The Power of Names

Enrichment Therapies

January 17, 2017

Between 3 and 4 years of age, children begin to recognize letters and start to make some letter-sound associations.

Knowledge of letter names and the sounds letters make is a very important pre-literacy skill and builds a strong foundation for reading. This knowledge also positively impacts articulation skills. Once children understand that sounds are associated with letters, we can often use written visual cues to help children accurately produce speech sounds. When just beginning to recognize letter names and sounds, children are typically most interested in learning the letters of their own names. Check out these fun ideas for helping your child recognize the letters in his or her name! 1. Shaving Cream Creation In shaving cream, write the first letter of your child’s name. Begin with just one letter, and describe it. For example, “Look! I made a big line down and a little line across. This is a T. The letter T is in your name! T is for Tommy.” From here, you might let your child form the same letter in the shaving cream! Additionally, you might both finish writing out the child’s whole name. When you are all done writing/describing, your child will have a blast wiping the letters away and playing in the shaving cream! 2. Magnet Matching If you have a set of magnetic letters, there are a lot of fun ways to use those letters to teach name spellings. One idea is to play hide and seek! – Fill a small bin with beans or rice, cotton balls, or some other fun item. – Hide multiple items, including the letters of your child’s name, as well as small toys or objects, inside the bin. – Place another set of the letters in your child’s name in front of the bin, so they are arranged to spell out his or her name. – Challenge your child to dig around in the bin, and find the first letter (or all letters) of his or her name! You can then help your child to match the letters found to those sitting in front of the bin. For an extra challenge: – Include letters in the bin that are not in your child’s name – Remove the matching letter set, requiring your child to find the letters with less help – After finding the letters, ask your child to name them, say the sound the letters make or place them in the correct order 3. Play Dough Letters Use playdough to make the first letter of your child’s name. Or, make all of the letters in his name. If you choose to shape play dough into each letter, be sure to describe what you are doing! For example, “I am making your name! Look. T-o-m-m-y. That spells Tommy. Wow!” Your child can use play dough to copy your letters! For a fun at-home activity, consider making your own playdough! Check out this 3-ingredient, edible, gluten-free playdough recipe. I found it posted by Rachel on the Kids Activities Blog. It looks super easy and fun to make! Three-Ingredient Edible Play Dough Ingredients: Tub of Whipped Topping 1/2 box Cornstarch 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Directions: Dump the whipped topping into a larger bowl. Carefully fold the cornstarch into the topping until it is a crumbly mess! Drizzle the lumps with the olive oil. Use your hands at this point to work the dough together until it forms a ball. If you are interested in some other fun and edible play dough recipes, check out the list of 15 Edible Play Dough Recipes, compiled by Liz on the Kids Activities Blog, here.

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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