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How to Make a Super-Easy Name Puzzle

I noticed recently that my younger son (who is almost 3 years old) is able to identify his older brother’s name without trouble, but hasn’t clued in to his own name. It’s probably because the 4 year old’s teacher at school executes all kinds of lovely name projects, and we dutifully hang them on our walls.

name art 1       20150116_135818

So, I decided to dust off my old Pinterest board and look for some ideas to play with Franklin’s name. Every time I log onto Pinterest, I can’t help but think, ‘Why oh why haven’t I done some of these wonderful ideas? My kids would always be happy if I would just get it together and do some pinnable projects.’ But…I’m not really a crafty person, and executing oodles of activities isn’t really my bag. Nevertheless, I needed some ideas to play with little man’s name, so I swallowed my pride—and most of my excuses.

I liked this name painting idea, and next time I bring out the paints (like, when the sun is out and it’s warm enough to hose my child off outside), I might try it. This dot-painting idea is cute too (since the paints are already out).

I also liked this post-it idea because markers and post its are totally in my wheelhouse—I’d just do the matching with my 2 year old and the writing extension with his older brother.

Then I saw this little goober and thought—there. THAT is something I can handle. A name puzzle. Perfect. My boys are both digging puzzles right now, and I knew both of them would be thrilled that I had made them a puzzle of their very own. High five, self!

How to make your kid a name puzzle:

image (1)1. Get out paper, scissors, and a marker. I used a regular piece of construction paper. I don’t expect this to stand the test of time, but this whole thing took me about 3 minutes to do. So if the kids just love it, I’ll happily make them another one! And another one… If you’re into longevity or doing things just once, you could use a heavier cardstock or laminate your pieces with contact paper. Go for it. You’re the boss.

2. Cut paper to size (I cut my paper length-ways to make two long rectangles).

3. Write your kid’s name. Leave space between each letter.image

4. Cut unique patterns between each letter.20150116_141855

5. Present to child. (My kids happened have a friend over the afternoon I made these puzzles, so I whipped up a third puzzle with his name on it. I used a different color paper for easy sorting!)

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6. Franklin had a hard time finding the first letter of his name so I made a guide for him to match. Once he’s able to do the puzzle we’ll discard the guide. When he puts it together, we talk about the letter names and sounds. He always asks to put Cooper’s puzzle together too…must be rough to be the second child!

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What kind of activities have you done with your kids to help them identify their name? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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