As the back to school season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about fun and engaging ways to welcome your new students! One of my favorite ways to kick off the school year is by incorporating a variety of name activities. These name activities for preschool and kindergarten not only help students get to know each other, but they also promote inclusivity and a sense of community within their classroom!
Name Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten
Name crafts are a fantastic way to support students in recognizing the letters in their name and sequencing the letters in the correct order. These interactive crafts are great for working on fine motor skills…
And, they also make for some really cute back to school bulletin boards (if I do say so myself)!
I love to start our name unit by having the students learn an interactive poem, as they practice identifying the beginning letter or number of letters in their name. Afterwards, we create this name bus craft in which they place one letter of their name in each window on the bus.
This “Name on the Bus” poem and craft pair perfectly with the story “The Wheels on the Bus.”
“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” is another back to school classic I can’t resist reading year after year! Once we finish reading this beloved book, the students get to practice sequencing the letters in their name with this adorable coconut tree craft.
After playing the “Alphabet Name Soup” game (which you can learn all about below), I have the students make this “Alphabet Name Soup” craft.
I think it’s safe to say we all have “Chrysanthemum” on our must-read back to school book list! You can read more about how I use this story during our name unit here. Isn’t this Chrysanthemum craft so cute?!
The students learn all about the first letter, last letter, number of letters, number of consonants, number of vowels and number of syllables in their name… all while creating an ice cream cone craft! YUM!
I LOVE creating these name puzzles for my students at the beginning of the year! The picture provides just the right amount of support for those students who need a little extra practice sequencing the letters in their name.
I simply type in each students’ name and click on the camera icon to add their picture. Easy peasy!
Work on math skills, phonemic awareness, phonics and more with these interactive name graph activities! I like to pair these activities with “Chrysanthemum” since her name has 13 letters and scarcely fits on her name tag, but you could also use any of my favorite name books!
After printing each student’s name using this editable template, I have my students trace each letter using their favorite color marker. Next, I have them practice their scissor skills as they snip apart their name strip. Then, we assemble the name chart as a whole class.
We can easily count and compare how many more or how many less letters our name has than a friend’s name.
My students are always amazed by the length of Chrysanthemum’s name. This name chart is such a powerful and concrete visual representation of the lengths of our names! Plus, it’s a great way to integrate math into our literacy lessons!
We also compare the number of letters in their name using this simple pocket chart name graph.
For a more advanced name graph activity, I use this number of syllables graph. I have my students practice clapping out the number of syllables in their names, and then we create a whole class graph comparing the number of syllables.
I am very intentional about incorporating as much singing and movement into our day as possible. Not only does it help get out those wiggles, but it also helps the students better remember important facts and concepts.
Using familiar poems/songs to help students learn the letters of their name is always a hit! It is also great for helping us learn how to correctly pronounce each other’s names.
These interactive name poems are perfect for getting to know you activities, morning meeting and closing circle. You can also use them during transition times.
My students absolutely LOVE this game! So much so, that we play it multiple times during the first few weeks of school.
I start by adding my students’ names to the editable letter pages found in this bundle. Then, I print the name strips for my students to color and snip apart.
To play the “Alphabet Name Soup” game, I pair each student with a student who has a similar length name.
I give each pair a plastic bowl and spoon (optional). They mix the letters from their name together inside the bowl while chanting the poem: “Alphabet, alphabet, in a dish. Spell my name, if you wish!”
One person will close their eyes and scoop up a letter from the bowl. If this letter is in their name, they keep the letter. If it is not in their name, they put it back inside the bowl. Then, the next player will close their eyes and choose a letter. Play continues until one player gets all of the letters from their name and correctly spells their name.
Like I mentioned, we like to play this game several times before creating our “Alphabet Name Soup” craft. I give each student an envelope to store their letters, so that I can easily collect and pass them out each time.
We also play this fun “Magic Envelope” game. I secretly slide a name into the magic envelope.
As the students chant a little rhyme, I slowly reveal just the first letter. I choose students to try to guess whose name it could be. It’s quick, fun and easy… and the kiddos can’t wait for their name to be revealed!
For this activity, the students will build a name train using linking cubes. First, have them count enough linking cubes to match the number of letters in their name.
Then, they can easily compare the length of their name to the lengths of their classmates’ names. Next, have them use a dry erase marker to write one letter of their name on each cube.
These name trains can be used for a variety of activities, including sequencing the letters in their name and comparing the length of their name.
Plus, they can easily break the name train apart to count the number of letters, consonants, vowels and syllables!
With this “Namely Comparison” sorting mat, I ask students to compare and contrast the letters in their name to Chrysanthemum’s name.
They can also do this same name activity by completing the Venn diagram with a friend’s name instead.
I also have the students sort the letters by letters in their name and not in their name; consonants and vowels; curvy, straight or curvy and straight; as well as short, tall and letters that fall.
Printable Name Activities
On the first day of school, I always have the students draw a self-portrait. I put a sticky note on the right to block off that side, so that the students do not draw on that side. I simply ask them to draw a picture of themselves… no prompting or modeling. They also write their name along the bottom.
Then, on the last day of school… okay, sometime during the last week, because we all know the last day is already too crazy… I have them draw another self-portrait. The growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year always amazes me! The students are also so impressed with how much progress they have made since the beginning of the year!
Of course, we also practice writing our names with these simple name tracing worksheets!
I like to place the “Spin a Name” activity in one of our centers for the week. The students spin the paper clip and write their name in either crayon, pencil or marker depending on where the paper clip lands.
My kids enjoy working with a friend on this “Friendly Comparison” printable. After recording their names, students get to compare the number of letters, consonants, vowels and syllables.
The more math practice the merrier! Am I right?! This “Namely Number Sense” activity is a great way for my students to work on ten frames, counting, representing numbers, tally marks and more!
Name Activities Practice Mats
These Editable Name Practice Mats are the perfect name writing activity you can use all year long. At the beginning of the year, I add my class list and then let the magic take over as all the name practice mats autofill with each student’s name!
Talk about a huge time saver!
I print the mats and insert them into a sheet protector or durable dry erase pocket so students can practice tracing their names again and again!
These name mats are perfect for centers, morning work or as an early finisher activity.
More Name Activities
Grab this full set of Name Activities and Crafts here!
Pair any of these name activities with one of the name books on this list!
Practice fine motor skills these Fine Motor Name Activities!
Learn how to make these picture name puzzles that are self-correcting!
DON’T FORGET IT… PIN IT!