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Free Worksheets for Name Writing Practice

Updated on May 26, 2014

Children love knowing how to write their names

For a young child, learning to write his or her name is an important skill and a major milestone. It means your child can identify his or her ownership of his creations, from a completed craft project to a favorite t-shirt.

Your child will use this skill to label every worksheet he completes, any painting he ever creates, and any card he ever signs. Unfortunately, an online search for worksheets to help your child master this important skill produces hundreds of results, many of which are not useful or productive. Many do not show the proper way for a young child to form the letters in his name. This page is a compilation of the best free worksheets I have found on the internet to help a young child learn how to write his name.

(Main image courtesy of Flickr:radioflyer007 under the Creative Commons license)

Letter Tracing Worksheets

letter tracing worksheets
letter tracing worksheets

The first step in helping your child learn to write his name is to teach your child the proper formation of the letters in his name. Learning the correct way to form letters at the start will help your child avoid needing to unlearn mistakes later.

Although names are typically written with the first letter in uppercase and all subsequent letters in lowercase, this is not the easiest way for your young child to learn to write his name. As a general rule, the uppercase letters are much easier for small hands to form, since all uppercase letters are the same height and typically lack many of the small curves and twists that lowercase letters have. Plus, once your child has mastered writing his name in all uppercase letters, he will be poised to quickly learn the proper formation of the lowercase letters.

Letter writing skills are honed only through practice, practice and more practice. The key is to make sure that when your child is practicing, he is practicing writing letters CORRECTLY. Inexplicably, many "letter tracing worksheets" do not show children the proper way to write each letter. For example, writing involves a left-to-right motion across the page. So when writing an uppercase T for example, the cross on top of the T should be made from left to right and not from right to left as many children do.

Start with some great letter tracing worksheets, one for each uppercase and lowercase letter. Each worksheet includes 4 rows of tracing lines. The first row shows the step-by-step creation of each letter, including arrows to make sure your child understands the proper formation. The second and third rows have dashed-lined letters that your child can trace over. The fourth row has the lines on which your child should write the letter, but does not have the dashed-line version of the letter. This allows your child the opportunity to try writing the letter on his own. Considering printing out two or three uppercase worksheets for each of the letters in your child's name so that he or she will have plenty of opportunity to practice.

Create Personalized Letter Tracing Sheets

customizable letter tracing sheet
customizable letter tracing sheet

Once your child is familiar with the proper formation of each letter in his or her name, it's time to introduce your child to writing his or her entire name, from the first letter to the last letter.

Although your child does not need to be able to spell, it is helpful if he or she can memorize the names of the letters in his or her name, in order. This way, as your child is writing, he or she can say aloud (or to himself or herself) the name of the letter that comes next as a reminder of what letter to write. You can teach your child how to spell his or her name simply by repeating it often. For example, set the letters of your child's name to a familiar song and instead of singing "E-I-E-I-O" at the end of "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" sing "B-R-I-A-N" using the same tune. Or for a seven-letter name such as Heather, consider singing the letters "H-E-A-T-H-E-R" to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." With just a little exposure, your child will quickly catch on and be able to repeat the proper spelling of his or her name.

Once your child can spell his or her name, he or she is ready to start writing it. Customizable tracing sheets are perfect for this purpose, as you can type in your child's name and the program generates a printable worksheet for you. Check out www.softschools.com for some nice customizable sheets.

It's Time to Write

The last step in teaching your child how to properly write his name is to have him write it freehand, without dashed lines as a guide. If your child seems to be struggling with placing the letters on a line, give him a blank piece of paper. Practicing the proper letter formation is the important thing here. As his control improves he can try writing his name on a solid bottom line or between two lines.

Remind your child to begin on the left side of the paper so that he or she will have room to write all the letters in their name on a single line. (Sometimes putting a little star on the left side of the page and calling it the "Starting Star" can be an easy reminder.) Also, verbally coach your child as he writes, reminding him of a few key points:

1) To make all letters the same height;

2) To put the same amount of blank space between one letter and the next; and

3) To make sure all letters touch the bottom line (or an imaginary bottom line if writing on blank paper) so they stay straight.

Also invest in some quality writing tablets that are wide-ruled so your child will have ample space to write each letter. Plus, they should contain both a solid upper line and a solid lower line (between which your child should write all letters) and a dashed center line to help your child learn the height of many lowercase letters and the midpoint for letters such as B , P, An d E, which all have part of the letter written along that middle dashed line.

You are your child's first and most important teacher!

kindergarten readiness test
kindergarten readiness test

Evaluate Your Child's Fine Motor Skills

Before children can successful write letters, they need well developed fine motors skills and be able to complete simple tasks like using an eye dropper. If your child struggles to learn how to properly write some of the letters, it may be a good idea to complete a basic kindergarten readiness test that includes questions relating to fine motor skills. The fine motor section of a kindergarten readiness test will go over a variety of fine motor skills your child should likely be able to complete by the time he or she starts kindergarten and will give you a nice sense of your child's existing skill set.

The results of an online assessment will help you evaluate your child's existing fine motor skills and give you ideas for how to help your child improve his fine motor control, which will aid him in learning to write the letters.

If your child's fine motor skills are not yet fully developed, consider working with your child on some kindergarten worksheets that focus on tracing lines, shapes and curves. Once your child can successfully trace these lines and shapes, he will be ready to write more complicated figures like letters.

tracing worksheets
tracing worksheets

Writing letters is challenging -- the series of hooks, curves, lines, loops and crosses can be difficult for small hands to make. And even with letter tracing worksheets, your child still needs to be able to stay on the line to properly trace each letter.

If your child struggles to complete the letter tracing worksheets, try taking a step back and introducing tracing worksheets from the School Sparks website. Each worksheet features a single line for your child to trace over, progressing in difficulty from short, straight lines all the way to long, loopy curves.

An Important Resource for Parents

The "Claw" pencil grip is a must-have resource for all homeschoolers, and any parents of a young child. It helps children grip the pencil correctly but is not bulky.

The Pencil Grip Writing CLAW for Pencils and Utensils, Medium Size, 6 Count Blue/Red (TPG-21206)
The Pencil Grip Writing CLAW for Pencils and Utensils, Medium Size, 6 Count Blue/Red (TPG-21206)

For children to successfully learn to write their name, they need to have the proper pincer grip (also called a pencil grip). Letters have many curves, loops, twists and sharp angles and your child will not be able to draw these complex formations with an improper pencil grip. Unlike many other pencil grips on the market today, the "Claw" slips onto a pencil and has three small, soft cups into which your child will place his or her thumb, index finder and middle finger. The soft cups help to ensure that your child's fingers remain in the correct position. With a little practice, your child will become accustomed to putting his or her fingers in the correct position and you can discontinue using the "Claw."

 

Wonderful free resources for parents and teachers

Check out these great Kindergarten worksheets:

Tracing worksheets

Following directions worksheets

Color words worksheets

Shapes worksheets

Compare and contrast worksheets

Days of the week worksheets

And enjoy these wonderful Reading skills worksheets:

Dolch sight words

Sight word games

Word family worksheets

Rhyming worksheets

And check out these kindergarten math worksheets:

100s Chart

Counting worksheets

Pattern worksheets

Skip counting worksheets

Bar graph worksheets

Pictograph worksheets

Tracing numbers worksheets

Ordinal numbers worksheets

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this page as well as any suggestions you have for helping young children learn to properly write the letters and their name.

Thanks for reading!

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    • Stenila profile image

      Stenila 3 years ago

      LOVE this lens!! I miss the tracing worksheets mom used to give me :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @TeacherRenee: i like your hair were do you get it at telll me all be on herer

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 5 years ago

      @MintySea: Yes, those customizable sheets are great!

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for the comment - I love free worksheets! Don't we all??? :)

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 5 years ago

      @Spiderlily321: Thank you, Atreyus' mommy!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Great lens! I added you to my list of featured lenses on my lens called, "Written by a 3 yr old." Thanks for sharing!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Great lens! I added you to my list of featured lenses on my lens called, "Written by a 3 yr old." Thanks for sharing!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      An excellent selection of free worksheets...they sure brought back memories!

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 5 years ago

      @teacherearl: Thanks, Teacher Earl!

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 5 years ago

      @MintySea: I am so glad my resources were helpful to you!

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      MintySea 6 years ago

      This the best lens I found on handwring

      I needed that make your own sheets

      I want to add stickers of cartoons she likes

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      teacherearl 6 years ago

      nice lens.

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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @dellgirl: Thank you so much for visiting. I'm glad you found the information helpful!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have a very wonderful lens. I love your ideas on education.

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      dellgirl 6 years ago

      Awesome lens, thereâs lots of valuable information. Very helpful. Thank you for sharing this.

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @chicagoheather: Thanks!

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for your comment. I love hearing that others are enjoying my lenses!

    • chicagoheather profile image

      chicagoheather 6 years ago

      I love the tracing sheets you link to here -- the way the letters sit perfectly on the lines is great!

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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @donnetted: Yeah, I love repeat visitors! Thanks for coming by -- again! :)

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      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      I just HAD to revisit this page... I love the resources, and clearly you put so much effort into the creation of your lenses... THANK YOU!

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @JoyfulPamela2: This site has customizable cursive, so I hope this helps! http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/flash/cursive... (I will add another module to this lens soon on cursive and I'll add the link there, too!)

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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @aliciamaggie54: Thanks for stopping by! I am thrilled to hear you enjoyed my list of resources.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thank you for sharing the wonderful resources! Question for you - my son will be 4th grade this fall. I saw that Soft Schools has cursive writing worksheets, but I was wondering if you know of a cursive writing generator so I could personalize his writing for him?

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      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      Hello Renee, superb lenses, thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge.. I have liked and shared this resource :)

    • aliciamaggie54 profile image

      aliciamaggie54 6 years ago

      A child writing his or her name is one of the first school activities that they learn. Thank you for these resources.

    • aliciamaggie54 profile image

      aliciamaggie54 6 years ago

      A child writing his or her name is one of the first school activities that they learn. Thank you for these resources.

    • TeacherRenee profile image
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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @chicagoheather: Thanks so much for stopping by!

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      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      @JackNimble: Thanks so much for the encouragement! I'm new to squidoo and love hearing that my lenses are helpful to others.

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 6 years ago

      Awesome! Thanks for the link to the free printable customized tracing sheets. Love it for my kids!

    • chicagoheather profile image

      chicagoheather 6 years ago

      Great lens! Nice list of printable resources.