Discovery Play with Littles

Discovery Play with Littles

4:45 pm ·

9 Genius Tricks that Help Teach Your Child to Write Their Name

I took a deep breath. I knew I should have been teaching him to write his name sooner, we were just so busy playing outside. Now we’ve begun preschool and he’s the only one in his class who can’t write his name.

“Cammon, buddy. Just one more time. You’ve almost got it!” “I don’t want to,” he said flatly as he stared up at me and refused to pick up his pencil.

I tried to remember deep breaths as I felt my chest getting tighter and I tried to fight the messages I was hearing. “ You’re a failure as a mother . You’re a teacher for crying out loud and you can’t even get your own son to write his name. Look at the other kids-their parents have no background in education and somehow their kids can write their name.”

The messages were flying through my head faster than I could catch them, let alone fight them.

“Ok, bud. Let’s both take a break. We can come back to this later.” I think we both needed a minute to gather ourselves and reset.

Teaching your child to recognize and write their name is one of the most important things you can do to begin to prepare them for kindergarten. I knew this and because of it, I put unnecessary stress on Jacob and me. It was time to try something different.

When should a child be able to write their name?

At some point around the age of 4, your child will start to write their own name. Children all develop at different times, and like any skill, a huge part of the ability to write their name is how much exposure they have had to other developmental skills first.

Before children can write their name, children will go through the developmental stages of drawing , randomly forming lines and scribbles.

They will begin to develop their pincer grasp , although it is not necessary to have a full pincer grasp to be able to write their name.

Why is it important to teach your child to write their name?

There are no requirements for beginning kindergarten, but if your child can recognize and write their name they will have a great advantage . 

If a child begins kindergarten without being able to recognize their name, they will not be able to find their locker or cubby, mailbox, folders, name tag, lunch tag, and about 100 other things that are labeled with their name that they will be using throughout the day. This leads to shame and frustration.

Teaching child how to write name

There are many skills your child must master before being able to write their name on paper with a pen or pencil. Thes skills are easily incorporated into your daily routine .

Recognizing their Name

The first step to being able to write their name is to recognize their name. Write your child’s name in as many places as possible.

  • Any time you color, write their name on their paper
  • Use alphabet cookie cutters to serve them their sandwich in the form of their name
  • Make their name out of playdough or wikki sticks
  • Write their name on the fridge with fridge magnets
  • Make a sign for the door to their room

During this phase, your goal is that your child sees their name as many times as possible throughout their day, in as many different forms and places as they can.

Spell Their Name

Before a child can write their name, they must be able to have the correct letter recognition skills and be able to put the letters in the correct order. Luckily there are many fun ways to teach your child to spell their name!

  • 3 letter names try “Three Blind Mice”
  • 4 letter names try “Are You Sleeping”
  • 5 letter names try “Row Your Boat” or “BINGO”
  • 6 letter names try “Jingle Bells”
  • 7 letter names try “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” 
  • 8 letter names try “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

Mix and Fix

  • Using foam letters during bath time or magnet letters on the fridge, spell your child’s name. “Mix and fix!” Put the letters in order, name them while pointing to them, and mix them up. Have your child put them back in the right order and see if they can tell you the letter names and sounds.
  • Make a name puzzle by writing your child’s name on a piece of paper and cutting each letter apart. Mix the letters up and see if they can put them back together.
  • Using alphabet cookie cutters , cut the letters of your child’s name out of a pancake. Mix it up before serving it to them, and they must put the letters in the correct order before eating their pancake.

Image of using pancakes to teach your child how to spell their name

Sensory Play

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.  

  • Shaving Cream
  • Cooked Spaghetti
  • Finger Paint

help kid write name

  • Name Sensory Bin- Make a name sensory bin that helps kids practice letter ID, letter sound, my name practice, shapes, colors, sorting, counting, language skills, and spatial awareness while focusing on fine motor skills. It also develops other important skills such as problem-solving, focus, imagination, inquiry, exploration, and emotional strength. Your child will love spelling their name, learning their letters, using the tweezers, dumping, grabbing, and imagining with a personalized name kit!

Name Sensory Bin

Are you tired of hearing “It’s TOO HARD!” followed by a meltdown?

Using this one simple phrase you’ll get in this powerful lesson, you’ll not only be able to help your kiddo not give up but you’ll:

>Activate their superpower of perseverance so that they can turn around a meltdown and keep trying

>Inspire them to use perseverance …even when it’s hard

>Teach them to recognize the warning signs of giving up , and how to turn it around by taking control of their choices.

Grab your powerful FREE video lesson to teach your kiddo one of the most powerful keys to perseverance.

Arts & Crafts

Crafts strengthen fine motor skills , are a great teaching tool, and they give your child an opportunity to develop their creativity.

  • Make a suncatcher. Write your child’s name on a coffee filter in a thick permanent marker. Have them watercolor the coffee filter. When it’s dry, hang it in the window for all to admire.
  • Make a name banner. Write each letter in your child’s name in bubble letters on their own 3×5 piece of paper and watercolor it. String the letters together to make a banner for their bedroom door.
  • Decoreate your name. Write your child’s name and have them paint it using q-tips. Can you make a pattern with the colors?

Image of Using qtips and paint to write name

  • Write your child’s name in marker and have them cover it with bingo dotters, stamps, or stickers. 

Image of Using stickers to write name

  • Use tearing paper to strengthen fine motor skills. Write your child’s name in marker and give them many different colors of scrap paper. Have your child tear little pieces of paper and glue it on their name to cover the lines. Tearing paper is great for strengthening finger muscles and fine motor skills.

Using torn paper to write name

  • Hide the letters around your house and have your child go on a scavenger hunt to find them! Can they put them in the correct order? 
  • Can your child find letters in their name in books that you read together? 
  • Write the letters of their name in large letters on your driveway. Call out the letter and have them stand on it. They can also walk along the letters following the correct letter formation path.

Image of child jumping on the letters in his name in the driveway

We love finding books that go along with what we are learning. Reading is essential for kids. Psychology Today says “Reading to babies as young as six months of age leads to stronger vocabularies and better early literacy skills four years later.”

These books are not just about names, but about self-esteem, uniqueness, and friendship . Everyone is different and you should be proud of who you are! Enjoy reading these books, or find books where the main character shares the same name as your child .

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

help kid write name

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

We would spend a week learning about Chrysanthemum every fall! If you haven’t read it, Chrysanthemum is an adorable little mouse who loves her name… until she goes to school. The other kids laugh at it because it is so long. Chrysanthemum learns a valuable lesson in being proud of who she is , and it just happens to tie in very well with learning our name!

After reading Chrysanthemum, tell your child how you chose their name. Is there a special meaning behind it?

help kid write name

I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont

I Like Myself is a fantastic story that teaches kids to love everything about themselves, even when they are different than everyone else!

help kid write name

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou Melon is a girl who looks different, sounds different, and acts differently than everyone else. Thankfully her Grandmother taught her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loudly, and she learns that even though she is different, she is still special and important!

help kid write name

A Porcupine Named Fluffy by Helen Lester

A Porcupine Named Fluffy is a cute story about a Porcupine who doesn’t like his name until he meets a special rhinoceros.

help kid write name

I’m Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell

I’m Gonna Like Me is a wonderful story that encourages kids to like you because you’re you.

A fun activity for preschoolers is to write in the air. Using their pointer finger as their pen, they hold their arm straight out in front of them and write letters in the air. This is a great way to get their body moving and practice the correct formation of letters.

Develop Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are the skillset that allows you to control the small muscles in your fingers . This allows you to button buttons, zip zippers, and control the pen, pencil, or marker to write your name. Developing these skills takes intentionality, and is becoming increasingly more difficult as technology use in young children rises.

Activities like the crafts listed above, playing with playdough, tearing paper , and any toys that require practice manipulating small objects are good for strengthening fine motor skills.

And Finally, Writing Their Name

After your child can identify the letters in their name and put them in the correct order, it’s time to start writing their name.

Before Jacob wrote each letter, we talk about the correct way to form the letter and practiced with his pointer finger. When kids form letters however they want, they build bad habits that are difficult to break later.

The most important part of learning to write their name is to get them excited about writing. Worksheets are not the most exciting activity in the world, so find a way to get your child excited.

Take them to the store and let them pick out some special markers or colored pencils. Let them write with crayons. At first, it doesn’t matter what they write with as long as they are excited about learning.

Write your child’s name and put it in a page protector or cover it with packing tape and have them trace their name with a dry erase marker. Making it quick and painless like writing their name once a day is a great way to get short, consistent practice in. In a few weeks, you will be amazed at the progress you see!  

Image of tracing name practice

You can also write their name in a yellow marker and have them trace with a pencil, pen, or crayon.

When first learning to write their name, have your child write their name in all capitals , on primary lined paper. (or KG Primary Dots Lined is my favorite font to use.)

It is important that kids are learning to form their letters correctly, so I add a dot where they start their letters. 

Check out our Preschool Alphabet Handwriting Book for practice with correct letter formation.

Image of Preschool Handwriting Book

  • After they can trace their name in all capitals,have them start writing their name the correct way with a capital letter first, and the rest lowercase letters . Continue having them trace their name until they are comfortable writing it on their own. This will be how they are expected to write their name in kindergarten, but writing their name in all capitals is acceptible in the beginning of kindergarten .
  • Once your child can trace their name the correct way, start using blank lines . Start with the primary lined paper before finally moving to one line at the bottom.

Most of my kids traced their names for the first semester, so if your child is having some difficulty or if it isn’t clicking as fast as you think it should, it’s ok! The important thing is that your child has had exposure and practice writing their name the correct way. Just keep practicing, make it fun, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

After lots of practice writing with his finger in rice, making his name out of playdough, and an endless amount of pancakes, Jacob did eventually learn to write his name well. Remember, just make it fun and keep practicing. Oh, and pancakes. Everything is more fun with pancakes.

Want More?  

If you liked this, you’ll love: 

Name Snowman Preschool Craft and 5 Extension Activities to Continue the Learning

13 Genius Dot Sticker Learning Activities That Will Delight Preschoolers

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

Your Turn  

What are your favorite activities to make learning to write your name fun?

' src=

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a mama of two boys, a former teacher, and the founder of Discovery Play with Littles. Her mission is to make raising kids with character simple and fun. Join us for our best learning through play ideas, character growth activities, and family connection ideas so you can watch your child thrive.

Free Perseverance Lesson

Perseverance is the biggest predictor of success, even more than raw talent or aptitude.

Grab a FREE lesson to teach your kiddo one of the keys to perseverance...which is how we talk to our brains.

They'll learn what to say when they encounter something difficult, and why it's so important.

PLAY is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. -Mr. Rogers

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Subscriber Freebies
  • Member Login
  • Search this website

The Measured Mom

Education resources for parents and teachers

PS PK K 1 2 3 17 Comments

A simple way to practice name writing

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sharing is caring!

  • Pinterest 590

Is your child struggling to write his name independently?  Try this simple strategy for kids who are close to entering kindergarten but still need some help writing their names.

how to teach name writing before kindergarten

(This post contains affiliate links.)

This Reading Mama and I have been sharing our top tips for getting little learners ready for kindergarten.  So far we’ve talked about interactive read alouds and concepts of print. Today we’ll talk about teaching your child to write his or her name.

Try hands-on activities first!

Before you have your child practice name writing with a pencil, you’ll want to do a lot of hands-on activities to help him recognize and form the letters of his name.  You’ll find some quick name activities in this post and even more of  our  favorite name activities here .

help kid write name

Your child needs to know two things to write his name on paper…

  • how to hold a pencil correctly – (try these tips )
  • how to spell his name

While it is helpful, it’s not absolutely necessary that your child knows how to form all the letters of the alphabet, or that he knows the distinction between upper and lowercase letters before he writes his name.

However, if your child is close to entering kindergarten, please know that most kindergarten teachers prefer that children enter school writing their names with a capital followed by lowercase letters.  In the sample images below, you’ll see capital letters throughout the name… because my little guy has a while until he’s in kindergarten. 🙂

A fun song to help kids learn to spell their names

Before our kids are ready to write, we’ve taught them how to spell their names by singing their names to the tune of “There was a farmer who had a dog.”  Most names – except very long ones – can work with this tune, if you modify it just a bit.

An example:

There was a girl who liked to play,

And Emily was her name-o!

E-M, I-L-Y,

And Emily was her name-o! 

Try this simple strategy to practice name writing

What if kindergarten is on the horizon and you need a quick way to practice name writing?  Your child can make a lot of progress in just a few weeks by trying this simple strategy.

You will need:

  • a pad of blank paper or blank paper stapled together
  • a pencil or skinny marker

writing name 1

Turn to the first page in the pad of paper.  Have your child write his name the best he can, even if it takes up the whole page.

If your child is new at this, hold his hand as he writes, saying the names of the letters as you do so.

writing name 2

Have your child write his name on a new page each day.  Provide as much support as necessary.  You may need to hold your child’s hand for some letters and not for others.

writing name 3

After a month of this, your child may surprise you by writing his name just the right size!  At this point, if you’d like, you may introduce writing on a plain line and then – if it doesn’t frustrate your child – basic handwriting lines.

If writing is a struggle for your child, using a marker is a good first step.  But do be sure that your child can also write his name with a pencil before starting kindergarten.

Other ideas for name writing:

  • Write your child’s name using a highlighter. Have him trace it using a pencil.
  • Write your child’s name on a card. Have him copy it by using his finger to “write” his name in a sensory tray of shaving cream, salt, or sugar.
  • Play a name fishing game with this free printable.
  • Have your child “sign in” to do an activity – whether that’s have to have a snack or enjoy some screen time.

Check out the rest of our kindergarten readiness tips!

get ready for kindergarten

Free Spelling Games

Get this fun variety of sample spelling games from the membership site! The download includes resources for spelling CVCE words, long vowel teams, and multi-syllable words.

help kid write name

You May Also Enjoy These Posts:

help kid write name

Reader Interactions


August 30, 2018 at 12:55 am

Any special tips on helping a left hander when mom is right handed?

September 1, 2018 at 6:39 am

Hi Sherika!

I am right-handed and have four left-handed kids. 🙂 I use these tips:

November 11, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Any tip on get my son to write his name he keep making the letter o

Heather Groth, Customer Support

November 12, 2020 at 3:26 pm

Hello Rika! You can find more advice and activities for name writing here, and here, ! Enjoy!

December 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

I am a preschool teacher and teach 3-4 year olds. I have always taught them to spell their names with a song. I don’t use any particular song to teach them, it just depends on how long their names are. My whole class (12 kids) can spell each other’s names. I do a game where I spell their name and they come to the front of the class to take their turn. Out of 12 children, only one of them knew all of her letters in the alphabet when I first got them. Since August, I would say that all 12 children know 85%of their letters if not 100%. You have to make it fun so they want to play letter recognition games!

December 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

I love this, Cathie! Thanks so much for sharing!

Cathie Holt

September 17, 2018 at 9:07 am

This works great if your child recognizes the letters. As a K teacher I have parents tell me all the time, “My child knows the alphabet.” Yes……singing the song teaches them the order, but without actually seeing the letters, they do not know the alphabet. I have one this year who can sing her name in a song, but has no clue what a B is or any other letter, for that matter. I think it all goes hand in hand.

August 7, 2020 at 9:47 am

Hello my child knows how to spell her name she knows all the letters but has trouble writing her name still she does have learning disabilities any advice

Kate Dowling

August 7, 2020 at 8:58 pm

This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. We are not experts in special education. If the steps in this blog post don’t work for your child, I recommend reaching out to an expert. If you don’t know anyone, please consider joining one of our FaceBook groups, where you’ll be able to pose this question to thousands of educators. Here are the links:

June 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm

Hello, I learned a song many years ago. It has always been a big help teaching little ones in my preschool class to learn to spell their names. The added bonus is if all kiddos sing along they will be able to spell their friends name as well. If you want you can print child’s name paper or on a chalk board. That way kiddos can see the letters as they sing. Song: I’ll sing and clap with my good friend and Sally is her name oh. S a l l y …S a l l y ….S a l l y Sally is her name oh

We also did this with middle and last names as well. Works great and kiddos loved all the clapping:)

Anna Geiger

June 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm

This sounds a lot like our song. 🙂 I first learned about this idea when as a single teacher my co-worker taught his daughter to spell her last name this way. It works!

Suzie Homemaker

June 24, 2016 at 7:30 am

that’s how I taught my kid to spell her name too. Just happened to think one day hey her name will fit this song. I say the was girl who loved her doll. r something like that. but same thing. Then I did a couple boys in my church class and ask what their fav toy was.

so it worked great. in fact if someone say her name using an I in it, as is common, she says no, its(hjhjjkjk ) and tells them excaltly were they are wrong. lol

June 24, 2016 at 7:31 am

oh and you don’t have to wait till they are 4 yrs old. she was just over 3 when we did this. and correcting people by 3.5 yrs. now at 4 yrs she is indigent about it.

June 26, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Yes, I agree! I have started this song with my kids when they are around 2. Eventually they can sing it and are on their way to recognizing their name. Fun stuff!

[…] your name is empowering, and it’s what many kids learn to write first. The Measured Mom has a helpful tip page about teaching and practicing name […]

[…] course, the ability to recognize and even write her name is important, but does she know the individual letters? A fun yet simple activity is to hide the […]

[…] can find some fabulous tips on helping kids with writing their name {even before Kindergarten} at The Measured Mom! Be sure to hop over and […]

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

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 .

help kid write name

  • Trying to Conceive
  • Signs & Symptoms
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Fertility Testing
  • Fertility Treatment
  • Weeks & Trimesters
  • Staying Healthy
  • Preparing for Baby
  • Complications & Concerns
  • Pregnancy Loss
  • Breastfeeding
  • School-Aged Kids
  • Raising Kids
  • Personal Stories
  • Everyday Wellness
  • Safety & First Aid
  • Immunizations
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Active Play
  • Pregnancy Products
  • Nursery & Sleep Products
  • Nursing & Feeding Products
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Toys & Gifts
  • Ovulation Calculator
  • Pregnancy Due Date Calculator
  • How to Talk About Postpartum Depression
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board

Teach Kids How to Write Their Name

Imgorthand / Getty Images

When you teach your child to write , you're developing his fine motor skills.   You're also preparing him for school because most kids know how to write at least a few letters by the time they are ready for kindergarten . Make handwriting a fun activity when you teach your child to write his name in five easy steps that are educational and frustration free.

1. Print His Name as an Outline

Learning to write his name is a proud accomplishment and a skill he'll use throughout his lifetime. Make the task easier when you print his name as an outline for him to follow.

Using a word processing program or graphics software, choose a large font, not a small size, and select the outline option. Type out your child's name and print.

With pencil in hand, he'll focus on staying in between the lines while he follows the pattern of the letters in his name. For repeated use, put a plastic sheet protector over the paper. He can use a dry erase marker to practice writing his name over and over again.

2. Fingerpaint With Household Items

Let him learn the motions of the letters in his name when he writes with his finger. Use salt, sand, shaving cream or pudding as a writing tool.

Salt or sand can be spread on a tray to keep the mess to a minimum. Shaving cream and pudding are messier, but some kids will sit for a longer amount of time because they're having more fun getting dirty while writing. Just use the kitchen counter or a tray as his writing canvas.

Since he's just learning, don't force him to write his name like you would on a piece of paper. Let him use his gross motor skills to learn the motions of writing his name.   As he gets better at writing each letter, you can help him work on those fine motor skills through this and other fun learning activities .

3. Try Sidewalk Chalk

Take learning outdoors. Buy or make your own sidewalk chalk that's fat enough for him to wrap his hand around comfortably.

Write his name in large letters. Ask him to try to mimic your drawing. Write his name smaller. Now see if he can write his name smaller too. You're working toward scaling down an oversized version of his name to one he'll actually be required to write on a piece of paper at school. Once he's ready to try it on a smaller scale, sidewalk chalk works great on construction paper and actually looks like a work of art when your child is finished practicing.

4. Trace Over Highlighter

Use a highlighter to write your child's name in large letters. Now let him pick his favorite color marker and trace over your letters.

Make sure you choose a highlighter color that is lighter than the marker he's going to be using. He needs to be able to see his attempt at writing his name over the letters you wrote with the highlighter.

5. Use a Dry Erase Board

Kids love writing on a dry erase board. He'll be able to practice, practice, practice without using a lot of paper.

A dry erase board has long-term use. After he learns to write his name, he can learn to write other words and begin tackling phonics . You can also use it as a teaching tool when you're ready to tackle math, English, and other subjects.

A Word From Verywell

Teaching a child to write his name takes practice and patience. Let him learn in his own time but practice a few minutes every day. As he begins to perfect his writing, you'll notice he can start writing with smaller letters with handwriting that becomes easier and easier to read.

Seo SM. The effect of fine motor skills on handwriting legibility in preschool age children .  J Phys Ther Sci . 2018;30(2):324-327. doi:10.1589/jpts.30.324

Abd El-Dayem TS, Salem EE, El- Hadidy EI. Correlation between Gross Motor Activities and Hand Writing Skills in Elementary School Children .  Trends Appl Sci Res. 2015;10:259-269 . doi:10.3923/tasr.2015.259.269

By Apryl Duncan Apryl Duncan is a stay-at-home mom and internationally-published writer with years of experience providing advice to others like her.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Empowered Parents

How to Teach a Child to Write Their Name: 7 Simple Steps

By: Author Tanja McIlroy

Posted on Last updated: 15 November 2023

Categories Early Writing Skills

Pinterest image - how to teach a child to write their name

If you want to learn how to teach a child to write their name for the first time, it can be tempting to whip out a piece of paper and start tracing letters. 

Children who are in their preschool years need to develop important  pre-writing skills before moving onto pen and paper.

Read on to find out how you can go about preparing children and eventually teaching them how to confidently and correctly write their names.

When Should a Child Be Able to Write Their Name?

Firstly, you may be wondering if your 3 or 4-year-old should be able to write their name or why you are practising so often and your child is still not properly writing it.

It’s important to understand that children first start randomly forming and experimenting with letters as part of the developmental stages of drawing .

Scribbles and lines turn into loops and spirals and then shapes.

At some point, between 2 and 4, shapes that vaguely resemble letters start to emerge (like the capital letter T or V). These are not yet necessarily formed on purpose.

At around the age of 4, children will probably start to “write” on their drawings, which means they are experimenting with forming letters they see often – in their environment, their name written on their artwork, etc.

They may proudly announce that they are writing. Children are usually more exposed to their name than any other word if it’s written on their belongings, artwork and especially if a parent is trying to practise it often.

The simple answer is don’t worry about it. There is no age that your child must know how to write their name. It will probably start emerging around 4 or 5 years.

While it is inappropriate to start teaching and expecting children to write too early, it is understandable that you may want to practise just their names.

There are ways to do this that are fun and developmentally appropriate and that will not cause stress.

Pinterest image - how to teach a child to write their name

Should Children Write their Names in Capital Letters or Lowercase Letters?

What is the correct order for teaching children about upper case and lower case letters? It is usually best to start with upper case letters.

It is easier for a young child to learn their name in capital letters first, as these are made up of simpler lines and curves.

Your child will also experience more success when actually being able to form the capital letters.

While this is still a much-debated topic, this article on teaching capital letters first is an excellent explanation of why it’s best not to introduce a young child to lowercase letters.

The occupational therapist states:

“No matter how excellent the instruction, not all five-year-olds have the underlying spatial-temporal perceptions or visual motor skills to support learning lowercase.”

When a child learns incorrect letter formation, it becomes more difficult later on to form the letters properly.

Here is a common example of how children write the letter a when they don’t have fine motor control yet, or they have not been taught the correct formation.

They tend to draw a circle and then attach a line or stroke onto the side. This will not be an easy habit to undo.

Letter a

Here is an example of how to teach an older child the correct formation. Start at the top, go around to the left, all the way back up, then straight down .

Letter a

This particular font has a flick at the bottom. Some schools use a font similar to this, or one where the a has a straight line without a flick.

This does not matter too much. It is more important to focus on the correct direction and not lift the pencil to form the line going down.

It is good for children to see their own name in their environment with the first letter capitalized only, but they should see it in capital letter format when they are specifically practising writing it.

Learning to write their entire name – first name and last name – is a bit too advanced at this stage and can be taught at a later stage.

How Do You Teach a Child to Write Their Name?

Writing is a process of developing many skills, and the very last step in that process is writing letters on a piece of paper with a pencil or pen.

Children begin writing by the first grade because by then they have developed the necessary fine motor control to write correctly and use the correct pencil grip.

For preschool children, the first step in the puzzle is to develop their fine and gross motor skills, and later to start learning to write their names by being introduced to letters of the alphabet in many different informal ways.

For a while, put away the worksheets, traceables and online apps. Play-based learning is the best way to give children a strong foundation in writing.

There’s a reason children are wired to play for the first few years of their life. It’s how they learn. Everything else is less important.

Here is a quick breakdown of the steps involved in teaching your child to write their name.

1. Develop General Fine and Gross Motor Skills

In order for children to be able to write – a skill that requires fine motor control – the first thing they need to develop is their gross motor skills .

Think of this as starting large and going smaller over time.

Gross motor skills can be built through everyday movement and play activities.

Children should experience movements such as climbing, running, swinging, jumping, skipping and playing with balls.

They will naturally develop these muscles during free play and you can also play games with them to specifically work on these skills.

Children develop their gross motor skills first and later their small muscles strengthen.

Introduce fun activities to develop fine motor skills such as drawing, painting, playing with beads, using pegboards, threading , lacing, etc.

These are all vitally important as children must have good muscle control before they can hold a pencil and write.

Start with these fine motor skills toys you probably already have at home.

2. Let Children See Their Name Often

An important step in learning to write a name is name recognition.

A child who sees their name often will start to understand what it represents, imprint it in their memory, and have greater success when attempting to write it.

Write your child’s name on the top left-hand corner of their pictures. This also teaches how we write from left to right and top to bottom in English.

Label their belongings, bedroom door if possible and any other places that are appropriate.

To help you teach your child the letters of their name, print the full name out in big on a piece of paper or banner and keep it visible during all the following activities.

3. Walk the Letters

Using chalk, draw one letter at a time of your child’s name in large letters on concrete or paving. The letters should be big enough for your child to walk around them.

Practise correct formation by starting in the correct place and moving along the letter in the correct sequence. Use language to explain the formation.

Let’s start here. Walk all the way down. Turn around and go up all the way to the top.

4. Use Messy Play

Messy play is the best way to teach name recognition and writing. Focus most of your attention on these kinds of sensory activities.

Try to use all the senses if possible – touch, sound, smell, taste and sight. When more senses are incorporated, the concepts are learned quickly and associations are made.

This post contains affiliate links for educational products that I personally recommend. If you purchase through one of them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the terms and conditions for more details.

The messier the activity is, the more likely your child will remember the letters they were playing with and their shapes.

Melissa & Doug Large Paint Brush Set With 4 Kids' Paint Brushes

  • Set of four kids' paintbrushes
  • Large tips are perfect for painting in backgrounds--and ideal for beginners, too!
  • Form letters in shaving cream.
  • Form letters in a tray of sand or in the sandpit.
  • Bake letter cookies.
  • Say the letter sounds out loud as you form them (not the name ‘ bee’ but the sound ‘ b’ ).
  • Write the letters on big pieces of sandpaper and get your child to trace them. Feeling the rough texture is an excellent way to imprint the formation in your child’s mind.

Shuttle Art Washable Finger Paint, 44 Pack Kids Paint Set with 36 Colors Toddler...

  • 36 VIBRANT COLORS: Shuttle Art kids finger paint set contains 36 bright colors washable finger paints in pots...
  • VERSATILE PAINTING TOOLS: Each kids paint set comes with a 25 sheets finger paint paper pad, 11 X 12 in, 100...

Play-Doh Modeling Compound 10-Pack Case of Colors, Non-Toxic, Assorted, 2 oz. Cans,...

  • 10 cans of creative fun – kids can get creative with just the right colors They need in this Play-Doh...
  • Just the right colors to start - shape, squish, mix, and make it all. Great for lots of uses like Play-Doh...

Clay letter T

5. Play with Letters

Let children play with plastic, foam, rubber or wooden letters.

Feel the letters and trace them with your fingers. Build your name with the letters. Say the sound of each letter.

Fridge magnets are a great way to play with and feel letter shapes:

HOONEW Magnetic Letters Numbers Alphabet Plastic ABC 123 Fridge Magnets for Vocabulary...

  • COMPLETE COMPONENTS:78 PCS Magnetic Letters & Numbers, includes 26 lowercase letters,26 uppercase letters, 20...
  • PERFECT EDUCATION TOOL:Ideal for all educators interested in early childhood education. Classrooms need these...

Here are some great letter recognition activities for preschoolers.

6. Do Pre-Writing Exercises

Making lines and patterns is a great way to introduce the shapes and formations found in letters. It’s an important part of the early writing process and requires lots of practice.

Try these pre-writing exercises too.

7. Start Tracing Letters

When your child is older (and ready) and you have practised letters in multiple ways, they can start tracing big letters on a sheet of paper.

  • Print each letter onto an A4 paper.
  • Get your child to trace over each letter with their finger.
  • Ask them to trace that letter onto your back.
  • Then take coloured wax crayons and trace the letters a few times.

Over time, you can start to decrease the size of the letters. Print your child’s name in grey letters or dotted letters and ask them to trace the letters in pencil.

Later, write their name in small letters on their work and get them to trace over it, until they are writing it independently, using the correct formation.

If your child experiments with writing their name before the process is complete, don’t stop them. Allow them to experiment with writing freely.

Remember to have fun and let your child progress through the steps at their own pace.

Here are more fun name writing activities for young children.

Get FREE access to Printable Puzzles, Stories, Activity Packs and more!

Sign up and you’ll receive a downloadable set of printable puzzles, games and short stories , as well as the Learning Through Play Activity Pack which includes an entire year of activities for 3 to 6-year-olds. Access is free forever.

Signing up for a free Grow account is fast and easy and will allow you to bookmark articles to read later, on this website as well as many websites worldwide that use Grow .

Printables and Learning Through Play Activity Pack

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

Ebun Obadofin

Sunday 21st of May 2023

I'm excited at these educational materials and information. I'll like to subscribe for it

Thursday 4th of May 2023

Thanks. I enjoyed the article.

Tanja Mcilroy

Friday 5th of May 2023

Glad to hear it!

Thursday 13th of October 2022

This article is helpful, thank you very much. Allow me to translate it in indonesian language. Hope that way makes my friends more understand.

Friday 14th of October 2022

Thanks, Yani!

Saturday 2nd of May 2020

This information is terrific! I totally agree with everything you advocate - let our kids learn from ground level (motor skills) and move up, brick by brick, with practice as the cement between the bricks. Move too fast and the bricks will wobble because they don't have the practice to keep the new skills balanced. Try to push ahead without the structural bricks in order and you are guaranteeing a collapse later on!

I love your analogy Andrea. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Tanja

  • EXPLORE Random Article

How to Teach a Child to Write Their Name

Last Updated: December 27, 2022 Approved

This article was co-authored by Sylvia Rath . Sylvia Rath is a Parenting Specialist and the Director of Little Village Nursery School in Los Angeles, California. With over 30 years of experience, Sylvia guides parents through the preschool years and beyond by teaching respectful communication and positive discipline methods. Sylvia holds a BA in Psychology and Early Child Development from Antioch University. Before working at Little Village Nursery School, she taught preschool for eight years. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 315,077 times.

It’s a proud moment for you and your child when they’re first able to write their name. Getting there takes some patient practice, however. Start by simply getting your child used to the letters of their name--point them out at every opportunity. When they’re able to start writing at least some of the letters, you can encourage them to keep trying by offering fun opportunities to write. At the same time, make sure to gently coach them on things like holding a writing instrument and holding a sheet of paper down.

Spelling Out Their Name

Step 1 Point out letters in your child’s name.

  • ”See that ‘E’? That’s the first letter in your name.”
  • ”’Veronica’ ends in an ‘a’ just like that one. Can you find the ‘a’?”

Sylvia Rath

  • Veronica, your name, is spelled V-e-r-o-n-i-c-a.”

Step 3 Ask your child to say the letters as you write them.

  • Make it simple by asking questions like “Ok, Natasha, can you find an ‘N’? How about an ‘A’?”

Step 5 Have your child trace the letters of their name.

  • When your child is ready for more of a challenge, write the name in dotted lines. See if they can connect the dots to form the letters.

Step 6 Let your child copy their name.

Making Writing Fun

Step 1 Give your child “real” opportunities to write their name.

  • Even if your child doesn't write their name correctly at first, they’ll still develop a sense for why we write our names.

Step 2 Let your child experiment with different media.

  • Letting your kid write their name outside with sidewalk chalk.
  • Writing with dry erase markers on a board or windows.
  • Using cooked spaghetti to create the letters of your child’s name.
  • Rolling out Play Doh and using it to form letters.

Step 3 Don’t worry if they make letters the “wrong way.”

  • The more your child practices, the better they will get at writing correctly.
  • Once children reach school age, the work they do there will also help standardize the mechanics of writing.

Step 4 Try offering rewards when the child makes progress.

  • Many libraries will allow children to get their own library card as soon as they can sign their own name.
  • Keep the rewards small and don't put too much emphasis on them. A child can become discouraged if they are struggling to write correctly and fail to get the reward.

Helping Your Child Make Progress

Step 1 Show your child the tripod grasp to improve hand control.

  • Give your child plenty of opportunities to scribble and draw even before they start to write their name.
  • This will help them develop the fine motor skills they need to control a writing instrument.

Step 2 Try just a few letters at a time.

  • For instance, say “Ok, Antonio. Let's see if you can get the first part of your name: A-N-T. Just like the bug!”

Step 3 Try practicing on a sloped surface.

  • You can also try a clipboard or something else that can hold the paper down.
  • Once your kid is more confident writing their name, let them try on a flat surface.

Expert Q&A

Sylvia Rath

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

You Might Also Like

Ask for Feedback

  • ↑
  • ↑ Sylvia Rath. Parenting Specialist. Expert Interview. 18 May 2021.
  • ↑
  • ↑
  • ↑
  • ↑

About this article

Sylvia Rath

Teaching your child to write their name can take some time, but if you keep it fun and praise them along the way, they’ll get the hang of it. Start by writing their name yourself and getting them to say the letters with you. If they have a short version of their name, start with that to make it easier. Once your child can name all the letters in their name, get them to trace the letters over the top of yours. You can also write the letters in dotted lines and get your child to connect them. Try mixing things up by using crayons, chalk, or forming letters out of play dough to write their name. This will keep it fun and stop them from getting frustrated so easily. Make sure you reward them with praise and treats as they make progress. For more tips, including how to do a letter scavenger hunt to help your child learn the letters of their name, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

Reader Success Stories

Nica Soriano

Nica Soriano

Mar 8, 2017

Did this article help you?

Nica Soriano

Oct 27, 2016

Segomotso Molokoane

Segomotso Molokoane

Jul 18, 2016

Crystal Carino

Crystal Carino

May 17, 2017

Ask for Feedback

  • About wikiHow
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

Request a Quote

Discover Research-Based Phonics Instruction that Works. View the Report

Teaching Tips

Helping children write their names.

October 27, 2020

by: Cathy Van Haute

Every child deserves the chance to learn to write their name. As an occupational therapist working with children for over 35 years now, it’s something in which I firmly believe. I pride myself on making name writing fun, developmentally appropriate, and an obtainable goal for all students.

The key to successfully meeting this goal is to make sure you are meeting the child at their developmental level regardless of their age. I want the child to take pride in their name so they are also motivated to learn this skill.

How I Teach Name Writing 

Here’s how I start to teach name writing:

I always begin with the prewriting strokes and capital letters. Developmentally, it is easier for a child to write a CAPITAL letter than a lowercase letter. Capital letters can be made with big lines, little lines, big curves, and little curves. These strokes are developmentally easier than writing a lowercase letter. A child needs to change direction in their stroke to form a lowercase letter. This is more difficult.

When teaching name writing, my goal is that the child can independently write their name in title case. Title case is defined at a capital letter first then lowercase letters. When we first shared the video above on our Facebook page, the most frequently asked question was around how to progress children to being able to write their names in title case.

Here’s how:

I also define "independently" with the child as not relying on a visual model. This is crucial for functional name writing.

The other skill set is that the child needs to remember all of the letters in their name in the correct order. I always start with CAPITALS because they are easier in the writing world. Once the child has mastered their name in all CAPS with access to a visual model, I graduate them to title case with access to a model. I slowly fade out the visual supports, so the child can achieve functional name writing.

Key Things to Remember 

  • Build a rapport with the student. Get them excited about learning to write their name. Make sure you know what name the parents want you to teach. For example, is it a nickname?
  • Determine hand preference. Hand preference needs to be determined before direct instruction for name writing. If the child is still switching hands often, then they might not be ready to write their name. 
  • Develop a strong foundation. It's important for the child to have a strong foundation with prewriting strokes prior to writing letters. The child should be able to imitate a vertical line, horizontal line, circle, cross, and then diagonal lines come last. Diagonal lines can be successfully imitated between the ages of 4-6. Young girls often develop fine motor skills sooner than boys. If the child's first letter in their name contains a diagonal stroke (A,K,M,N,R,V,W,X,Y,Z) this might be challenging for them.
  • Equip them with the right tools. Make sure before you start to teach name writing that the desk/table fits the child and the writing tool is the right size for their hand. Providing strips of paper or boxes can often help children control the size of letters.
  • Demonstrate and Imitate. The key to success is demonstration and imitation. The child needs to see how the letters are formed. We often take a child to copying—also known as guided practice—too quickly. Before that stage, it is important that the child actively sees how the letters are formed. 
  • Remember to go letter by letter. Take it slow and progress letter by letter.
  • Be consistent. Use consistent terminology when giving verbal instructions on how letters are formed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best age to teach a child to write their name? It entirely depends on the child's developmental abilities. If the child can imitate the prewriting stokes, then I start to progress them to their name in all capital letters knowing that some letters will be easier than others. 
  • Do the same rules apply for left-handed writers? Is there anything I should do differently? Left-handed children should be expected to hold the writing tool the same way as right-handed children. The tripod grasp is the most efficient grasp for a child, no matter what hand they write with. The only difference for a left-handed child is that the visual cue for their name is better positioned to the right of their writing. However you will always start with imitation, so the visual cue will be top to bottom.
  • How often should we practice writing their name? I like to add name writing throughout the child's day. Often I will have children write their names when they are going to a different center, snack tickets have to be signed, attendance can be taken from the daily sign-in sheet, a list of all of the children's names with their pictures is available in the art area.

Learning Without Tears Can Help You Teach Children to Write Their Names

LWT has so many amazing resources to support name writing. All of the multisensory materials will fully support the goal of a child being able to independently write their name.

Here are some of my favorites:

GSS2020 Wood pieces

Wood Pieces Set for Capital Letters

help kid write name

Stamp and See Screen®

GSS sample music

Get Set for School Sing Along (Pre-K)

help kid write name

Color Name Plates

HWT letter formation

Letter Formation Charts  

help kid write name

My First School Book

help kid write name

Kick Start Kindergarten

help kid write name

Slate Chalkboard

help kid write name

Roll–A–Dough Letters®

help kid write name

FLIP Crayons®

help kid write name

Gray Block Paper

help kid write name

Capital and Number Practice Strips

My First School Book Set

​My First Book Set

help kid write name

Letters and Numbers for Me 

I believe that a child learning to independently write their name in title case is a crucial, functional life skill! 

Related Tags

How to Teach Your Child to Write Their Name

How to Teach Your Child to Write Their Name

Here at My Pre-K Box, we are all about using PLAY to help your child learn! Research proves that your preschooler learns best through hands-on, FUN, play-based learning. We use current research and our teaching expertise to bring your child the most fun preschool learning available to your front door each month! My Pre-K Box is an educational subscription box for preschoolers aged 3-5! We provide you with everything you need to laugh, create, play, and learn together!

My Pre-K Box: No prep learning kits for kids!

Love the ideas shared here but find yourself spending more time looking at cute activities to do with your preschooler rather than actually doing the activities with your preschooler? We developed no prep learning kits for a busy parent like you! With My Pre-K Box , each month we mail your preschooler a learning kit with a fresh new theme! The package is packed full of fun, hands-on, play-based learning that preschoolers LOVE to do! You'll love how fun and easy it is!

There is no sweeter sound to your child than their name—except, perhaps when their name is followed by a command like “It's time for your nap” or “It’s time to clean up.” Your child’s name is exciting and personal to them, which makes name recognition and learning to write their name important first steps in literacy!

When is your child is ready to write their name? 

Before a child can attempt to write their name, their fine and gross motor skills must be developed. Gross motor skills allow kids to do things that involve using the large muscles in the torso, arms, and legs to complete whole-body movements. Think climbing, jumping, or throwing a ball. As a child’s gross motor skills improve through play and daily activities, their fine motor skills also start to strengthen. These are the smaller movements that require more precision and dexterity, such as drawing, building with Legos, and buttoning a coat. You will know your child is ready to start learning how to write their name when their fine motor skills are distinct. 

At what age should a child be able to write their name? 

There is no set age at which a child should confidently know how to write their name. But telling a parent not to worry about it would be futile—worrying is what we do best! Between the ages of 2 and 4, scribbles and lines that unintentionally mimic letters may start to pop up in your child’s drawings. They may even attempt to write letters, names, and words they are accustomed to seeing, such as their name, cereal brand, or a character from a favorite book. Albeit, these will very likely still look like scribbles.

Around age 4 (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) is when most children exemplify that they have the interest and fine motor skills necessary to learn to write their name. 

Name teaching no-no's!

It is natural to want your child to excel academically and meet certain milestones, but at this age, play remains the most powerful learning tool. Too often, parents resort to the “practice, practice, practice” mentality with worksheets that they remember from elementary school, but this will frustrate both you and your child in the long run. Keep it lighthearted and fun by incorporating name recognition and writing into games and crafts. 

Parents might also be tempted to prompt a child to write their name before their fine motor skills are developed. Early is not always better. If your child does not yet display prominent fine motor skills, switch gears and work on those instead. Drawing with sidewalk chalk and stringing beads are fun and effective ways to flex those muscles. 

Tips for helping your child form letters

Start with forming capital letters for the entire name. This will be much easier for your little one to master since they require simpler lines. 

Exemplify the correct way to form letters using simple instructions. For example, you start writing a letter at the top and move to the bottom. 

Remember, it is common for letters to be reversed or out of order, initially. Gently model the correct formation while continuing to encourage their progress. 

How can I keep them focused on practicing? 

Keep it fun! Tracing letters on a sheet of paper might hold your child’s interest for a few moments at best. Incorporating learning into play will lay the foundation they need to understand the letters that form their name and, eventually, write them. As with any new skill, repetition is key, but it should not be boring. When your child is enjoying the activity, they will be more likely to remember the letters they were playing with. 

How to teach your child to write their name

There are 3 key stages to helping your child learn to write their name and plenty of creative ways to practice. Use the 7 activities below as a starting point for your child’s journey into writing.

Step 1 : Name recognition

Before your child can physically write their name, they should be able to correctly identify it. Help your child recognize their written name with these fun activities!

help kid write name

Step 2 : Spelling

Once your child can recognize their name, the next step is to identify the individual letters and their order. By putting the letters together in the correct order, your child is learning how to spell their name!

help kid write name

Step 3 : Writing their name

It is time for the grand finale: Teaching your child to write their name! But don’t reach for the tracing paper just yet—this step should also be fun and full of opportunities for play. 

help kid write name

Learning through playing

Above all else, remember that helping to teach your child to write their name should be PLAYFUL and enjoyable! When we have fun doing something, we want to do it more often! Those fond memories of playing with mommy will help teach your child that learning is FUN, which is a critical part of being ready for school!

Play-based activities in My Pre-K Boxes

If your little one enjoyed these activities, he will surely love all the play-based activities and games from My Pre-K Box ! Our boxes are filled with fun crafts and lots of exciting hands-on activities! Each month features a new theme, which lots of kids look forward to. You can get one by subscribing to My Pre-K Box - the best subscription box for preschoolers! Our hands-on learning tools are play-based, targeting math and literacy skills. It also includes sensory play, fun thematic crafts, and a grownup guide.

The games and activities in My Pre-K Boxes are made with love and guaranteed to be of top quality. It is also kid-and-adult-friendly, very practical, and reusable! If your child has siblings, it can be shared and can be used again and again! We also offer duplicates of the crafts, since these are mostly not reusable. You can get a duplicate for his/her siblings for only $3.25 a month! Craft lovers can also subscribe to our Craft Lovers Upgrade, which comes with more fun crafts and two additional arts and crafts activities for just  $4.25 per child. 

With all the fun and exciting activities inside My Pre-K Box, your child won’t even notice he’s learning a lot! And as parents, we wouldn't have to worry about the hassle of researching, planning, and making the activities! We can simply guide and watch them learn in the convenience of our home - with the help of My Pre-K Box !

kids love myprekbox

View subscription plans

Let's Connect!

We love, love, love seeing your little ones in action! Post your photos on your social media account and use the hashtag #myprekbox so we can see which name learning activity you're doing! And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more fun and easy activities to do with your preschooler at home!

Want to try My Pre-K Box?

Check out our Easy Learn to Draw lessons →

kab logo

Home › Blog › Kids Activities › 10 Ways to Make Name Writing Practice Fun for Kids

10 Ways to Make Name Writing Practice Fun for Kids

' src=

Published Jun 19, 2023

Updated Jul 30, 2023

Today we are showing some really fun name writing practice ideas for kids that are way more fun than just practicing on plain paper. Name writing is an important skill for kids to easily write both their first name and last name before they go to Kindergarten. Don’t let name writing practice be intimidating or frustrating because we have the easy way to practice your child’s name with a lot of fun! Use these name writing activities at home or in the classroom. Use these writing practice techniques for other words too.

Name activities for preschool kids like connecting dots and glitter and glue writing.

Best Name Writing Practice Ideas for Kids

It is important for your child to know how to write his/her name. Being able to write your name without prompting is a basic Kindergartener skill.

Related: Check out our free printable Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

Name writing practice is more fun and effective when coupled with sensory activities. Here are a bunch of different and creative ways you can help your child practice writing their name in fun ways. We also have free name writing practice sheets you can print at the bottom of this article.

This article contains affiliate links.

Name Writing Practice Tips

Helping your child practice writing their name gives your child the confidence to do their best in school and feel great about it.

  • Don’t just have them practice their first name , but their last name also.
  • This would also be a good way to teach about capital letters and that the first letter of your child’s name needs to be capitalized .
  • Plus, practicing is also important fine motor skills practice and help with letter recognition. 

Use these Writing Practice Activity Ideas Other Ways

What is even cooler, not only can these help your young learners learn their names, but this would be a good way to teach sight words as well!

Related: This is part of our homeschool preschool curriculum of play based learning

We hope you and your kids enjoy the activities we’ve put together for you to help gain the necessary skills to write your first name and last name with ease.

Fun Ways Kids Can Practice Writing Skills

1. writing name in gel bags for easy name tracing.

Name writing practice shown here in gel bag - child drawing name in a plastic bag filled with gel - Kids Activities Blog

These are brilliant. Fill a giant Ziploc bag with about half a bottle of hair gel and some food coloring. To use, write their name on a page. Lay the gel bag over the paper. Your kids trace the letters to make their name.

This is a fun way to teach kids (2 year old and up) how to write their name. It’s mess free and you don’t have to worry about little ones sticking fingers and glitter and such in their mouths.

2. Creating Sandpaper Letters of Name for Practice Tracing

Name writing practice shown here is piece of sandpaper with yarn on top with child fashioning a letter with the piece of yarn

Kids love sensory experiences. This one helps your kids recognize that letters need to be formed in a particular order. Write their name on sandpaper. Your child needs to use yarn to form the letters of their name. Check out this activity idea from Preschool Basics .

3. Dot-to-Dot for Name Writing Practice to Write Your Name

Name writing practice homemade dot to dot - Kids Activities Blog

This is an especially useful technique for older kids who have learned all the wrong habits. Create a series of dots and number from where they start. Your kids need to follow the dots in order. Start with lots of dots and as your child gets more practice, remove dots.

This is a great way for a preschool teacher and kindergarten teachers to not only learn their name, letter formation, but also work on fine motor skills as well.

4. Glittery Letters Name Letters – Cool Way to Write Name

Name writing practice glitter letters - Kids Activities Blog

Review their name multiple days in a row. Using a stiff piece of paper or cardboard, write their names. Your child traces letters of their name with glue. Cover the glue with glitter . When it has dried you can trace the letters with your fingers.

What a great way to get your little learners to practice their names. Plus, it gives your child a creative outlet as well..I would suggest putting something under to catch the excess glitter.

5. Scramble and Unscramble the Letters of Name

Name writing practice magnet letters - Kids Activities Blog

One of the precursors to writing their name is recognizing it and deciphering the order of the letters in their name. Practice putting letters in order from left to right with this fun name activity. Refrigerator letters and foam letters work well for this activity.

I like all these different fun ways to work on writing skills.

6. Make Name Rainbow Letters for Colorful Practice Tracing Name

Cool ways to write your name using blue crayons, orange, pink, and purple, and red.

Give your child a handful of crayons. They get to trace their name over and over again. Each time using a different crayon. You will be surprised at how fast your kids will become experts at writing letters with this technique.

This is first place in name writing practice fun. Mixing colors, building colors, going wild with the crayons, what fun!

7. Chalk-Board Swabs for Name Practice

If you have a chalk board this is super handy and fun! Write their name on the board with chalk. Give your kids a handful of cotton swabs and a capful of water. Your kids need to erase the letters using the swabs.

If you don’t have a chalk board, you can also use a dry erase marker board! You can buy all the different colored dry erase pens to make it more fun.

8. Highlighter Tracing Exercises with Name Letters

Name writing doesn't have to be hard. First write your childs name with highlighter then trace it

Write the letters of their name with thick lines using a bright highlighter marker . Your kids trace the letters “ their goal is to stay inside the line of the highlighter markings. As they become a more confident writer, make the letters thinner and smaller.

9. Masking Tape Street Letters Fun with Name

Form the letters of their name in tape on the floor. Grab the bin of cars. Your kids get to drive around the letters of their name. Encourage them to move their vehicles along the roads the way they would write the letters.

This is one of many great ideas. Mix play and learning to keep it interesting for young children.

10. Play Dough Etching of Child’s First Name & Last Name

Etch your child’s name into play dough using a pencil. Your child can trace the lines. Then roll it flat and trace their name very softly. Your kids need to etch their name deeply following the lines you made. The tension of the dough will help develop the muscle motor control needed to write.

Free Name Writing Practice Worksheets You Can Print

  • The first printable practice sheet has blank lines to fill in the child’s first and last name for tracing, copy work or writing from scratch.
  • The second printable handwriting practice sheet is an About Me printable page where kids can write their first name and last name and then fill in a little about themselves.

Looking For More Writing and Name Writing Practice Activities?

Printable Cursive flashcard and writing practice for letter a pdf with pencil

  • Learn how to write in cursive! These cursive practice sheets are so much fun and easy to do. You can learn about uppercase letters and lowercase letters. This is a great opportunity to teach a skill that is quickly dying out.
  • Not quite ready to write? Your child can practice on these preschool pre-writing skill worksheets . These are fun practice sheets that will get your child ready to write their names and other words.
  • Practice writing with this I love you because worksheet . This is one of the sweetest practice worksheets. Plus it doubles as a coloring sheet.
  • Kids can fill out the fun facts about me page or find an all about me template you love.
  • Here are 10 fun and engaging handwriting exercises for preschoolers . My favorite is #5. This is great if you’re looking for different materials to keep learning fun.
  • These ideas to get your preschooler excited about handwriting are genius! Start teaching your child at a young age so they will be ready when they go to kindergarten.
  • Check out these 10 free handwriting worksheets for even more practice. These are great for kindergarten students, preschool students, and any student who may struggle with writing. We all learn in different ways and different paces.
  • These are our favorite preschool workbooks !
  • Try out these free printable name writing practice .

What name writing practice idea are you going to try first?

Activities For Kindergarteners Handwriting Kids Activities Learning Activities Preschool Activities Worksheets

help kid write name

Welcome to Kids Activities!

My name is Holly Homer & I am the Dallas mom of three boys…

Holly’s Favorite Activites

how to make paper plate roses

You Might Also Like

help kid write name

20 of the Best Gifts for Preschoolers

50+ Elf on the Shelf Ideas

85+ Easy & Silly Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2023

free christmas printables fi

Free Christmas Coloring Pages Printable Crafts, Worksheets, & Games

help kid write name

25 Cake Mix Hacks For You to Make…Mmmm!

Leave a comment cancel reply.

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

I don’t even know ho? I ended up here, but I thought this post was g?eat. I do not know who you are but certainly ?ou are go?ng to a famous blogger if you are not already ; ) Cheer?!

These are great ideas to help kids. I should try this with my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

help kid write name

Keep in touch

Connect with us on your favorite social network below!

Kids Activities logo.

Explore Activities

5 Min Crafts

©2023 Kids Activities Blog. All rights reserved. Disclosure and Privacy Policy • Powered by CultivateWP .

Ways to make Name Practice fun for kids - Kids activities Blog Pinterest

Early Impact Learning

How To Teach Your Child To Write Their Name – The Full Guide

When a child has learned to write their name this can seem like a huge milestone. It is also very useful practically, particularly in school or nursery, so they can sign their own work and not get it mixed up with someone else’s by mistake.

But the process of name writing can be quite a complex one, and there are a few pitfalls that it is worth avoiding. This is where this article will come to your aid!

To give the short answer first, how do you teach children to write their name?

It is important to judge when children are actually able developmentally to write their name. When you think they have reached this point, introduce name writing with fun games and activities. Make up fun stories about the letters in their name, and help them copy them.

Now let’s get stuck into the full version, because there is definitely more to it than that!

This article can just as easily be used by parents as teachers, and the same guidelines will apply.

There are many questions people have – what should they start name writing? How do you introduce it? Can you start to early? How can you help them improve their name writing efforts?

I will answer all of these questions, and also quite a few more.

I have taught children from the age of 3 to 5 for the last ten years, and I have seen many of the pitfalls as well as many of the secrets of how to teach name writing. So here we go…

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 155-name-write.jpg

Wait For The Right Time To Teach Name Writing

Getting the timing right is absolutely critical!

The main danger is starting too early. If this happens then there could be many problems, including:

  • Their hand hurts when they are forced to write because the muscles have not developed to a degree where they can do it. This can put them off writing for a long time, or even permanently
  • The process can become a really long and drawn out one lasting a huge amount of time. This is time wasted, as they could be doing other much more valuable things
  • They can tell they can’t do it, and this impacts their self-esteem. This can put them off writing. Developing fine motor skills in a positive way has numerous benefits.

These are all serious issues, and definitely not worth it for just writing a name.

On the other end of the spectrum is starting too late an issue?

I would say starting too late is not really a problem at all. It just means your child will be able to learn the skill in record time!

Anyway, here are just a few things to think about in terms of timing:

It Is Not A Competition!

Often parents will be become very competitive about the milestones their children reach compared with the children of their friends of work colleagues.

This is very natural, but often not a positive influence, particularly in the early years where development does not really happen in a gradual way.

Often children will make rapid progress all of a sudden in an area when they become ready, but this will not happen if they have put off first.

  • 15 brilliant playdough maths activities
  • Should preschoolers write on lined paper?

It really is like the tortoise and the hare! Just because one child of 3 can write their name , and your child of 4 can’t, this does not mean the child of 3 is far cleverer, and will grow up to be much more intelligent than your child. It really does not mean that!

The rate of progress children make is not linear. Some will progress more slowly than others for a period, and then suddenly far more rapidly than others for the next period.

Anyway, try not to think in terms of competition. You want to think about when the child is ready – that’s it!

Girls V Boys

This is definitely another area that it is worth knowing about.

Put simply, in general girls develop their fine motor skills earlier than boys. This is just a quirk of nature. This will often mean that girls will be able to write their names earlier and skilfully than boys.

Of course this is not always the case, but as an average this is what will happen across the population.

What To Look For To Know They’re Ready

Right, this is the important bit in terms of timing – the signs to look for to know that they are probably ready to take on name writing.

These include:

  • They are beginning to mark-make, and will make marks for a least some short period of time. This could be with encouragement from an adult or independently. Got reluctant children? Then try this

help kid write name

  • They are able to form at least circles and straight lines in their emergent writing
  • Their pictures are starting to look a bit like what they are supposed to be. This could be things like an image of a person that you can make out
  • They know what their name is, and understand the concept of having a name
  • They can recognize their name (a bit more about this in a moment)
  • Knowing the names of at least some letters and sounds is optional but does help

When these things are happening, then you are definitely ready to go.

Name Recognition

This is a crucial step to go through before you start the actual process of name writing.

It is good for children to be acquainted with their name before they start to write it.

Some good ways to get them going with this include:

  • Clothes – Have it in the neck of their coat for example
  • Books – Sometimes there will be character in books that share the same name as the child! Show them the name written down
  • Bag – Have it written on any bags they own
  • Put it on paintings or drawings – it is good for them to see you write their name, and you can talk about what it is
  • Have it displayed in house or around setting. At school their name could feature in displays, or with a picture of them with their name on the wall
  • Name Peg – This is probably not one for parents, but rather in preschools and schools

How To Introduce Name Writing

Right, when they are ready to go, here is a good way to introduce it.

It is probably best through play-based learning, so name writing is not the main emphasis of the activity.

For example, if they have just drawn a picture, this could be a good time to get them to try to write their name.

The simplest way is probably to write one letter at a time for them, and get them to copy the letter underneath. Then write the next letter, get them to copy that, and so on.

I normally write a little dot where they can start writing their letter from.

This simple process can be practised with different things thrown in to help the process, and bring it to life!

Whenever you help them write their name in play-based situations, try some of these to get the process going:

1.Have A Little Story For Letters

This is easier to do for some letters than other. But, for example, for an ‘b’ you could say something like ‘We’re going down lane and round the pond.’

help kid write name

Making it into a little story like that really helps.

If children can think of their own little stories for letters in their name, then brilliant! Ownership is a powerful motivator, and the more children can take charge of their own learning the better.

2.Talk About Shape Of Letters

Some letters are quite easy. For example, an ‘o’ is just ‘a circle,’ or ‘i’ is a stick with a dot on.

Talking about the shapes of letters as you model how to write them, helps children get to grips with the process.

3. Say Letter Sounds

If the children know any of the letters or sounds in their name, then this often helps the process.

Talk about the sounds, and any they recognize. This often captures their attention.

If they can sound them out then even better.

9 Fun Games To Teach Children To Name Write

To Turn the process of then practising name writing into something fun and interesting, it is good to try out different games.

Here are some of the best:

1.Write Over The Dots

This is one of the classic ways to practise name writing!

It’s really simple – just write their name in dots and they draw over the top.

help kid write name

Other ways to do it include:

2. Yellow Highlighter Pen

This is a similar idea. Write their name in yellow highlighter and they write over the top of it in pencil or pens.

help kid write name

3. Laminate Their Dot Name

If you try it this way, then you only have to make their dot name once. This can save a lot of time.

Simply create the child’s name using dots written on a small card. Then laminate the card. They can write over their name multiple times with pens, and simply wipe it off when finished ready for next time.

4.Write In Messy Play Substances

Mark-making with fingers is one of the best ways of tapping into children’s excitement and enthusiasm for mark-making.

You can mark-make with fingers in many different substances including foam, shaving gel, sand, glitter, or porridge oats. They can try writing their names, perhaps helped by a name card if required.

Many children that are not that keen on writing with pencils and pens, but they do enjoy painting. Tap into this enthusiasm by having a go of painting their names with all sorts of rainbow colors.

6.Use Interesting Mark-Making Tools

It is surprising how much more interested children are in mark-making, if they have something exciting to write with. For example, a stick with crayon stuck to the top.

Or an invisible ink pen!

Or a torch with a pen stuck to it, to turn it into a top-secret dark den pen!

Any ideas like this are good for more reluctant children, to hopefully get them involved in name writing in a fun way.

7.Drive It With Vehicles

Tapping into interests is another way of getting more reluctant children to be interested.

Vehicles are a classic one for this. Simply stick pens to vehicles with tape. They can drive the pens around, trying to write their names.

help kid write name

You could write their names on huge paper for them to drive around.

8.Draw It With Magic Wands

Big sky-writing in the air really helps children’s gross motor, as well as their fine motor skills. To find out more about the 12 main differences between fine and gross motor skills, check this article out.

Using things like wands in the air really brings this process to life! Or you could use ribbons or streamers, or something else like that. Have their name written big somewhere and encourage them to form the letters in the air.

help kid write name

9. Copy A Name Card!

This is probably not quite as fun as the others in this list, but it just works! It probably works the best out of all of them.

Give a child a name card, and get them to copy it. It’s as simple as that.

It’s good to keep the name cards somewhere where they can access them independently. Then the children can find their name whenever they need to write it on a piece of work.

Strategies For Continuing To Improve

We can all improve in pretty much anything we do!

And as children learn to write better, and also acquire more phonics skills, it is good to keep improving their name writing.

If you don’t do this, then some children will kind of get stuck writing their name in the way they have always done it. They develop a kind of ‘monikor’, a bit like a signature.

Even when some children are able to write most of the letters recognizably and with good letter formation, their name will then be lagging behind this and show many strange quirks, ‘fake letters’, and other things like that!

The key is to keep on teaching name writing just now and then.

Some things to work on include:

1.Tall And Small Letters

 This will not be a concern when you start the process, but later on they will learn about tall and short letters.

This is not rocket science – some letters are tall, such as ‘l, b, t, h’, and some are small – ‘a, e, i, o’ for example. Practise making the small letter much smaller than the tall, and vice versa.

2. Letter Formation

Children will begin to learn skills like putting flicks in the right places in letters. Apply this to name writing!

As they work through phonics, they will learn how form the letters correctly, and it is good to practice this in their names. Often this will mean undoing what they are currently doing, which is not as easy as it seems.

3. General Size Of Writing

Generally children will begin writing smaller as their fine motor and pencil grip develops, and they start writing on lines.

Support this, and help them try to write their names smaller at the same time.

4. Adding Other Names

The next step with your name is to attempt writing any other names you have as well, such as middle names or last names.

Some Of The Things That Can Go Wrong (And How To Sort It)

1.they forget to do it.

This is not so much of a problem with the name writing process. It is just the forget to actually write their name on pieces of work they do.

Encourage to write their name, and give huge amounts of praise when they attempt to do so!

2.They Get Possessive Of Letters In Their Name

This is a weird issue that you might encounter!

Some children find out they have a letter in their name, e.g. ‘a’, but then get a bit territorial about it!

If they see another children writing their name, and they also have an ‘a’, they can get quiet defensive, or tell the other child that the letter is there’s and shouldn’t be used by others.

This is especially true with capital letters.

The best way to get past this is just a bit of common sense. Explain that there are lots of the same letters in many children’s names. You might have to repeat the message a few times, but in the end it should be understood.

3.Children Are Resistant

Often children don’t want to write their name, or say they can’t (even though you think they can).

Once again, use positive strategies as much as possible, such as:

  • Massive levels of encouragement to give it a go
  • Huge amounts of praise if they try
  • Potentially some kind of reward if they write their name
  • Praise their peers as much and publicly as you can

Name writing really is a matter of timing for the individual child. If you start at the right time, then you just need to make the process fun, and later help them improve what they are doing.

Name writing is of course just one very small piece of the jigsaw of fine motor development and early writing.

Check out these:

20 benefits of playdough (with real life examples)

16 amazing pipette activities (with pics)


  1. FREE Name Tracing Worksheet Printable + Font Choices

    help kid write name

  2. Amazing Pre Writing Hack to Try With Your Kid Right Now

    help kid write name

  3. Handwriting Is Helping Your Children Learn Better

    help kid write name

  4. Pin on Parenting Timeless Tips

    help kid write name

  5. Help your preschooler practice name writing with this trick! This trick to teach kids to write

    help kid write name

  6. Learn to Write your Name

    help kid write name


  1. write name challenge ♥️♥️

  2. write name challenge ❤️❤️

  3. Help Kid TVMan Save His Father Sad Story

  4. Write the your state name.#viral #shortsvideo #competition #kid #school

  5. How to write name with cut marker|easy method|Harshita

  6. write name with floating pen #youtubeshorts #shortvideo #shorts #viral


  1. How to Write Preschool Child Observation?

    Writing a preschool child observation must capture all aspects of the child’s daily learning and development activities. Such activities include the consistent use of numbers, language skills, understanding of the alphabets and the ability ...

  2. Fun and Interactive Learning: Free Name Tracing Printables for Kids

    Are you looking for a fun and interactive way to help your child learn how to write their name? Look no further. Free name tracing printables are a fantastic tool that can make learning exciting for kids.

  3. The Benefits of Using Printable Name Tracing for Early Education

    Name tracing is an important part of early education, as it helps children learn to recognize and write their own name. Printable name tracing is a great way to help children learn this important skill. Here are some of the benefits of usin...

  4. Name Writing Practice

    1. Trace over dotted lines · 2. Display their name on posters and labels · 3. Have fun experimenting with letter formation · 4. Grip the pencil

  5. 9 Genius Tricks that Help Teach Your Child to Write Their Name

    9 Genius Tricks that Help Teach Your Child to Write Their Name · Using foam letters during bath time or magnet letters on the fridge, spell your child's name.

  6. A simple way to practice name writing

    Have your child write his name on a new page each day. Provide as much support as necessary. You may need to hold your child's hand for some letters and not for

  7. Teach Your Child How to Write His or Her Name

    Write his name in large letters. Ask him to try to mimic your drawing. Write his name smaller. Now see if he can write his name smaller too. You

  8. How to Teach a Child to Write Their Name: 7 Simple Steps

    How Do You Teach a Child to Write Their Name? · 1. Develop General Fine and Gross Motor Skills · 2. Let Children See Their Name Often · 3. Walk the Letters · 4. Use

  9. 3 Simple Steps To Teach Children To Write Their Name

    ... your child to write their name #occupationaltherapy #handwriting # ... Save. Report. Comments5. thumbnail-image. Add a comment...

  10. 3 Ways to Teach a Child to Write Their Name

    Give your child “real” opportunities to write their name. Sometimes children get a little bored or confused when they're asked to write their name just for

  11. Helping Children Write Their Names

    Build a rapport with the student. Get them excited about learning to write their name. · Determine hand preference. · Develop a strong foundation.

  12. How to Teach Your Child to Write Their Name

    On a large sheet of paper, write down your child's name and a few other family members (or pets') names multiple times. · Write only their name on small strips

  13. 10 Ways to Make Name Writing Practice Fun for Kids

    Writing Name in Gel Bags for Easy Name Tracing ... Let's practice writing our name! These are brilliant. Fill a giant Ziploc bag with about half a

  14. How To Teach Your Child To Write Their Name

    This is one of the classic ways to practise name writing! It's really simple – just write their name in dots and they draw over the top.