As I mentioned the other day, I had big plans to help Em learn her name by creating an ABC Obstacle Course, but that was a bit too advanced for her (but rocked for big brother!). Since my intention was to work with her, not him, I made a quick adjustment and concluded that instead of having her follow a trail of yarn, I could have them both work together to follow a map. If I do say so myself, it was brilliant.
My map was as basic and cartoonish as you could fathom. I identified the big ticket items on the house, drew them in roughly the correct shape, location, and color, and added a red 1-7 on various places on the map where the kids would find the missing letters of Em’s name. I wrote them on little squares of paper and hid them around the exterior of our house. They did not find the letters in order, so at the end, she would have to unscramble them and sort the letters of her own name, hopefully helping her get a handle on it in a kinesthetic way.
I made them stop and look at the map together and agree before they (aka Jax) raced off to find the next letter. I wish I had made them hold hands because he was always faster than her, although he did not always spot the letter first. Then they would consult the map, find the next number (so I guess it was good for sequencing and for number recognition, too) and then hurry off.
They had so much fun they had me hide the letters 3 times and had dinner 45 minutes later than usual! This is a big deal for my chubby-cheeked children!
At the end of every round, we’d lay the letters out and she would try to unscramble them to spell her name. Luckily (and I say this with heaviest sarcasm), Jax was there to tell her exactly which letters went where. I finally had to give him another job so that he would leave her alone and little sister could hear herself think! He’s a sweet boy, but he is a bit of a know-it-all!
This activity was really so fun, and I think it would work just as well inside as out. There was a lot of good things going on while they figured this one out: cooperation, communication, taking turns, patience, cheering each other on. Not to mention helping Em learn how to spell her name! I’m sure this activity has endless alternatives–let me know where you take it and if you have any other fun name recognition activities for me!