Professional Development

August 24, 2019

5 of the Best FREE Name Activities Kinder Kids Need

Kindergarten teachers know that the beginning of the year brings in a variety of students with different skill levels. Some know their letters and sounds, some can read, and some can barely identify the letters in their own names. One thing all of these students can benefit from is practicing name activities.

Why Should Students Do Name Activities?

Name activities in kindergarten have so many benefits and give you opportunities to teach other things with them.

  1. Name activities lend themselves to building classroom community as students learn their new friends’ names, especially if you use pictures with the names.
  2. You can squeeze in extra things like word work, phonics, and even math while students do these activities.
  3. It gives students hands-on practice with letters and words in an engaging way.

This FREE PRINTABLE has five name activities that are perfect for the kindergarten classroom. After introducing each one, you can use it during:

  • literacy stations
  • morning work
  • intervention time
  • word work

First, download the free printable. Next, write students’ names on index cards or sentence strips. If you can, add a photo of each student. Finally, place the task cards and name cards in a pocket chart. If you don’t have a spare pocket chart, they can do these activities on the floor or a table. Easy and done!

1. Boys and Girls Name Sort

Have students practice sorting pictures, names, or names with pictures into boys or girls. For non-reading students, you can have them start by sorting just the pictures. Then, they can move to sorting names with pictures. Finally, they can sort the names and match the pictures.

2. How Many Vowels?

Looking for name activities for more advanced kindergarteners or to help you introduce vowels? This one is perfect for introducing vowels in kindergarten or reviewing vowels in first grade. Just have students sort names by how many vowels each one has. You can also let them match pictures to the names at the end (they always love this part!).

3. Has or Does Not Have Activity

I love this name activity for kindergarteners to practice identifying alphabet letters. Place the “Does have the letter” card on one side of a pocket chart and the “Does not have the letter” on the other side. Then, choose the target letters you’d like students to practice. Finally, students sort the name cards.

4. Count the Letters

Counting letters in a name also helps students practice one-to-one tracking, an important skill in reading. While is one of the name activities that supports all kindergarten readers, it especially can be helpful when working with non-readers. After setting up the number of letters cards, just have students sort names by the number of letters.

5. How Many Syllables?

After you have introduced and taught syllables, use this activity to let students have hands-on practice. Just print the syllable sorting cards and let students sort names by the number of syllables. I liked to have students count syllables three different times using any of these ways:

  • Clap the syllables
  • Snap the syllables
  • Pat the syllables
  • Hum the syllables
  • Chin count (Say the word. Put your hand under your chin. Count how many times your chin hits your hand).

Grab your FREE printable with all five of these name activities now. The download has:

  • Teacher directions
  • All printables needed for each activity
  • 5 *bonus* name activity ideas

5 Must Have Name Activities

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    If you want more hands-on activities to help boost your students, check these out in my shop.  They are all perfect for morning work, literacy stations, reading small groups, and intervention time. 

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    Happy Teaching,



    Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

    Hi, I'm Amanda

    I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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    24 Responses

    1. I would love to get your name activities. They are just what I’ve been looking for. I’ve put my email in twice over the last two days and haven’t gotten them sent to me yet. Is there another way to get them. Thank you!

    2. Hello Amanda,
      I am teaching prep this year and your site will be very useful. I tried to download the name activities for our first day of school however I never received the down load at my email address. Would you be able to please send them through to me? Thank you

    3. I was trying to download your free name activities but I can not find where to download them.

      1. Hi Diane! They have been linked above in the blog post. Simply enter your email address and they will be delivered right away. 🙂

    4. Hi Amanda,
      The link where you put your name only gives the guided reading resources. Where can I get the name resources?

      1. Hi Nancy! It looks like you are already on my email list so it is hiding the form from you! I’m so sorry! I have fixed it now, but I will email them to you.

      1. Kelli! I am so sorry! It looks like you may have already been on my email list so it was hidden from you! I’ll email them to you now. 🙂

    5. Hi, Amanda!
      I love these name activities and would love to have a copy. I have put my email in, but I haven’t received them yet. I’ve also looked for a link, but can’t find that either. Would you mind sending them to me?
      Thanks so much!

      1. Hi Lisaa! The link is corrected and working. It seems that many school browsers/servers are blocking the images from what others have told me. They can access them from home, but not from school. Give that a try!

      1. Hi Jenna! The link is corrected and working. It seems that many school browsers are blocking the images from what others have told me. They can access them from home, but not from school. Give that a try!

    6. I am also on your email list so I can’t download the name activities either. Can you please email them to me.
      Thanks, Michelle

      1. Hi Michelle! The link is corrected and working. It seems that many school browsers are blocking the images from what others have told me. They can access them from home, but not from school. Give that a try!

    7. Hello. I would love to get your name activities but can’t seem to find a link for them. I subscribed and confirmed my email address from the email you sent, but still am not sure where to find the name activities. Please advise. Thank you so much! Have a great school year!!

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