Learning to write your name shouldn’t be boring and tedious, it should be fun and easy! With these 15 fun and easy activities, you’ll teach your kid to write their own name without them even realising they’ve been studying!
Play-based learning is by far the best way to learn for our littlest people and these activities are perfect for that.
Fun, interesting and mostly sensory-based, these activities will have your Preschooler writing their name in no time at all!
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I use my Tuff Tray for the majority of these activities because I just love it so much!
It keep mess to a minimum, allows my little ones to stand up and move around, viewing their work from different angles, plus it can be adjusted to 3 different heights so continues to suit them as they grow.
If you’re interested in getting a Tuff Tray, you can find out more about them below.
* If you live outside of the UK, it seems that Tuff Tray’s are not widely available. However, don’t panic, all these activities can be done on a big sensory tray, like this one from Amazon.
Things to Conquer Before You Teach Your Kid to Write Their Name
Fine Motor skills
The first thing your toddler or Preschooler needs to be doing is mark-making.
This is where they practice making marks that look a little like writing. It may be lines, squiggles, zig-zags, circles, or anything really.
It helps them begin to learn the basic concept of writing and get used to using pens, pencils, crayons and any other writing implements.
You can support their learning by offering opportunities for them to practice making marks with their finger, a brush, stick, spoon, or anything really.
They can make marks on paper, in sensory play, at the beach, wherever they are.
This practice builds up their fine motor skills and strengthens those finger-writing muscles in preparation for learning to write.
For more Fine Motor Skills Activities take a look at, Fine Motor Skills Tuff Tray Ideas for Preschoolers.
Learn the pincer grasp
This is the correct way to hold a pencil when you write.
You can help your toddler learn this through practice without you ever really having to show them what to do. Amazing, right?
The simplest way I found to do this is to give them those early learning puzzles with the pegs to hold onto. Instinctively we grasp that peg with the pincer grasp and then this later transfers to writing with a pen.
This is preferable to correcting them each time they hold their pencil or crayon wrong to mark make, as this constant correction can just put them off writing and drawing. Not what we want at all!
Practical application is everything!
Get your kid motivated as you teach them to write their name by showing them how useful it is.
Don’t just tell them it’s a useful skill but let them see for themselves.
Write their name in their favourite pair of shoes or jumper before they go to day care or a party so that if it gets lost everyone knows it’s theirs.
Make sure they see you signing your name in a birthday card, and offer them a turn ‘writing’ their name too.
If you have a friend or relative who likes writing, post letters to and from one another. Your kid can draw pictures and you can write their name on it so the recipient knows who sent the letter.
Understanding the purpose of writing will motivate your Preschooler to learn this vital skill. Just think how much more motivated you are learning a new skill when you see the purpose of it.
15+ Fun and Easy Sensory Activities to Teach your Kid to Write their Name
1. Sand Writing
Playing in the sand is such a fun sensory activity.
It’s easy to get Preschooler’s interested in writing using their interest in sand.
Simply pop some sand on your tuff tray or in a shallow tub and demonstrate writing your name in it with your finger.
Alternatively just provide lots of items that can be used to write your name with, near to the sand, as an invitation to explore making writing-like marks.
This is also the perfect activity to try if you’re actually at the beach! Sticks or spades are great to use as giant pencils!
2. Shaving Foam Writing
Shaving foam is such a lovely texture to play with, and writing in it, or making pictures and shapes is so easy.
I, personally, love this one! Get down next to your kid and just have fun together.
Then perhaps casually start drawing and then writing letters with your finger or the end of a paintbrush. Usually kids can’t help but join in with you!
3. Glitter Writing
Ok, so you’ll be finding glitter all over the house for weeks after this one, but it is SO worth it!
Writing in glitter is such fun!
4. Practice Writing in the Mud!
If your little one enjoys time in the great outdoors, this is a great one.
Work with their interests and get them writing in the mud with sticks!
5. Playdoh Writing
Playdoh is just a great activity full stop and practicing all those fine motor skills as they play with it really sets your little one up for future writing success.
Roll some playdoh out flat and use the end of a pen, a stick or your finger to practice writing and drawing on the playdoh like a canvas!
Simple, fun and educational!
6. Salt Sensory Writing Activity
Salt is another sensory play option that has a lovely texture.
This is a great one for writing in as it is so easy and therapeutic to move your fingers through.
7. Pom Pom Writing Practice
This Pom pom activity helps your Preschooler begin to recognise the letters in their name, as well as improving their fine motor skills as they pick up the pom poms and stick them over their name.
This just needs a sheet of contact paper laid over the top of paper with their name written on it in big letters.
Then provide small pom poms for them to stick over the top of the letters, tracing the outline of their name.
8. Kinetic Sand Writing Practice
Similar to sand, salt and playdoh, this is another great sensory activity that helps encourage your little one’s writing.
A fab overall fine motor skills activity, you can also draw and write in this kinetic sand to practice mark-making.
If you haven’t yet discovered Kinetic Sand, you are missing out! You can buy some lovely Kinetic Sand on Amazon.
9. Writing in Lentils
Lentils make another interesting sensory base.
They are super fun and easy to practice writing letters in.
10. Using Paint to Teach your Kid to Write their Name
Painting activities always seem to be popular amongst Toddlers and Preschoolers, so why not encourage some mark-making and name writing with paint too!
Harnessing our little peoples interests really helps that learning go in better!
11. Button Writing Practice
Learning to recognise letters comes before learning to write them.
This button activity is super useful as a way to help our little ones recognise the letters in their own name, before we teach them to write it.
Simply write their name in large letters, and give them a glue stick and some fun buttons to stick on.
I found these Fun Buttons here on Amazon.
12. Writing in Rice
Writing in rice is a fun and interesting activity for Preschoolers who are just learning to write.
A lovely sensory activity too.
13. Chalk Writing Practice
If you’re wanting to get out and about, whilst still practising those writing skills, grab some giant chalks to take with you!
Brilliant for taking on vacation with you, or to the park, or just to play with in the garden.
14. Name Tracing with Stickers
Another letter recognition activity, this sticker name tracing idea went down well with my Preschooler.
She loved selecting her favourite stickers and carefully sticking them to the outline of her name.
We used these lovely Puffy Stickers from Amazon, because they’re fun and easy to peel for little fingers.
15. Yoghurt Writing Practice
A taste-safe sensory writing activity is this yoghurt writing practice.
I simply tipped some yoghurt onto my tuff tray and let my Preschooler, practice writing her letters in it.
She was absolutely delighted that I was letting her play with the yoghurt and get all messy!
16. Spell out your Name with Pasta
Simple, quick and mess-free, this Pasta Writing activity is one of my favourite.
It encourages creative-thinking, fine motor skills and letter recognition as your Preschooler spells out their name in pasta shells.
17. Write your Name in Nature
If you like spending time outdoors, this nature writing activity is perfect for you and your little one.
Using sticks or stones they can practice writing out their name creatively in the Great Outdoors!
Final things to bear in mind
Don’t push it.
Little and often is the best way to keep your Preschooler interested when teaching them to write.
It shouldn’t feel like a chore.
Remember they will be doing lots and lots of writing throughout school, so you want their first experience of it to be positive.
Try to be led by your kid and go at their pace.
Encourage and praise effort, practice and attempts rather than how well they do.
This works for most things your kid will learn.
Praising effort, encourages a growth mindset, instead of focussing only on the outcome, which can be disheartening if something is taking them a while to learn.
Teach Your Kid to Write Their Name With Fun Sensory Activities
These sensory activities are all fun, easy and interesting.
My hope is that in using these it will be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your kid as you teach them to write their own name.