When Tristan became a little bit older and he wanted to learn to print his own name, I used some things we had around the house. Why go and purchase expensive gimmicks when you can be frugal and fun at the same time?
I raided my scrapbook cupboard and found some nice rainbow paper that Tristan liked. I used some magnetic letters and traced around them to spell out ‘Tristan’. Then to give the paper durability I laminated it. I’ve now done the same for Kallista.
To begin with I gave Tristan just the magnetic letters he needed for his name and he placed them on top of the ones I had traced out. In addition, I made up a strange sounding tune to chant out the spelling of his name to help him remember the order in which they go. (It’s now 2 years later and he still remembers the chant and calls it out from time to time).
When Tristan became proficient at this, I would give him the whole box of letters for him to pick out the ones he needed.
Another fun twist is to use our home-made playdough (the recipe is here) and shape it into the letters of the name.
When Tristan wanted to begin printing his own name we again came back to this board and he used a dry-erase marker for practicing his printing using the ‘stencils’ as a guide.
After Tristan became quite good at doing this, I printed off some ‘beginner printing paper’, from Activity Village and used a marker to print his name onto the page, and once again laminated it with contact paper to make it reusable.
He could now practice tracing the letters over the letters in his name, and there’s space below for him to practice it on his own.
Tristan can now spell and print his name on his own, and is learning his middle and last names now. He’s learning them quite quickly, and the more he practices, the better he’ll become, is our mantra.
Kallista thinks that what her big brother is doing looks like fun, and she wants to join in, too! She’s learned to make the letters ‘O’ and ‘X’ on her own, so let’s work on some more letters together.
Well, it may take a little more time to get it right, but in the meantime this is fun and great for fine-motor skills!
I have made these card double-sided, but left the reverse side blank so that the children can use them to practice other words they may be interested in, as Kallista is doing in the photo above.
This is a great way to help a child learn to print the letters in the alphabet as it gives the letters meaning. We have discovered that when Tristan knows his entire name that will have exactly half of the alphabet done!