5 Activities for Name-Writing

5 Activities for Name-Writing

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When a child learns to write their name, it’s a huge milestone. This simple skill evokes pride and joy. Whether they are writing their name on the top of their paper or spelling their name for a friend, these are skills they’ll use their entire life. 

My three-year-old is currently learning how to spell and write her name. We set aside five minutes each day for her to practice. Writing on paper becomes boring over time, so we’ve found ways to add variety to the routine.

Name-writing can be done with a variety of materials. I’ve found that you can turn just about anything into a name-writing activity. Ordinary objects like shells, noodles, or paperclips can be lined up to form tactile letters that spell out your child’s name. 

Through trial and error, we’ve found several activities for spelling names that were both engaging and simple to set up. We’re excited to share our favorite five activities for name-writing with you! 

Activities for Name-Writing: What You’ll Need

Each name-writing activity uses different supplies. Feel free to adjust the supplies according to what you have on hand. 

Here’s what we used for each activity: 


  • Noodle Name: Plain or dyed pasta, glue, and cardstock paper
  • Bathtub Name Painting: DIY bath paints 
  • Salt Tray Name-Writing: Salt and tray
  • Air Writing with Ribbon Wands: Ribbon wand 
  • Spell Your Name with Rice Crispy Treats: Rice Crispy Treats

Time to Play

All of these activities were a hit with my three-year-old. With a little planning and a few supplies, you can delight your child with name-writing fun they’ll remember all year. These activities are also perfect opportunities to get your child involved in the prep work! 

Noodle Name

Noodle name activity for name writing

We love using pasta for math manipulatives, jewelry making, or sensory tables. We’ve found that the uses are endless. And like our Unicorn Sensory Rice, you only need basic ingredients and a few minutes to make it rainbow-colored for extra fun. 

We used plain pasta, but you can make dyed pasta by putting uncooked pasta in a Ziploc bag. Add a small amount of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring to the bag. Close the bag, shake the pasta, and add more food coloring or alcohol if needed.

Lay the pasta out on paper towels and allow it to dry before using it for name-writing.

To use the pasta to make your child’s name, start by writing your child’s name on a piece of cardstock paper. Have your child trace their name using a bottle of glue. If the glue bottle is too hard for your child to squeeze, they can apply it with a paintbrush instead. 

Next, show your child how to line up the pasta on the glue lines. Have your child continue forming the letters, naming each letter as they go. Allow the glue to dry completely and hang it somewhere your child will see it daily for continued practice. 

Bathtub Name Painting 

Bath paints activity for name writing

Bathtub paints are fun to play with. My kids will stay in the tub for hours when it’s full of bath toys and bath paints. Bathtime is the perfect opportunity to sneak in some extra name-writing practice. 

With DIY bath paints, or store-bought paints, your child can paint their name on the wall. Using their finger as a “pencil,” they’ll memorize how to form letters. Finger painting is a great fine motor activity that strengthens the small muscles in your child’s hands. 

Along with writing their name, your child can practice writing CVC words, sight words, numbers, or individual letters in the tub. Bath paints are an excellent tool for all types of learning.   

Salt Tray Name Writing

Salt tray activity for name writing

We love our Color Surprise Salt Tray. We use it weekly as a part of our homeschool routine. The salt tray is perfect for practicing letter writing.  

To use the salt tray for name writing, show your child how to drag their fingers through the salt to create lines, dots, and curves. It’s important to show your child how to pull down from the top to bottom and from left to right. If your child learns to form their letters incorrectly, it will be harder to correct later on.  

You might want to create a top, middle, and bottom line in the salt as a guide for your child. Think about the lines on a piece of handwriting paper. These lines help your child form proportionate letters. 

Air Writing with Ribbon Wands

Ribbon wand activity for name writing
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pixels.com.

All five of my girls love ribbon wands. Whether twirling around in the yard or using them for dance routines, they get a lot of use. We also love them for forming letters, numbers, and shapes in the air. 

To practice air writing your child’s name with ribbon wands, stand in front of your child with a ribbon wand. (We like to make our own using pencils with ribbons tied to the ends.) Show your child how to form the letter using big movements and using the wand like a giant pencil.

Gross motor activities like air writing are helpful for a child’s muscle development and cognitive skills. As your child forms the letters in the air, it helps the concept stick in their long-term memory. Try naming the letters as you write them to make them even more memorable.   

Spell Your Name with Rice Crispy Treats

Rice crispy treats activity for name writing

We love making healthy rice crispy treats using peanut butter and honey instead of marshmallows. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also a great protein snack for kids. These sticky, tasty treats can also be used to mold letters to spell your child’s name. 

To create your child’s name, make a batch of rice crispy treats and place the mixture on parchment or wax paper. Have your child wash their hands and then take a mound of the cooled rice crispies to begin molding. Help your child form a letter out and set them aside until finished.

If you’re feeling extra creative, freeze the treats and dip them in melted chocolate and sprinkles. Your child will love seeing their name spelled out using such tasty letters. 

What other skills should my child practice for preschool? 

If your little one is approaching the age for preschool or kindergarten, you might want to begin practicing these skills: 

Color Recognition  

Your child will need to learn color names and how to identify them. Practice color names as you drive in the car or play around the house. Include color names as you describe objects. 

You can also create fun color recognition games like our Mushroom Color Sorting Activity

Rhyming Words

Identifying rhyming words helps build a foundation for reading skills. Kids often love to play games with rhyming words. Singing songs like “Down by the Bay” and coming up with silly rhymes is a simple way to begin rhyming practice. 

Many children’s books include stanzas that end in rhyming words. As you read, try pausing before reading the rhyming word and allowing your child to fill in the blank. For example, you might say, “There was a bear who liked to wear red. He wore red boots on his feet and red hats on his _____.” 

Counting to Ten 

Counting skills are crucial for your child’s success in math. Practice counting to ten as often as you can. This is easy to do when playing games like hide-and-seek or racing in the backyard.

You’ll also want to teach them how to count objects. Playing games like our Apple Seed Counting Game will help them develop those skills.   

Following Directions

Learning to listen and follow directions is a part of receptive language development. For success in school, your child will need to follow the directions from their teacher. You can practice this skill by giving your child a set of directions. 

What other ways can I teach my child to write and spell their name?

  • Using letter magnets on the fridge
  • Making a song using the letters in their name
  • Writing with chalk on the driveway 
  • Writing on a MagnaDoodle
  • Making tactile alphabet cookies
  • Writing with a dry-erase marker on a window or mirror 

What other ways can I enrich this activity? 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Bill Martin Jr. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages – 08/01/2000 (Publication Date) – Beach Lane Books (Publisher)

To continue the alphabet fun, try one of these activities:  

5 Activities for Name-Writing

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