Name Recognition Playdough Mats

Name Recognition with Playdough Imprints

Every item on this page was chosen by a 123 Homeschool 4 Me editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. We cannot be held liable for personal use of our crafts, recipes, educational materials, or anything else. Please use common sense when following directions or using educational material.

A child will naturally be interested in recognizing, and later writing, his/her name. You can make the process of name recognition interesting and fun with playdough imprints!  This is a great preschool name activity for Toddler, Preschool, Prek, and Kindergarten age children.Name Recognition with Playdough Imprints - this is such a fun way for kids to practice making their name with a fun, hands-on activity for toddler, preschool, and kindergarten age kids #namerecognition #preschool #kindergarten

We used foam letters here, but one can use any type of letters like magnetic ones or stamps.

There is much controversy around exposing your young child to upper case or lower case letters first. As a former preschool teacher, I have seen that children recognize upper case letters quicker because they see it in the beginning of the names of their class mates and make the connection phonetically.

For example, my daughter(5) will see a letter K, and tell me that is a K for Kaleb (beginning sound, phonetically spoken).

Children will soon enough be exposed to upper and lower case, so if you are unsure, perhaps go with whatever case your child is interested in first and stay with that case until a later age to avoid confusion.

Name Recognition

playdough activity for preschool

Now, for this activity you need playdough (we make our own microwave playdough) and letters of some sort:

letter recognition activiites for toddler preschool kindergarten

At first, I made the imprints of their names and let them trace it with their fingers. This is a great tactile experience too: feeling the grooves of the imprint while tracing it with your writing finger.

name recognition activity for toddler preschool kindergarten

Preschool Name Activities

After that, they had to find the place for the letters, thus matching the letter imprint to the right foam letter. Leave the letters in the right order for younger kids, but mix up the letters for older children. This calls for visual discrimination skills. While doing this, one can stress each letter: sounding it out phonetically, so that the auditory and visual senses are making the connection.

toothpick letter recognition activity

Name Activities for Kindergarten

After this part, one could let them trace the name with a toothpick. Taking care where to start tracing, you could make a little hole first on the right spot as a starting point. After that, let them try and write their names with the toothpick by copying:

teach preschool and kindergarten kids how to spell their name

Lastly, let your child print their names by themselves using the playdough and letters. This is the perfect opportunity to bring the concept of letters-in-a-row-make-a-word to life and work on spatial orientation too!

Name Activities for Kids

This name recognition activity with playdough imprints will be fun from toddler-aged to school-aged children. Extend this activity for school-aged children to practice sight words too!

Playdough Printables

About the author


Nadia is South African mom to two littlies, a former preschool teacher and currently working as a reading therapist at a remedial school. She blogs over at about easy and playful activities inspiring you to be your child's first teacher.

Leave a Comment