Do all of your child’s stuffed animals have names? If not, ask for your child’s help in naming his special stuffed friends! He can use a combination of drawing and writing to create name tags for his favorite little friends.
- two or three favorite stuffed animals
- paper or cardboard cut into small rectangles
- markers or crayons
- string or yarn
Step 1: Gather two or three of your child’s favorite stuffed animals that don’t have names. Tell your child that the animals are wondering why they don’t have names, and that they need his help.
Step 2: Ask your child to choose one animal to start with. Give him the paper or cardboard name tags and markers or crayons. Ask him to think of a name for the stuffed animal. Let him create a name tag using his level of beginning writing. He may simply draw a picture. If your child is at the beginning levels of writing, scribbling and drawing are fine. If he is starting to identify beginning sounds, you might guide him in listening for the beginning sound of the name and then writing the corresponding letter.
Step 3: Ask your child to read the name tag for you. You might punch a hole in the name tag and attach it to the stuffed animal using string or yarn. Then your child can show and read the name tag to other family members!
Step 4: Continue with other stuffed animals if your child is still interested and engaged.
Encourage your child to draw a picture about his stuffed animal. Accept and acknowledge any picture that he draws. Keep in mind that your child is learning through active exploration of drawing and writing, so encourage him to draw and write freely. If you encounter an “I can’t do it!”, invite your child to look at the animals in the context of shapes, for example, the head as a circle, the ears as triangles, the body as an oval, and rectangles for the legs. See if this approach makes him more comfortable and confident.
Ask your child to draw a picture about an adventure with the stuffed animal. Write down what he tells you about the adventure. Read the story back to your child.