Day 20: Main Activity – Name Practice in the Morning Circle

by | Tutorials

This is a post out of the 31 Days of Morning Circles. You can find the main page for this series here.

Note: If you’re reading this series for the first time, I suggest you look at the daily structure post to understand the routine we follow in our morning circle.

Even if the child may not be ready for the alphabet or words, every child has a name, and it should be celebrated and noted often throughout the day. The morning circle is a good time to include activities that help the learner visually see their name, hear it, and manipulate it.

Name practice activity in the morning circle

Using different textures and colors, write the child’s name on card stock and glue the textures to represent the letters. I like to use the same color for the same letter, but it’s not necessary (e.g.: all letter “A”s are red, all letter “B”s are green, etc.). You can do that if the child is just beginning to work with letters for the first time. But, if you are working on letter recognition later on, mixing up the colors really lets you know if the child is able to identify letters for their shape, and not color.


name practice finger tracing card with pipe cleaners

Using pipe cleaners glued to card stock, a child can finger-trace their name. I start by using all uppercase letters because the lines are straight. Eventually, I use lowercase for all letters except for the first. This card is prepared ahead of time. Remember that the morning circle isn’t the time to engage in complicated (and messy) art activities. It should always be short and sweet so the child doesn’t lose interest in the circle. (Note: This is not my son’s name. I made this card as a sample.)

Singing songs with the child’s name reinforces the recognition of their name. Sing this song below while the child looks in a mirror.

Name Song (to the tune of “Brother John”)

I am special.
I am special.
Yes, I am.
Yes, I am.
Someone very special,
Someone very special,
I am _____________ (name)
I am _____________ (name)

Variations to name practice in the morning circle

  • Use different textures: sandpaper, fabric (corduroy, felt, silk, etc.), beads (if safe for the child), cereal, dried pasta, salt or sugar, colored sprinkle glue, pom-poms, magnetic letters, foam letters, etc. glued to card stock
  • On a regular paper with the child’s name, use Bingo dots to trace the letters
  • Salt or sugar in a pan, write the letters with a finger
  • Use ASL for each letter of the name, then practice the child’s name sign if they already have one
  • Use AAC to touch and say the letters of the name, as well as the full name

How can you practice the child’s name in the morning circle?


More Resources

Continue reading my essays, activities, and case studies for supporting the education of disabled/chronically ill and neurodivergent children.