Help kids practice name writing with this reusable DIY name mat! Teach your preschooler to write his name (or write her name!), practice letter writing, and increase fine motor skills with this hack for handwriting practice!
This is one of the most effective name writing activities I have found to help my children learn to write their names!
Whether your child is learning to write his/her name in kindergarten or preschool, practice makes perfect (or at least better). This name tracing sheet is easy to make and encourages repetitive practice. With just a few items you probably have around your house, you can make these simple mats to help your child learn to write his name.
PLUS- free printable=> 10 hands-on activities to use the Name Mat for practice!!!
Practice Name Writing with this DIY Reusable 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.
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!
(This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases.)
How can my child practice name writing?
One of the most important things children need before being able to write is grip strength. Fine motor activities such as Play-Doh eggs or Band-Aid matching activity are great to build strength in the small muscles used to hold and guide a pencil. Education.com recommends practicing letters and strokes in sand or shaving cream to start out.
When do children learn to write their names? The most important thing to remember is that each child develops at his own pace. PBS Child Development Tracker says children start to scribble and make letter-like figures between 3 and 4 years old. With my children, I decided to follow their lead and introduce letter writing when they showed interest. (Asking questions about sounds, pretending to write letters, etc.)
Once we moved on to trying to write their names, I created these reusable printing mats for unlimited practice! They are easy to make, reusable, and help your child learn to write his name!
PLUS- use the free printable Alphabet Tracing Sheets to help your child practice trace writing all of his letters! (see below) The free printable now includes 10 hands-on activities to use the Name Mats!
(You can also help give your child a headstart with this mini-pack of activities including letter tracing and printing, numbers and name writing!)
Here’s what you need to help your child practice name writing:
- Construction paper
- Laminating sheets (or a laminator) like these:
- Dry-erase crayons or dry-erase markers
- 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 your 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.
Tips for using your mat to practice name writing
Now what? Check out these 10 Hands-on name practice activities using name mats!
Try letting the child make it their own by picking colors and adding favorite stickers!
We love these dry-erase crayons from Melissa & 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 them to trace. Just write whatever you want them to practice on the construction paper and laminate both sides. I compiled 10 fun activities to use the Name Mats for practice and you can grab it free below!
I created an Alphabet Tracing Sheet to help my daughter practice writing all of her letters. I wanted to share it with you! Scroll down to the form to get your free printable copy of the Alphabet Tracing Sheet PLUS 10 hands-on name practice activities. (The tracing sheet can be a fun little Mommy and Me activity while they build fine motor skills!)
Remember to Pin this so you have it saved when your child needs some name writing practice!
*Join our mailing list for more learning ideas, kids activities, and a place to share this crazy mom life!
Find this useful? you might also like some of our other learning activities:
- Super Fun Fingerboard Letter Game for Preschool or Kindergarten!
- Betty Boo-Boo: Band-aid letter matching activity for preschoolers
- Squirt Gun Game- Water Gun learning game fun for little ones!
Before you know it, your child will be writing his/her name like a pro. (and hopefully signing it like doctor someday 😉 )
This is a fun way to get your kids to practice name writing without wasting hundreds of sheets of paper!