Reading Chrysanthemum and exploring our own perfect names

One of the most meaningful first words to a child is his or her own name. The story of “Chrysanthemum,” by Kevin Henkes, is about a little girl whose name is Chrysanthemum which, according to her parents, is the perfect name….

This book is such a wonderful book which presents all kinds of different messages you can build on but I chose to use the book as a way to emphasize how every child’s name is meaningful and special…

Because my preschool is not yet back in session, I shared this book with my three year old nephew and we followed up the book by exploring his name in a couple of ways…

Name Puzzle 

First we talked about how Wyatt has a perfect name and then I invited Wyatt to join me at the table to explore the letters of his name. On the table was Wyatt’s name fully written out and in the basket were the letters of his name on separate cards…

Wyatt explored each letter of his name for a few minutes as he put the name puzzle back together in his own way…

Name Painting

Our next activity was a simple name painting…

I printed Wyatt’s name in large print on a sheet of white drawing paper and Wyatt used a dot shaped sponge dipped in tempera paint to decorate his name…

As Wyatt and I explored his name together through our experiences today, we discovered that Wyatt’s name is absolutely perfect!


This book is just one of many Kevin Henkes books being shared today.  Please take a minute to check out the blog hop below and feel free to add your links to any Kevin Henkes inspired posts as well. 


There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Kevin Henkes that share children’s book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button (shown above) to your post if you’d like.
Remember, if you are viewing this blog post by email, you will have to come to the blog to view the additional links being shared in the blog hop below…

By |2012-08-24T23:57:46+00:00August 24th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Tracy August 25, 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Did you notice his name is spelled wrong?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 25, 2012 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Yes! But not until it was too late! It was a long day:)

  2. Debbie Henry August 25, 2012 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I was, also, going to ask about the spelling of Wyatt’s name. I understand! I have had many of those “long days” lately. God bless you, Deborah, and thank you for all you share.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 26, 2012 at 11:52 am - Reply

      I fixed it with photo shop! LOL!

  3. Bethany @ No Twiddle Twaddle August 25, 2012 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Thank you so much, Deborah. I love how open ended your activity is. My preschooler is four now, and we need to start working on some letter skills but he has no interest in tracing lines or trying many of the activities I see. I think though that he might enjoy these two activities. I’m going to give it a try!

  4. Verónica Ochoa August 25, 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Gracias Deborah!!! Soy Educadora en México, tus actividades me motivan a hacer cosas nuevas con mis alumnos, en mi país no tengo oportunidad de materiales y espacios tan adecuados como el tuyo pero trato de acercarme lo mejor posible y me sirven mucho tus ideas, Gracias por compartir. Con cariño, Vero!!!

  5. Nancy August 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I use Chrysanthemum every year in the first week of school. Name recognition is such an important skill for preschoolers as well as a fantastic help for their busy and sometimes frazzled teacher!

  6. Joanne October 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Your are so right. One of the most important words is a child’s name. The next important word is their friends names. Great post and great book.

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