This homemade name puzzle made from cardboard and coloured paper is a fun way to teach preschoolers how to spell their name.
I love making homemade puzzles for my daycare kids, and every year, I make each of my preschoolers their own personal name puzzle that they can play with and put together whenever they want.
When learning is fun, it doesn’t feel like work
Playing with these name puzzles is a great way for the preschoolers to focus on letter and name recognition without it feeling like “work” and a great way for a child to learn how to spell their name before they head off to Kindergarten.
To a child, the most important word in the whole wide world is his or her name, and there’s no greater pride for kids than learning how to spell it.
Name recognition usually begins with a child learning which letter their name starts with. Sometime later, a child will learn to identify other letters in their name, and before long, they know which order to put those letters in.
Colours and textures engage the senses
We know that children learn best when multiple senses are engaged, so I like to use textured, patterned wallpaper samples to make these name puzzles. I cut each letter from a different sample of wallpaper. The patterns and colours of the paper add visual interest and the different textures are delightful to the touch.
Where to get wall paper samples
Ask your local paint and wallpaper shop if they have any expired wallpaper books that you can take off their hands. They’re usually happy to give them away. Some books feature heavily textured wallpaper samples. Those are my favourite.
Alternatives to wall paper samples
Construction paper, scrapbook paper, fabric or card stock can also add colour and interest to your puzzle pieces.
How to Make a Name Puzzle for Toddlers and Preschoolers:
- thin cardboard
- coloured, textured wall paper samples
- letter templates (if you’d rather not draw free-hand)
Making your child’s name puzzle:
To make your name puzzle, simply cut out the letters of your child’s name to trace onto your coloured paper. I drew my letter free-hand but if you’d rather use a template, you can visit Quality-Kids-Crafts.com and print your letters off.
Once you have your letters cut out, glue them to a piece of cardboard leaving a generous amount of space between each letter. Then cut the cardboard into jigsaw pieces.
Now, hand the puzzle pieces over to your little one and let them try to put them together in the right order.
I love watching the Hooligans try to figure their puzzles out the first time. There’s lots of twisting and turning and re-arranging of letters. The second time is usually a bit easier, and by the time they’ve done their puzzle a half dozen times or so, they’re pros!
More Fun Name Activities for Kids:
- Name Writing Activity with Salt, Glue and Watercolours
- Salt Tray Activity
- Homemade Eraseable Activity Worksheets
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.