Sneak preview: help kids practice name writing with this reusable DIY name mat!
Isn’t it so exciting the first time your children write their names all by themselves?! They get that huge smile and their eyes beam with pride knowing they accomplished something great. Then Mom breaks down into a bawling mess of pride. All of the constant repetition and frustrating struggles to practice are forgotten. Mom is proud and the child is building self-confidence knowing they can do alone.
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You can experience this moment by encouraging them to practice. I want to share with you this trick I found to let them practice writing their names exactly the same every time. This easy to make name mat wipes clean over and over again and is also a great fine motor activity!
Name Writing Mats
Here’s what you need:
Laminating sheets (or a laminator) like these:
- Fold a sheet of construction paper in half on the short edges.
- Use the marker to write the child’s name in the way you want them to practice it (i.e. Caps, lowercase, cursive, etc).
- Line up construction paper and laminate to plan out folds before removing backing.
- Remove laminate paper backing and carefully fold by meeting the two ends at the top (see pic).
- Fold (crease) laminate and smooth (if you are using a laminating machine, just follow your manufacturer instruction).
- Trim the edges as needed.
- Allow child to write his/her name with dry-erase crayons or markers (as age appropriate).
- Use a napkin, paper towel, or similar to wipe off and reuse again and again.
Try letting the child make it their own by picking colors and adding favorite stickers!
We love these dry-erase crayons from Mellissa & Doug! They are perfect for little fingers and erase easily:
We start every session of home preschool with this name mat tool. I used two-way tape to stick the name mats up on the wall near our calendar for easy access. I often find them grabbing these down and writing their name just for fun. Parenting win!
You could use the same technique to practice letters, numbers, sight words, shapes- basically anything you want the them to trace.
Easy and effective! This is a fun way to get your kids to practice name writing without wasting hundreds of sheets of paper!