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Family Names - Name Recognition

When children start school it is really helpful if they can recognise their name. This will make it easier for them to find their pegs, drawers and belongings. This game is a great way to help them to practise spotting their own name.


What you need:

  • an envelope for each person

  • a pen

  • a photo of each person

  • a postbox/cardboard box with a slot

I used a photo of the people that live in our house and wrote our names on envelopes. I placed the envelopes and photos face down. We took it in turns to turn over a photo and an envelope.

To begin with, I said the name slowly and emphasised the initial sound e.g. Sssssophie, ssss-sss-sss. Then we pointed to the first letter and said sss for Sophie. At this stage you could introduce letter names. Sophie's name starts with an S (es) and it makes a sssss sound. Can you hear the sss? Sssss-ophie.


If you find a pair, put the picture into the envelope. If not, place them back face down. When you have matched all of the photos and envelopes you can post the letters. Can your child find the letter that is addressed to them? Let them open it so they find their photo. Can they work out who the other letters are for? Open the letters to check if they are right.



Extend - Mix the pictures up so they are not in the correct envelopes. Post them and play the game again. Benji found it funny when we read the name and opened the envelope to find a photos of someone else! See if your child can sort the photos into the correct envelopes using the initial letters to help e.g. M makes a mmmm. Whose name starts with mmmm?


You could add paper and pens to the activity for your child to write notes or draw photos to put in the envelopes. At this stage, they don't need to be able to write letters. They might draw scribbles, wobbly lines or begin to use symbols. Encourage them to read their notes, this gives meaning to their marks. Benji wanted to try to write a B for Benji on his own note.


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