In preschool, we do a lot of name recognition activities. These are activities specifically designed to teacher preschoolers to recognize their names. Button names is one such activity, but in addition reinforcing name recognition, it can also be a math activity.
Often times, preschoolers first interest in learning the letters of the alphabet is learning to recognize their names and the letters therein. This is because learning their own name has such meaning behind it. It is personal to that child. Naturally, a child would be interested in learning more about their names. It is not uncommon for preschoolers to take a special interest in the letters that make up their names, and that interest is something that teachers, parents and caregivers can use to motivate children to learn more about the alphabet.
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Everyday in preschool, we spend a little bit of time learning about our own names. Button names is one activity we use. This activity not only reinforces name recognition to my preschoolers, but it also teaches a little math as well. And my regular readers are certainly aware of how much I love integrating different subjects into one activity.
Here are some of our favorite alphabet books to pair with this activity:
For this activity, I printed out and laminated each child’s name. I chose a font that was block-like and naturally had a white filler. There is a specific reason for this, which I will share with you below.
Students worked diligently to cover their names with buttons.
As you can see, once the letters were covered, it was slightly difficult to read the child’s name, but this was ok. So much letter and math learning took place during the name recognition activity.
Here, Corinne sorts through her container of buttons searching for the pink buttons because, “I want to do the letter ‘i’ in all pink, but I can’t use the biggest pink buttons, right, Mom?”
This student realized that smaller buttons could sit on top of the bigger buttons. She tested nearly every button once she discovered this, and soon the remaining letters of her name were made up of only the small buttons. “The ‘m’ and ‘a’ and ‘d’ are big buttons. This ‘d’ is all little buttons. I like the little buttons,” she told me.
This student challenged himself by only using buttons that fit inside the letters of his name. As he filled the letters of his name, he chanted to himself things he knew about that letter, “R says /r/, r says /r/. Every letter makes a sound. R says /r/. Like robot!”
Beyond learning the letters their names and reinforcing name recognition skills, button names teaches math and other literacy skills. In addition to learning size differentiation, students can also be challenged to make patterns with their buttons. Aside from learning letter identification, students can also make connections between the letters and sounds in their names to the letters and sounds of other words.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.
Hi Sarah! I love this idea. Where can I find a font like this? I can’t seem to find it in my regular ones. Thanks!
I love your resources and your information! I wanted to shave an idea too. When I do a bottom activity such as the name button one you created , I hide the buttons in playdough. They love it and it adds more sensory.
Sarah Punkoney, MAT says
What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing.