The name game

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If your students enjoy playing “Simon Says” they are sure to love this game!

You’ve probably all heard of the old song “The Name Game” that goes “Shirley, Shirley, bo birley, banana fanana fo firley, fee fi fo mirley, Shirley.”  Well, this name game is a little different, but just as much fun I assure you!  This simple game is a great way to practice name recognition…

How the Game Works

To prepare for our name game, we wrote each child’s name in large letters on a piece of sturdy cardboard.  We wanted our name boards to be sturdy so that they could be used again for other games or activities.  The goal of our game was to promote name recognition by building on fun experiences.  To begin our game, Deborah held up each name board and let the children call out the names as she distributed the boards to each individual child…

The children took their name boards and pointed to their letters, attempting to spell their names.  Our older children know all of the letters in their names, while our younger ones are still working on theirs…

Our name game was fashioned after “Simon says.”  Deborah played Simon and called out directions like, “Simon says stand on your name!”

Or “Simon says hold your name above your head!”

Why We Love the “Name Game”

The children loved this new game!  Games like this are a great way to get some large motor exercise while indoors on a cold or rainy day.  And we really just scratched the surface with the name game.

Other Ways to Use Name Boards

There are so many other ways to use our name boards.

For example…

Students call the shots:  The teacher can hold all the name boards and turn one over.  Whoever’s name is revealed gets to pick an action for the whole class to do like, “Cohan says touch your toes.”

Name relay:  Line up all the names on a wall in a gymnasium or area with a large space to move.  Have the children stand on a line and listen for their name to be called.  When their name is called, they run and touch or pick up their name board.

Friendship swap:  Give each child the name board of one of their classmates, then instruct the children to go find their own name and swap it from their friends.

Practice letter sounds:  We use the Amazing Action Alphabet for learning our letters and sounds.  Each letter sound is associated with an animal action.  Each child holds their name board while the teacher holds up letter cards.  The teacher then says, “If your name has an S in it, slither like a snake.”

Can you think of any other fun ways to use our name boards?  Share them in the comments section below!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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