How to teach your kid to write his name
Find out how to teach your toddler to turn those scribbles into his own name...
Like most toddlers, your little one probably loves scribbling.
But have you been thinking lately that it’s perhaps time to turn those scribbles into something more legible (and credible!) such as his name?
One of the first things a child learns to write is his name. It’s who he is, part of his identity and a word that he will hear all the time, all through his life.
So how do you teach your kid to write his name? We bring you some tried-and-tested methods to try out yourself with your child.
Do remember: have plenty of patience before you start this exercise and it may take some time before your child fully masters the art of writing his own name! Also, it doesn’t matter if your child can’t write yet as these exercises will just give him a head-start.
Method 1 — Using a reward
Toddlers love getting treats so use this as a form of positive reinforcement when he completes the steps in this method of learning how to write his name.
You could offer something your child likes as a reward (of course, only what you think is appropriate), e.g. fruit, a star on a star-chart, ice-cream, yoghurt, a small piece of chocolate, a new toy/book etc.
- Step 1: Prepare a small whiteboard/piece of paper and whiteboard marker/pencils. Decide what you will give your child as a reward after the exercise and have it ready.
- Step 2: Have you child sit down at a table and sit near him. Tell your child that today he’s going to do something really fun — learn how to write his name!
- Step 3: Set the paper/whiteboard and markers/pencils in front of your child. The write your child’s name in big, clear letters and explain that this is how they write their name.
- Step 4: Next, write your child’s name again, but this time form the letters with little dots or dashes. Have your child trance over the letters a few times until he gets the hang of it. Once his confidence grows, ask him to try writing his name on his own.
- Step 5: Praise him for a job well done and reward him as you see fit! Continue this exercise for a few days and soon he should be able to write his name by himself.
Method 2: Using highlighters
Young kids enjoy using bright colours so why not take advantage of this to teach your kid how to write his name? All you need are a few highlighter pens in different colours.
- Step 1: Write his name several times on a piece of paper, using differently coloured highlighter pens.
- Step 2: Show your child how to trace on top of the words you wrote using a pencil. Do the first one for him and then ask him to do the rest.
- Step 3: After he’s had some practice, encourage him to try writing his name by himself.
- Step 4: Praise and reward appropriately!
More on how to teach your kid to write his name on the next page…
Method 3: Using cut-out letters
This is a really fun way to teach your kid how to write his name. All you need are simple cut-out alphabet letters which you can either do yourself using cardboard, or they are available in most bookshops and are very inexpensive.
- Step 1: Sit with your child at a table and spread out the letters that make up his name in front of him. Have some paper and pencils ready too.
- Step 2: Show your little one the first letter of his name and sound it out. Then place it in front of him on the table.
- Step 3: Similarly, complete his name using the other letters, sounding out each letter and encouraging him to repeat the sound.
- Step 4: Once you have spelled out his name with the cut-out letters, write his name for him on a piece of paper either with highlighter pens or by forming the letters with dashes/dots, and encourage your child to trace the letters.
- Step 5: Praise and reward as you see fit!
More tips to help teach your kid how to write his name
- Look for kids’ books where one of the characters has the same name as your child. While reading the book, point out that character’s name to your child and show him how it’s the same as his own name. You could follow-up by writing the name down on a piece of paper.
- To get your child used to recognising his own name, write out little labels with your child’s name on it and let your little one stick them on his belongings, e.g. cups, plates, books, toys etc.
- Sing songs or play games that involve saying, spelling out and writing your child’s name.
- Encourage your child to like writing by setting up a small table and chair for him. Get him some cheap, fun stationery such as coloured paper and glitter pens that will help make writing a fun and enjoyable activity for him.
- Stick to writing in capital letters at first as they are easier for little kids to get the hang of as opposed to cursive letters.
- Don’t make a big deal out of mistakes but do gently correct them as and when they happen. For example, if your child writes the letter ‘N’ wrong, just say something like, “Oops, look the lines aren’t sticking together! Let’s fix it like this…”
- Don’t overdo it. As you know, toddlers have very short attention spans so the moment you notice your child fidgeting or looking distracted, stop the exercise.
- Be consistent yet keep the name-writing exercise short. 5 or 10 minutes of practising every day is more than enough!
- Do display the ‘fruit’ of your child’s efforts somewhere prominent such as on the fridge or on a wall so he knows how proud you are of him!
Parents, how did you teach your child to write his or her name? Do share your own methods with us by leaving a comment below.