Teaching your child to write their own name
on 15th March 2013 |When you think the time is right you may consider helping your child start turning those scribbles into they enjoy making on paper (and everywhere else) into something a little more legible. One of the first things children learn to write is their name, and this is because it is the word that they hear the most often, well besides no and don't anyway! |
Learning to write their name is important and it is usually easy to teach to your child because they are eager to learn how. How many times has your child asked you to write their name on their latest piece of art work? Your child's name and learning to write it is important to them because it represents their identity. So how do you go about teaching your child to write their name?
The first thing that you need to remember when it comes to teaching your child to write their name (or anything else for that matter) is to be patient. Use a lot of praise and you may want to use some other rewards as well. Even if the first few attempts only result in a straight line on the page you still need to praise them mightily. Stickers placed next to their attempt are usually highly regarded forms of praise with the toddler set.
You need to make the time to read to your toddler every day. Not only is reading to your child important for language development, it is also an opportunity for you to spend some quality time bonding with your child. Don't worry if your child can't sit through an entire book that is pretty typical for a toddler! Even if you only read a few pages together each day you are still teaching your child about letters, words, and the way that they sound.
Your toddler loves to mimic you and writing will be no different. You have no doubt experienced this mimicry when at a most inopportune moment your toddler has blurted out a word that they have heard you say that you shouldn't have. When he sees you sitting at the table paying bills or what not they are going to want their own pen and paper as well.
Do you remember those letter magnets that you can put on the refrigerator, or do you already have some? They can be a great tool to help your toddler learn their alphabet and how to spell their name. Make sure that you get the larger ones though because toddlers still have a tendency to put everything in their mouths.
Once you have the letters placed on the refrigerator help your child to find the first letter in their name. Teach them what sound that first letter makes, and help them to practice looking for it. You can help them find that first letter in books, magazines, and signs. Teach them how to trace over the letter with their fingers so they know how it is shaped.
Now you can start teaching them how to use a crayon or pencil and writing the letter on paper.
Find some children's books where one of the characters has the same name as your child. Show your child their name on the written page and encourage them to find it again themselves. Ask them to find words that start with the same letter that their name starts with. Another way to help your child recognize the way their name looks when it is written is to put their name on labels. Take the labels and put them on their cups, jackets, and toys.
Once they can pick out their own name with ease you can write their name on paper (the kind with lines is best) and get them to trace it. Once they can trace their name with ease get them to write their name on the lines below where you have written it. Remember to give out lots of praise even if their "writing" just looks like squiggles.
Make sure that you make practicing writing fun for your child. You could get your child their own desk or a little table and chair that is all of their own. Work with them in brief increments each day and remember to be encouraging. Give your child colorful paper, glitter pens, and markers. The more excited they are about practicing writing their name the sooner they will catch on.
Make sure that you are using all capital letters to start with, and block letters usually work the best. The lines of block letters make it much easier for young children to follow them, and capital letters tend to be easier because they are bigger.
Don't make a big deal out of mistakes your child may make. Simply point them out calmly and ask if your child would like to try again. Make a big deal and give lots of praise over the second attempt even if it looks the same as the first one. Your child will learn to write through repetition so you want to encourage them to try again.
Display your child's attempts to write their name in a prominent area where the whole family can see them. Have everyone make a big deal over your little one writing their name. Put newer attempts next to the older ones so that you and your child can see how well they are doing.
Reading and writing educational games such as those put out by LeapFrog and V-Tech can also help you on your quest to teaching your child how to read and write. Those games make learning a lot of fun for your toddler and there is a great variety of games so that they don't get bored easily. Most of those games also come in different levels so that as your child masters one skill they can continue progressing forward.
Teaching your child to read and write is one of the most important skills that you will ever teach them. Make learning fun, and keep encouraging them and your toddler will be writing their own name, and then reading in no time at all.
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