6 Playful Name Provocations

At the beginning of every year my teaching partner and I incorporate lots of name recognition, construction, and writing provocations to engage children. Here are some of our favourites so far this year.


This invitation to play begs for children to think about constructing names, patterning, and measurement. Some children have added dice and used their names as game pieces. They would add another letter cube to their name as they completed moving a row. Materials: snap cubes and chess board. Thanks to my teaching partner for putting this together.


We love this invitation as it allows children to take their learning in multiple directions. They can practice writing their names in the sand with a paint brush, build or trace their names with loose parts, or make self-portraits. If you put similar materials out we’re certain they will come up with new brilliant ideas. Materials: white beans with letters printed on them, wood coins with letters printed on them, rocks, gems, buttons, wood cookies with names, name cards, black sand boxes and paint brushes.

img_1781The children loved this simple activity where thy could use bingo daubers to create patterns on their names. Materials: paper, marker, bingo daubers.

img_1828Felt mats can provide simple backdrops so children’s loose parts creations can pop. This child decided to highlight the first letter of his name using loose parts. We got these sticks from the Dollarama.


This invitation is a beautiful way to explore names and symmetry. What do you see? Thanks to @anamariaralph for the inspiration!


Children have highly enjoyed seeing their names on this table inviting them to mess about with loose parts. Some children have been noticing shapes, line, familiar letters, and names of friends. Materials: cut up sticks, cubes, shells, gems, flowers, and wood cookies with names.

What playful name provocations have your early learners enjoyed lately?


7 thoughts on “6 Playful Name Provocations

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