Sorting through bills, advertisements and coupons, I get weary of the waste and the impersonal nature of daily junk mail. Occupant … Occupant … Resident … Occupant! When my name actually appears on an envelope in handwriting I recognize, I feel like a gem is passing through my hands.
When you think about it, a name really is important. To the government, I’m only a Social Security number. The airlines know me by my frequent-flyer number, and to the bank, well, I’m just another number. But my name is me, wrapped up in a few little letters. And for some reason, a name has power. When we hear someone use our name, don’t we perk up and take notice? It’s like there’s a tiny electrical connection that is made when a person says it.
Families everywhere are learning a whole new batch of names and faces this fall as kids enter new classrooms, make new friendships and join athletic and academic teams. Have fun practicing and spelling new names, then display your kids’ names with these activities:
NAME AND NOTES DOOR SIGN
Glue colorful plastic alphabet letters to a small, lightweight blackboard. Glue a stationery clip to the frame, and attach a tiny tablet. Tie a string around a pen, and loop over the clip. Hang it at your preschooler’s height on the bedroom door.
NAME ON A PLANK
When your child begins to learn cursive, practice “writing” her name with a length of rope, yarn, string or twine. Twist and turn it on a table first, then glue the formed name to a plank of wood. Hang it above her desk or bed.
OUTSIDE THE BOX
Count the letters in your child’s name and cover that many empty single-portion cereal boxes with plain construction paper. Paint one large letter on the front side of each box to collectively spell the name. Attach hooks on the backs and hang them on your child’s wall.
Parenting Tip: Play a game with your name. See how many words you can form with the letters. Include the letters in your middle and last names to expand the list.
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© 2021 Donna Erickson
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