This past week at school I made “friendship cards” with my students so they could practice the art form of writing their names legibly and in those teeny tiny spaces before we handed them out to friends and teachers. As an OT I really value children being able to write their name by themselves, legibly.
Today it’s time for Gavin and I to do his Valentine’s cards for preschool. He’s worked really hard to write his name, which at 4 1/2 he can write in uppercase letters. Then I asked how many students we needed to bring cards for. I thought maybe 10, nope 21.
Then I thought of all of the rest of those parents out there painstakingly sitting with their children writing out 20+ Valentine’s cards. Some of you have more than one kid to wrangle into the process which could translate into hours of torture. What about those kids who are struggling to learn to write their name? Asking them to do it one time at the top of their homework can lead to a table swiping tantrum, never mind 20.
Then, a moment of creative brilliance. Practice really can help children improve their skills, but let’s face it, life happens and the fun, simple things don’t always end up easy and carefree in the chaos of family life.
1. Have your child write their name, how they can using a black crayon or Sharpie marker. For young children, write their name out for them to see so they can copy it.
2. If you use crayon, trace over their markings if you need to so that the lines are darkened.
3. Scan their name from your printer into your computer as a .jpeg image.
4. Then upload the .jpeg image into a program that allows you to make individual sticky labels of their name, with whatever size you need. I used the templates provided on Avery.com and it was really easy to re-size the name within the space.
5. Print out the child’s name on labels, then let the kids peel and stick their name on every card.
Though Gavin didn’t handwrite his name on every Valentine card, he worked really hard to write it well a few times, which is all I can honestly expect from a 4 year old. I was less stressed, he was happily independent to do it on his own and what kid doesn’t love stickers?
The template for these free Valentine’s Day Cards that Gavin is holding in the picture above was downloaded on Teachers Pay Teachers and created by Bonnie Kathryn. You can find the link here.