How to Help a Child Learn Their Name

Learning My N-A-M-E!

Here are 7 fun, interactive ways for young children to learn their names! When a child learns about their name, they are able to gain a sense of pride in who they are and connect to their family heritage. Additionally, these 7 name activities can help strengthen the caregiver-child bond through sharing stories, creating meaningful moments together, and guided play-based learning. As a caregiver, you will create a rich learning experience for your child with these name activities as you help them build early literacy skills such as letter recognition, spelling, and rhyming, along with communication, personal-social, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills. Most importantly, they are simple and fun with only a few needed supplies such as craft sticks, markers, and construction paper.

  1. Babies: Babies will begin to understand and respond to their name in their first year. Call your baby’s name in a gentle, higher-pitched, sing-song voice. Do they turn their head toward your voice? Show your baby their face in the mirror or on your phone camera and say their name to help them make the connection. “There’s Grace!”
  1. Storytelling: Tell your child their name story. Were they given a family name? Were they named after someone famous or important? Does it have a special meaning?  Example: “Do you know how your name was chosen? You are named after your great-grandmother. I remember loving to visit her…”
  1. Name Song: Sing your child’s name to the tune of “Bingo.” For example: I have a name I like to say, and Grace is my name-O. G – R – A – C – E,     G – R – A – C – E,  G – R – A – C – E, and Grace is my name-O.
  1. Tracing My Name

Write your child’s name in large letters on a piece of paper with a bright marker. Point and say each letter. Ask your child to trace each letter with their finger. Help your child practice writing their name by tracing over each letter with a crayon or pencil. Older children can practice writing their names by copying the letters directly underneath the word.

  1. That’s My Name!

Together, count out one craft stick for each letter in your child’s name. For example, if your child’s name is Grace, count out 5 sticks. Write or use stickers for the letters of their name on the top of each stick. Mix the sticks up. Have your child line them up in the right order to spell out their name. Talk about the sound that each letter makes. 

  1. Rhyming My Name

You can teach your child about the letters and sounds in their name with rhyme! Choose a letter or ask your child to say a letter. Change the first letter/sound of their name with the letter they chose. Example: If your child chooses “B” you say “Brace Grace.” Keep choosing new letters and rhyming as long as they are interested.  

  1. Name Letter Jump

Get active and moving around with this name learning activity!

  • Write the letters of your child’s name on pieces of construction paper.
  • Spread them out around a room or down a hallway.
  • Write your child’s whole name on a separate piece of paper. 
  • Have your child jump from letter to letter in the correct order, “spelling” her name!
  • You can help by asking, “what letter comes next?” and “can you find the letter __?”