Authentic Name Writing Activities

Let's experiment.  Grab a piece of paper and write your name 5 times.

We could even get REAL creative and ask you to "rainbow write your name" (use a different color of pen each time.  Fun?  Okay.  Now I want you to do this every day for a week.  Still fun?  Imagine if you are 4-years-old and I ask you to do this every day, before you can go play.
I think you would start to despise this. What is the point of this activity?  To practice writing your name, right?  Is there a better way?  I think so!

Give children authentic opportunities to write their name!

Authentic opportunities means that they are writing their name for a purpose.  You can still do this often, but the reason changes.  You can have children (either in your home or classroom) write their name only for more than just the sake of writing their name.


When you provide lots of materials and opportunities for children to write and draw, they will natural begin to make marks and letters.  You can see more about the development of writing here

After children make a masterpiece, ask them to sign it!  Remind them that artists sign their work.  You can even read one of my favorite books!  At the end, Vashti asks her new friend to sign his creation. 

Address envelopes and sign cards

A well stocked writing center is a must for both the classroom and home.  Pick up a box of envelopes the next time you are at my favorite store, The Dollar Tree, and have these available for children to write letters back and forth.  Save old Christmas cards and left over Valentine's Day cards for children to sign their name to. 

Sign-up Sheets

Sign-up sheets can be used for a variety of things in both the classroom and home.  Sign-up for dessert!  Sign-up for a turn on the swing.  Sign-up for lunch choices.


This one of my favorite alternatives to the "signing-in" activity that is seen in most preschools.  Set out 2-3 containers.  Label the containers with different choices.  Here I used the choice of song.  Invite children to write their name on a piece of paper (remember you can use a variety of sizes of paper) using their choice of writing utensil.  After they write their name, they drop it into their choice bucket.  After everyone votes, I will take all the names out...lay them in a row for each choice.  Instantly we have a floor graph.  We will listen to the song that had the most votes first.  We will still listen to the second song...don't worry :)

Did you catch the replay video?  You can watch it here. 

Are you looking for other letter activities that promote play and exploration?  Check out this post!

What other ways do you incorporate name writing authentically into your day?

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