Kidaptive Blog

Practice first-name recognition for better literacy


What’s in a name? A great opportunity for your child to test their developing theories about literacy skills!

A child’s first name is often the first word they reliably recognize in print. Children become especially focused on the first letter of their name. In fact, you may notice that for a while your child thinks that any word that begins with the same letter as their first name is their first name, or even that their name is equivalent with the first letter alone. This is normal!

To help your child understand and recognize the rest of the letters in their name, write their name on a piece of paper and say the letters aloud while pointing them out one at a time. Then have your child compare their name to other words that begin with the same letter by writing those words above or below your child’s name. Help your child to identify the letters in the other words while referencing the spelling of their own name. Ask questions like, “Are these two letters the same?” Or, “Elephant has two e’s in it. How many does “Ethan” have?” Over time, your child will begin to remember more letters in their name: the first few, then most, and eventually all of them.

This activity is not only fun and easy to do while waiting at the dentist’s office or sitting at the hairdresser; it also provides a chance for your child to build a stronger foundation for spelling and writing later on!

We would love to hear your thoughts on this activity, as well as suggestions on future topics to cover! Please leave a comment.