Kids love seeing their name cards up on your classroom word wall. Use the free templates in to make your own name cards. Kids will enjoy using the name cards for a variety of literacy activities.
Do you add your students’ names to the word wall or alphabet wall in your early childhood classroom? Adding names to your word wall can generate a great deal of excitement from the kids in your class. Here are instructions and a couple tools to help you make name cards for your classroom.
Why I Made the Template
When I made the name cards at my former preschool, I created them using my Adobe Illustrator program. This was great at the time because I was there to do it. But when I moved across the country, my co-workers didn’t have the software to make more cards. I did create an editable template for them to print the kids’ names. I could never figure out how to easily add the kids’ pictures to the template.
My husband helped me create a second template (a Word document) to print square pictures at exactly the right size to use on the name cards. The template makes it so much easier to size and print the pictures. I wish that I could have figured it out long ago because it really is easier than the process that I had previously used.
The templates are also part of my Early Childhood Word Wall resource in my TPT store. Note that the templates in my store provide a bit more flexibility….a form to easily add names to the cards and access to a Google Docs version of the photo template.
Creating Word Cards
The process to create your word cards is a two-step process. You will still have to cut out the pictures and attach them to the name cards. When you are done, I think that you will find many uses for the little picture squares that you create.
Prepare Square Photos
The first thing that you need to do is prepare a square picture of each child in your class. This is pretty easy to do if you take your pictures with an iphone. Set the phone’s camera to take a square picture before you take the shots, or use the edit mode after you take the shot to crop it into a square. Once I have a square photo I send it to my dropbox so that I have access to it on my PC. If you use your digital camera instead of a phone, you can use your photo editor to crop pictures into a square. Save the cropped photos in a file where you can easily find them for the next step.
Download the Photo Template
Okay, now for the cool part. Here is the template for the pictures. It is a Drop box file and you will need to open it with Microsoft Word. When you open it up you will see a bunch of smiley faces on a grid. If you use Word, you will be able to simply right click on a smiley face, select the “change picture” option, and then select one of your square pictures from your dropbox folder or from the files on your computer. Once you make the selection, the picture will automatically (or magically) switch to your personal picture.
Print the page of pictures and cut them out. You can start the process over to print as many pictures as you like. Print some extra to use for additional activities like matching games, name puzzles, etc.
Get the Name Card Template
Next, you will need my Name Card Template. I will send these to your inbox. Click on the link below to let me know where to send them.
When you get the document, you will see that I included three different color options in the document. The template colors and fonts are the same as my Printable Early Childhood Word Wall so that the name cards will match that set perfectly.
Be sure to save the template on your computer and open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader. When you open the name card template document in Adobe Acrobat Reader, click on the blue rectangle in the middle of each name card and type in a child’s name. When printed, the name cards will have a blank space on the left side for each child’s picture. Having troubles with the editable file? Here is a troubleshooting guide to help you out.
Once you have added names to the cards in the document, print them out. The cards print 4 per page so you can start the process over again to make additional cards. Cut them out and you are ready for the next step.
Add Photos to Name Cards
Now that you have printed and cut out pictures and name cards, it’s time for the final steps. I used the tiniest dab of glue from a glue stick on the corner of each picture to hold the pictures in place for laminating. Once the name cards have been laminated, they are ready to cut out and add to your word wall.
Additional Ideas for Using the Name Cards
You may want to make several sets of name cards for your class. In addition to using them on your word wall, here are several other ideas:
- Use them for a sign-in procedure at the beginning of class.
- Add them in your writing center.
- Use them with magnetic letters for an alphabet sorting activity.
- Place them at a table or on the floor show kids where to sit at circle time or snack time.
- Attach them to the kid’s cubbies.
- Bind them together to make a little book for your reading area.
- Laminate a name card without pictures and laminate the individual picture squares separately. You now have a cool name matching game.
If you are interested in the complete early childhood word wall pictured in this post, it is available in the following products in the Early Learning Ideas TPT store:
Are you looking for additional name activities for your kiddos? Check out these activities in my TPT store: