All the preschool teachers that I know are masters of collecting and re-using stuff. Are you guilty of saving every toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, plastic container, bubble wrap sheet, and bottle cap that you see? You can use some of that “stuff” to create name puzzles and name activities for your home or classroom.
Currently, I have a collection of bottle caps in my kitchen. Milk caps, soda bottle caps, water bottle caps, Gatorade bottle caps – I save them all. I like to use them to create math games, and I also like to use them to create name puzzles.
Learning to recognize, spell, and write his or her name is an important objective for a child in preschool. Using name puzzles is a fun way for a child to learn how to write his or her name. To make your own puzzles you can simply write letters on bottle caps with a Sharpie. Store each individual name puzzle in a bag or container with the child’s name and picture. To easily print small square pictures of your kids, use my template here.
Because I always like to increase the cuteness factor in my projects, I created a name puzzle template that I also sell in my TPT store. The puzzle set contains letter circles that can be cut with scissors or a circle punch then applied to bottle caps or poker chips with double-stick tape or hot glue.
Whether you make your puzzles with or without the template, I think that you will find them to be a great addition to your class. Here are a few ways to use the puzzles.
At the beginning of class, ask each student to find his or her puzzle and put it together on a puzzle mat.
Children can put name puzzles together on a name mat or dry erase board. Add a dry erase marker to the center so that kids can practice writing their names. Children also love doing this activity with the names of their friends.
How Many Letters?:
Ask a child to count the letters in his or her name. Count the letters in a friend’s name. Which name has more letters? How many more does it have? Which name has fewer letters?
Find Shared Letters:
After putting two name puzzles together, ask children to find letters that are in both names. How many letters do they share? Do the names start with the same letter?
However you choose to make them, I think that you will find that kids love the puzzles. So, tell everyone you know to save bottle caps for you. In no time you will have enough caps to make a set of name puzzles for your class.
To find more name activities for your kids, visit my Name Activity board on Pinterest:
If you are looking for addition hands-on name activities, check out the following resources in my TPT store.