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.
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.
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.
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?
- 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.
- Print out the other pages and laminate if desired.
- Cut out the apple letters.
- 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)
- 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:
If you’re making a magnetic activity, an old cookie sheet or jelly roll pan is perfect.
- Students will spread out their apple letters and place their own “basket” onto the work mat.
Or, they can hang the apples on the apple tree:
- Then, they’ll search for all the letters in their name.
- Optionally, they can also put the letters in the correct order.
- 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.
- Finally, students should count the number of letters in their name and circle that number on the mat.
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.
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.
These Name Crowns, also in my store, are another fun way to connect children’s names to initial sounds.
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.
Not quite ready to do one of these preschool name activities? You can pin this image to save it for later: