As children begin letter awareness and phonological awareness, one of the best activities to repeat is the helping him/her recognize the letters in his/her name. Some children can begin this as early as age 3, but others may need time to develop and that is fine. Ages 4 and 5 are certainly early enough to begin true letter recognition.
Why the Name?
1-Names are personalized and children are interested in themselves! Their names belong to them, adding importance to their level of interest in learning.
2-They learn that a certain letter is the beginning of their name. What does that sound like? Are they now learning phonics? Yes, they certainly are!
3-How many syllables are found in their names? Can you clap for each syllable? How many claps? Break it down and now they are learning new sounds as they sound and clap their name.
4-As he/she spells out his/her name, this gives you time for conversation. What was his/her favorite thing about breakfast this morning? By answering a simple question, he/she learns his/her thoughts are important to you. It also gives time for practicing articulation, conversation, and vocabulary.
5-If you respond on your favorite part of breakfast, he/she can practice listening skills and learn about you too. Conversation can extend the learning and may even uncover interests that lead to explorations you have not yet thought about.
And to think–it all began with learning a name!
Your child may not yet have wrist development or muscle development to hold a writing instrument. If this is the case, choose instead to develop muscle strength through other activities. Provide letter magnets they can place on the refrigerator so they can find success in forming thier names.
If you look at this chart, you can see the dramatic difference that one year makes in the development of the hand. https://www.slideshare.net/gauravacharya1/skeletal-age-assessment-odan.
Soon, I will post ideas for how to strengthen hand muscles in a play-based way!
Have a great day. See you tomorrow.