As a busy mom of two young children, I know the value of simple activities that are quick to set up and keep children engaged. Even better is when an activity helps reinforce an academic skill like letter recognition. My daughter Dessa is now three years old and technically “preschool” age (even though she’s still at home with me full time), but dot markers will always be one of our tried-and-true art supplies for sparking her creativity and imagination, even for a task that’s as simple as tracing her name with marker dots. I actually took these photos of Dessa using dot markers to trace the letters of her name last spring and just recently rediscovered them on my computer. Fortunately, the activity is timeless and it’s never too late to share an engaging activity for young learners.
This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog.
The setup for this dot marker name tracing is truly as simple as it looks and only takes about 60 seconds. I grabbed a set of Crayola markers, our all-time favorite Do-A-Dot Markers (I store mine in a container like this for easy organization on our craft shelf), and a sheet of paper. A standard sheet of 8.5×11″ paper would work in a pinch for short names, but if your child’s name has a lot of letters, I recommend having some legal-size paper on hand, which is what I used with Dessa on this day. (Making a banner of extra big letters with a white paper roll would be a fun twist on this project too!)
Name Tracing Activity Set-Up
Grab your traditional markers and write your child’s name in large letters across the paper, using a different color for each letter. Then give your child the coordinating colors of dot markers so that he/she can match the colors and trace the letters with dots.
There are so many great skills to love about this simple activity. Of course, it helps to develop letter and name recognition, but I love doing dot marker names because it offers an experience to learn more about letters without putting pressure or making it “feel” like a learning activity. This is also a great way to help your child begin to build concentration.
Don’t you love when a simple little activity packs such a great big punch for little learners?
Dessa has a lot of determination to cover every single inch of the letters I write. Don’t worry if your toddler doesn’t have the same degree of enthusiasm for completely covering the letters. It’s a valuable learning experience, no matter how the finished name turns out.
Dessa cracks me up with her great big imagination. It’s impossible for her to use dot markers without pretending that the markers are “friends” and carrying on imaginary conversations with them. This 10-minute activity took about 30 minutes for her to complete because she stopped to play in the middle, which was fine by me. An active imagination is a healthy thing and her detour gave me more time to sit back and relax before we moved on with our day.
Once she finished playing with the “friends”, it was back to work, until at last her name was complete.
I’m telling you, this simple activity is a perfect way to keep your toddler or preschooler busy and is a colorful, fun way to work on name recognition. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!