Fun Name Activities Back-To-School Tip #19


It's All In A Name... 

Part of the excitement of the first day of school for teachers, as well as the children, is meeting all of the new students!  I try to make learning everyone’s name fun.  So I do several activities that involve names.  There are several report card standards that the Y5’s have that revolve around their name: being able to recognize it as well as write it, so they’re not only learning each other’s names, they are practicing standards. Woo-hoo for a first day win-win!


ideas for back to school, ideas for the first day of school, ideas for learning namesTable Top:

  • To help my little ones recognize & write their name, I have name cards on the tables for them to copy. 
  • I also have a “table top” skill sheet each day involving “finding” their name on something. 

  • I just designed this new balloon heart.
  • Simply fill in your students’ names to make one. 
  • Click on the link to view/print a copy.  Heart-Balloon Name Pattern page


ideas for back to school, ideas for the first day of school, ideas for learning namesGather ‘Round:

Have students sit in a circle.

Decide on a fun “movement pattern” like clap twice, pat knees twice.

For older students you can add snap fingers twice too.

Say the following after the movement:
_______________(child's name) ______________ (child's name)
How do you do?
Who's that sitting next to you?
Child says name of person sitting beside them.

Count  to 3 slowly and if they don’t know then that child says their name.


apple name, apple art, ideas for learning names, ideas for the first day of school, ideas for back to school, Artistic Treat:

  • Apples are a big theme for us in September, so I just designed “You’re a smartie!” WELCOME apples.
  • Run off my master on red construction paper.
  • Make a template for the leaves and stems.

  • Run the worms off on green construction paper.
  • Cut everything out.
  • Glue a Popsicle stick to the back of the worm.

  • Write your students’ names with a black marker.
  • Using an Exacto-knife, cut a slit in the top of the apple.
  • Tape a pack of Smartie candies around the stick worm.

  • Insert the worm in the slit in such a way so that the candy slides over the top of the apple, while the stick goes behind.
  • Sprinkle them on the floor around the room and have them find them.
  • To make it harder for older students,  make puzzles out of the apples.

  • After you finish making them, cut them in zig zag diagonals so that part of their name is missing.  They will have a top-left, and a bottom-right apple piece.
  • As with any candy treat that I give my students, I preface it with: “This is for you to take home.”
  • To ease the disappointment a bit, I’ll have one Smartie candy as a reward for everyone when they find their apple.
  • Click on the link to view/print the patterns. Smartie Name Apple


word finds for back to school, ideas for back to school, ideas for the first day of school, apple ideas, ideas for learning names, apple art project, treat for the first day of schoolWord Find:

  • I make word finds all through the year of our word wall words and special vocab words each month.
  • This increases all sorts of skills and helps reinforce recognition of whatever words we are working on.
  • Making a word find of your students' names is especially fun for them, and is something that can keep them occupied while you do that endless list of administrative chores that has to get done on the first day.


ideas for back to school, ideas for the first day of school, apple art, treat for the first day of school, ideas for learning names, Pattern Please:

This is also a fun and easy “busy activity” while you’re doing those crazy little “have-to-get-done’s”, or assessing to see where children are at.

  • Children write the letters of their name in the boxes and color the vowels their favorite color and the rest their second favorite color.
  • A pattern emerges.
  • When they are done they pick a partner.

  • (You can use one of my many fun partner ideas from 2 previous articles)
  • Students compare their interesting art.

  • Collect and put up on the wall for a quick and pretty first-day hallway display!
  • Click on the link to view/print the name pattern page.

I hope you got some name ideas to use for back-to-school.

Do you have a name tip that you’d like to share?

I’d enjoy hearing from you!

Login to post comments