Learning to recognize the letters in your name is an important task for preschoolers. Here is an enjoyable activity for a child who loves a good treasure hunt. On a recent vacation we collected a bunch of sea shells from the beach and I decided to write the letters in my son’s name on them. You don’t need sea shells for this activity, you could use stones, pieces of paper or fridge letter magnets. I love using objects from nature because they seem to hold an extra piece of magic in them for the children.
Write out your child’s name on a piece of paper so that they can use it as a reference. Write the letters of their name on the objects of your choice. Hide the letters in a designated area.
Have your child hunt for the letters one by one in the correct order that they appear in their name. As my son searched for each letter I told him the name of the letter. He heard the letter name, saw what the letter looked like on his reference sheet and then searched around to find a match.
Once he found the correct letter we put the sea shell beside the letter on his name reference sheet to double check it was a match (and I had another chance to say the letter name for him). I tried to say the name of the letter several times during the game while still keeping the game fun and not ‘teachy’. My son can smell ‘teachy’ a mile away and doesn’t appreciate being taught to, he wants to have fun and discover together.
We laid the sea shell letters out in order as we found them. He decided to circle each letter on his reference sheet as he found them. This made it easier for him to isolate the next letter he needed to find.
What fun we had! After he had completed his whole name he wanted to play it again and then his sister wanted to play as well. She is older so she did the writing part herself. After she found all the letters in her name she decided to write other names of family members and hide them. The children continued making up their own variations of this game as the day progressed.
Happy Letter Hunting!