Day 20: Main Activity –Name Practice in the Morning Circle with the Child with Special Needs

Day 20 Main Activity –Name Practice in the Morning Circle with the Child with Special NeedsThis is a post out of the “31 Days of Morning Circles for the Child with Special Needs”.  You can find the main page for this series here.

Note: If you’re reading this series for the first time, I suggest you look at the daily structure post to understand the routine we follow in our morning circle.

Even though your child may not be ready for the alphabet or words, every child has a name, and it should be celebrated and noted often throughout the day. The morning circle is a good time to include activities that help your child visually see his name, hear it and manipulate it. It’s also a great literacy activity that teaches words from whole to part.

Name practice activity in the morning circle:

Using different textures and colors, write your child’s name on card stock and glue the textures to represent the letters. I like to use the same color for the same letter, but it’s not necessary (ex: all letter “A”s are red, all letter “B”s are green, etc.). You can do that if your child is just beginning to work with letters for the first time. But, if you are working on letter recognition later on, mixing up the colors really lets you know if your child is able to identify letters for their shape, and not color.

 

name practice finger tracing card with pipe cleaners

Using pipe cleaners glued to card stock, a child can finger-trace his name. I start by using all uppercase letters because the lines are straight. Eventually, I use lowercase for all letters except for the first. This card is prepared ahead of time. Remember that the morning circle isn’t the time to engage in complicated (and messy) art activities. It should always be short and sweet so your child doesn’t lose interest in the circle. (Note: This is not my son’s name. I made this card as a sample.)

Singing songs with your child’s name reinforces the recognition of his name. Sing this song below while your child looks in a mirror.

Name Song (to the tune of “Brother John”)

I am special.
I am special.
Yes, I am.
Yes, I am.
Someone very special,
Someone very special,
I am _____________ (name)
I am _____________ (name)

Variations to name practice in the morning circle:

  • use different textures: sand paper, fabric (corduroy, felt, silk, etc.), beads (if safe for your child), cereal, dried pasta, salt or sugar, colored sprinkle glue, pom-poms, magnetic letters, foam letters, etc. glued to card stock
  • on a regular paper with your child’s name, use Bingo dots to trace the letters
  • salt or sugar in a pan, write the letters with a finger
  • use ASL signs for each letter of the name, then practice your child’s name sign if he already has one
  • use AAC equipment to touch and say the letters of the name, as well as the full name

How can you practice your child’s name in the morning circle?

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