People. This building names activity is the stuff dreams are made of.
HERE YE HERE YE. Building names goes down in kid history as one of the most fun learning activities. Take a second to really appreciate this masterpiece.
FULL CREDIT to the idea of this activity goes to Happily Ever Mom whose small, dot sticker, portable version of this activity inspired this large scale design.
RELATED: Curious how I teach my kids and what they’re learning each day? Check out PLAYING PRESCHOOL: my year-long activities program.
Why is building names so amazing?
It’s amazing because it’s simple.
It’s fun for kids to play.
It’s actually really effective for teaching.
And my favorite: it’s totally adjustable and versatile – this activity is going to work for so many kids at so many developmental levels.
RELATED: Looking for MORE play-based learning activities? Check them out here!
How do you set it up?
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- White butcher paper
- Post-it notes (I had to cut my big post-its in half, but it’s easier to use these mini ones)
- Giant sharpie marker
- Painter’s Tape (my favorite for sticking to walls safely)
READY FOR THE HOW-TO?
I rolled out the butcher paper and started writing my daughters FULL name – leaving a letter or two out each time.
I made sure to leave enough space for a Post-it note whenever I left a letter out.
As I wrote her name OVER AND OVER, I started leaving out more and more letters – progressively making the activity more challenging as it went on.
On post-it notes, I wrote out the missing letters.
I hung this all on the wall and sat down with my daughter (4) to explain the activity.
First up: teaching her how to spell her name.
My daughter goes by Kate so the name Kaitlin is pretty foreign to her in writing.
It’s also a long and complicated name to spell.
We sat together and SANG her name. “K-A-I-T-L-I-N” in a tune I made up.
Nothing fancy, just a way for her to remember the order of the letters.
IT WORKED! Building names worked!!!
At the beginning of this activity, my daughter could not spell her full name.
By the end, she could confidently do it and has RETAINED the ability. Weeks later and she still can recite how to spell “Kaitlin”.
RELATED: Looking for more “name” activities? Check out this list.
How can this work for older kids?
This is SO VERSATILE for big kids.
Use it to learn:
- Spelling lists
- Vocabulary words
- Sight words
- CVC words (short words: consonant vowel consonant like cat, dog, man, mud)
- Rhyming words / word families
Why does this activity work so well?
BECAUSE WE ARE ALLOWING THE KIDS TO PLAY TO LEARN.
Instead of drilling them with worksheets, flashcards, or other one-dimensional learning methods, this allows the child to interact with the learning and use multiple learning styles.
The whole body is involved in this activity.
Consider that to a worksheet. Is the child’s whole body learning with a worksheet? Are they moving to engage? Are they playing as they work? Nope. And that’s why this kind of an activity works so much faster and better than a worksheet.
RELATED: Want to hear more about worksheets and early childhood? I’m not a fan and here’s why.
Building names is a fantastic learning activity.
Try this with your child. It’s engaging. It’s fun. It works.