One of the first and most important skills kindergarten students learn is how to spell and write their names! Some of them already come in with it mastered, but some are just starting out. Since every student learns differently, you want to have a variety of options for them that touches on every learning style. That’s why we have created this list of multisensory name activities! Keep reading for some fun and educational ideas.
“Write your name on your paper! Make sure you don’t forget your name on top! Can you see whose name is on that craft?” It’s a familiar topic in kindergarten. One you probably heard yourself say hundreds of times, and something you repeat year after year. It’s important though because names are the gateway to letters and sounds. Make writing them fun and engaging with multisensory activities!
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Check out these other related articles:
- Name Crafts
- Multisensory Sight Word Practice
- Free Name Rocks
- Jack Be Nimble Name Activity
- Clothespin Activity
This article goes well with these resources:
All five senses are important. Did you know that even the sense of smell has been linked to creating new memories?
A LOT of young learners are kinesthetic and need hands-on tasks to fully grasp a new concept.
Check out these multisensory names activities here:
Some students are visual learners and just need to see their names written down for them to learn it. Others are auditory and have to hear it spelled over and over.
Providing multisensory activities is effective for ALL your students to learn their names!
Multisensory Name Activities
Activate multiple parts of your students’ brains with these fun activities! Fingertips have over 3,000 nerve endings in each finger. So having multiple ways to engage those nerve endings while learning letters and names can be a very effective strategy.
These multisensory activities will be a great way to keep your students engaged and interested while you teach names.
- Rice Bins: Grab a bin and fill the bottom with rice. Students will write their names in the rice with their fingers. They’ll love seeing it written out, and it’s such a fun sensory activity. Variations: use rainbow or colored paper on the bottom so they see colors once their name is written! You can also use food dye to make the rice look tie-dyed, or even use sprinkles instead of rice for some fun colors! Have students use a paintbrush instead of their finger for some turns and a different sensation.
- Beads: The same as the rice bins, but use fun, small craft beads instead of rice! It creates a great contrast for your students to see and feel the word.
- Matching: Set up a fun matching card game with letters! Or create a memory letter game and have students keep the letters they flip that match the letters to their name, and turn the other letters back over.
Activate all the senses!
- Building Name Towers: Tape letters onto different building blocks (Jenga is a really fun one!), mix them all together in big table bins, and see who can build the fastest tower with the correct letters for their name!
- Clothespins: Use popsicle sticks and clothespins for this activity. Each student’s name will be on a popsicle stick, and they have to match the clothespins with letters to the correct letter on the stick. Read more about it here!
- Gluing: Students love to glue things! Print large letters of their name on paper and have them practice their glue skills by gluing over top of each letter. Then they can glue on fun little objects like cotton balls, pom poms, or mini marshmallows. Another way to have fun gluing is with name cut & glue activities! These Name Picture Puzzles let students do both while putting together a cute picture puzzle!
More Ideas For More Senses
If you’re looking for even more great ideas to cover multiple senses, check these out:
- Song Melodies Can you remember all the lyrics from your favorite song in High School? If so, you’re probably an auditory learner with a gift for music! Help out your students who learn best this way by creating a melody for their name letters! Just picture Blippi, I bet every student can spell his name!
- Playdough Names: Students can roll out the play dough and form letters with it to spell names. They can also make letters out of playdough and put them on top of letters that you print on a worksheet!
- Wiki Stix: Always a kindergarten favorite! They can manipulate these sticks into any shape they want, so why not the letters in their names? Such a fun morning wake-up activity! Don’t have Wiki Stix? Pipe Cleaners work just as well!
- Magazine/Newspaper Clipping: This is a great one for giving them experience with different reading materials! They search through magazines and newspapers and find the most interesting versions of the name letters! You can have them cut them out and glue them to a paper, highlight them, circle them, or just write it down after they find the letters.
- Book Search: Turn your students into cute little detectives by giving them a magnifying glass and having them search their favorite book to see if they can find all the letters in their names! Turning the lights low and using little flashlights works well for book letter detectives, too!
- Scratch & Sniff Letter Match Up: A great way to activate the memory associated with scent is to use scratch and sniff stickers! Use a different scent for each letter, and have them put the sticker on top of the letter in order as they smell each one. They’ll remember, “Oh! T for my name smelled like oranges!” Every time that student smells an orange, they’ll start thinking about their name! Scented markers or crayons also work!
Name Crafts & Worksheets
A great multisensory option is to do crafts while learning names! This Name Crafts Bundle has EIGHT different editable crafts for students to try!
Reading “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” at the beginning of the year? The palm tree craft is a perfect addition to that! There is also a rainbow, crayon box, puzzles, hats, crowns, and more!
The Editable Names Bundle is another great one if you want everything in one stop! There are activities to use with stickers, playdough, cutting, gluing, and more! Having to find just the letters from their name and color them is a student favorite! Everything included is perfect for meeting all those learning style needs!
Thank you to Ms. McIntosh for sharing her amazing bulletin board with the sticker name activity from the bundle! Students are learning their names and loving the process!
Neverending Multisensory Name Activities
These are only a few of the activities that you can provide students with as a way to learn names. There are so many others! The most important thing is that you are providing ways to meet every learning style for your kinders. Do you have any other methods or activities that you use to teach students their names while using their senses? We would love to hear from you over in the Simply Kinder Teachers Facebook Group or tag #SimplyKinder on Instagram!
This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!