Name Practice for Preschoolers with Play Dough and Cookie Cutters

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Teaching my four year old how to write his name is on my list of goals for this homeschool year. You see, while I have worked with all of my children with enrichment activities evolved around writing their name, I’ve never had to come up with my own independent name practice for preschoolers.

Our oldest two children (now 14 and 12 years old) attended day care when they were little and then went on to attend public school. So, while we did name writing practice at home, they really learned the methods and such at day care/school.

Our twins (now 7) attended Mother’s Day Out from the time they were 2 years old until we started homeschooling. Again, we did fun name writing activities at home, but the nuts of bolts of accomplishing writing their name came from their MDO teachers. I cannot take credit.

With Matthew (now 4) all the pressure is on me. I am teaching him all of his letters, the sounds they make and how to string them into words, like his name.

I am on the hunt for name practice for preschoolers that include hands on activities as he learns how to spell and write M-A-T-T-H-E-W. I am so excited to share these tutorials with you if teaching your little one to write his or her name is one of your goals too!

name practice for preschoolers with play dough and cookie cutters

You Will Need:

Matthew wanted to pick a different play dough color for each letter. This presented the perfect opportunity to review our colors.

(If you prefer, you can make your own play dough. I have an easy tutorial for making Pumpkin Pie Play Dough that is perfect for this time of year. Your kids will love playing with it, smelling it and learning with it!)

name practice for preschool

Matthew used his little rolling pin that came in a play dough tool kit that we bought when he was younger.

If you do not have one, just grab a hard plastic cup from the cupboard.

Matthew flattened out the dough.

preschoolers practice writing name

We laid out the cookie cutters in the order in which his name is spelled.

One by one he cut out the letters of his name with the play dough and the cookie cutters.

using cookie cutters to spell name

As he would cut them we would refer to our alphabet flip book and discuss the letter, the sound it makes and the name of the picture on each card.

(If you’re interested in making your own alphabet flip book, check out my super easy and inexpensive tutorial.)

using play dough to create letters of the alphabet

As we cut out the letters and discussed their sounds, we placed them in order on his place mat to spell his name.

The more he sees the letters, the more he becomes familiar with them.

use play dough to spell name

At the end he stated, in order, each letter until he spelled M-A-T-T-H-E-W. He needed some help along the way, but again, we are getting him familiar with the letters.

name practice for preschoolers

And that is it!

This is a great activity that focuses on name practice for preschoolers! I hope you will give it a try.

More Preschool Learning Resources


  1. I love this idea! I wanna try play dough for my daughter but I am afraid she will put it in her mouth. Hugs from Pink Heart String!

    1. Kareen, I would just make sure that whichever play dough I am using is toxic free. Or, you could always make your own.

  2. My son has the hardest time with writing his name. He just turned 4. It isn’t that he CAN’T its that he WON’T. This looks like a great way to help him open up about it! I hope that you would consider stopping by my family friday’s link party and share this wonderful post! I know my readers would love it! Pinning!!!!!! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop Co Host #10 | ABC Creative Learning
  4. Thank you so much for sharing this at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Your post will be one of the features at tonight’s party! See you tonight.

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