out a basket with each student’s name on it. You may like to type names so that they have a space after each letter.
  2. Print out the other pages and laminate if desired.
  3. Cut out the apple letters.
  4. Make a bag for each student with the letters in their name plus extra letters to make finding the correct letters more challenging. You can store them in a zipper-top bag (the easy for little hands kind with a slide they can move)
  5. You may also like to put a magnet on the letters and basket, and use this as a cookie sheet activity. I cut up an advertising magnet that I no longer wanted:
Glue bottle and paper apples with magnets being glued to the back of htem

If you’re making a magnetic activity, an old cookie sheet or jelly roll pan is perfect.

cookie sheet with magnetic apple name activity in process on it

Activity Instructions

  1. Students will spread out their apple letters and place their own “basket” onto the work mat.
closueup of apples with letters pritned on them

Or, they can hang the apples on the apple tree:

Printable Apple tree with cutout letter-apples and a printed apple basket with a child's name on it
  1. Then, they’ll search for all the letters in their name.
closeup of an apple letter with an apple tree name printable blurred in the background
  1. Optionally, they can also put the letters in the correct order.
  2. If you’ve laminated everything, and you aren’t using magnets, they can use a bit of playdough to stick each letter to the mat.
  3. Finally, students should count the number of letters in their name and circle that number on the mat.
closeup of apple name activity for preschoolers, showing the part of the printable where children circle the number of letters in their name.

Grab your copy of the printable:

Extend the Learning

Here are a few ideas for extending this preschool name activity for children who finish quickly or who are ready to do more with it:

  • Ask students to find the matching uppercase and lowercase letters for each letter in their name.
  • Provide letter stamps and enough playdough for students to stamp out their names (similar to what we did with this gingerbread playdough activity).
  • Provide a dry erase marker if children are ready to try writing their names on the laminated mat.

Candy Corn Name Activity

Next, if it’s getting close to October, you may also like this Candy Corn Name Activity that’s a freebie in my store. It’s very similar to the apple activity above.

printable name activity with letters printed on paper "candy corn"

More Name Activities for Preschool (and Kindergarten)

Here are a couple name printables that you can use year round.

First, I sell a popular set of name tracing worksheets. Teachers and parents like them because they also introduce children to initial sounds.

Kindergarten teachers use these at the beginning of the year, and preschool teachers use them when their students are ready.

partly filled out name tracing worksheets with crayons and pencil

These Name Crowns, also in my store, are another fun way to connect children’s names to initial sounds.

partly colored name crown printable hat

Some teachers use these for birthdays or student of the week – isn’t that a great idea?! That way all the students can focus on one child’s special letter at a time – it really makes letter learning and name spelling relevant!

How do You Teach Children with Long Names to Spell Their Names?

One of my own girls has a long first name, so I know how hard this can be (especially when she’s competing with her twin sister who has a shorter name!)

For kids with long names, you can start by giving them a few crutches.

  • Start them out spelling a nickname – even if they normally go by the longer version.
  • Provide either the beginning or the ending, and have the child fill in the missing letters.
apples spelling out a name, stuck with magnets onto a cookie sheet

Not quite ready to do one of these preschool name activities? You can pin this image to save it for later:

apple name activity

Happy Teaching,

Heather

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.