First -- this is a borrowed idea from a crazy-cool educator of young tots in Los Angeles. A teacher who, against what common wisdom and research has told us, believes all kids can learn to spell and recognize their own name before the age of three.
And if meshed into your daily routine for about 1-2 weeks, it actually works. Most of the tots in the 2-3 year-old Parent-n-Me class that my daughter and I attend not only know how to orally spell their name--but can also recognize it. Wicked.
In took about two weeks for my head-strong 2 1/2 year old daughter to catch on. I found that in order for this project to be a success (and not become overly frustrating for either of you) you need to keep a couple of things in mind:
1. First and foremost, convince your strong-willed tot that the whole project was her idea. Master this, and you've got the parenting thing in the bag, don't you?
2. This needs to be as routine as brushing teeth. It takes a bit of discipline. We would spell and hop my daughter's name (more on that later) when she'd rise in the morning, at bedtime and any other time she showed an inclination.
3. NEVER push your child to do this project. At first she'll be confused, but after watching daddy do it a few times, she'll want to get in on the action, too. Remember, this project is a game and should be sold like one to the unsuspecting tot. We don't want them to hate letters before they can even read!
4. Have fun with this--if you're rocking the name game then so will your child!
Step 1: Gather necessary materials
For this project you'll need:
A LOONNNNGGGGG piece of butcher paper. Long enough to make that child work for those letters!
Tempera Paints in assorted colors, paint trays and paint brush
One eager to learn tot who is over the age of two
Scissors--for extension activity