Fine Motor Letter Match - Name Practice for Toddlers
There are many different approaches to teaching a child the letters of the alphabet but based on my teaching experience, I have found that the best place to start is with the letters in their own names. These are letters they will see often, and learning to spell and write their names is a major skill that's taught, practiced, and eventually mastered in preschool and kindergarten. Kade is almost a month away from turning two and is a complete sponge at this stage. We have been working a lot on colors and sorting things by color which he has done really well with. Because he's young and it's early, I plan to give him (and myself) lots of grace, but I figured it couldn't hurt to start introducing him to some letters.
I have a few different activities planned for name practice that I will share, and may eventually do a round-up blog post of all of our name practice activities. I started by printing out (using the printable block letters included at the end of this post) the letters in his name, and laminating them for durability and so that they could be re-used. This activity does not have to be so official... you could also just write the letters out real big on a piece of paper.
I wrote the letters of his name out on some colored dot stickers that we had and made sure that they were all on different colors so that he didn't think we were doing another color sorting/matching activity. We talked about each letter in his name, and I had him repeat each letter after me so that he could hear himself saying the letters out loud. We talked about what each letter looked like and how they were all different. I had taped the letters of his name up on the wall and the idea was for him to match the "K" stickers to the letter "K" letter and so on. He definitely needed support but whenever he sorted one correctly there was LOTS of excitement and praise. I love seeing the proud smile on his face in these moments!
If you would like to double dip and turn this into color sorting as well, you could print (or write) the letters in color to match the stickers that you have. I purposefully wrote the letters on different colors but you could do all of one letter in a certain color to help make it a little easier.
Any time your child is working with stickers, they are working on fine motor skills! This is great because stickers are usually a huge hit. Kade is not quite able to peel the stickers off the sheet himself yet but even just trying to maneuver them to stick on something other than his own fingers is a fine motor muscle work out in itself. ;)
I can tell that we have a ways to go in learning these letters and that's okay! I am excited to keep working on it and to watch it slowly click in that little brain of his. You can download and print your child's name using the same block letters I used by clicking on the image below. Again, if you don't have access to a printer, or don't feel like going through all the work, you can totally just write their name out on paper.
Other ways you might use these letters for name practice:
- Have your child color the letters of their name
- Lay out a bunch of craft supplies and let them decorate the different letters
- Use do-a-dot markers to make dots on the letters
- Paint them!
- Hide the letters around your house and have a scavenger hunt
- Sort matching magnetic letters out onto each letter
- Laminate and use as Play Doh mats
- Let your child tear up tiny bits of paper (great for building fine motor skills) and glue them onto each letter
Have fun and I hope that these printable letters are helpful/useful to you in some way. :) Keep an eye out for some more fun name practice activities!