Letter recognition games are some of our favorites, especially ones that lead to name recognition. When we teach preschoolers and young children to write their names, recognizing the letters is the first step! Teaching preschool literacy skills with movement is even better because we know that children learn best through hands-on play!
Letter Recognition Game
This letter recognition game takes place outside, which is one of my absolute favorite places to teach young children. Practicing letters while playing with water and throwing balls is sure to be a hit! Plus, working on hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, and letter recognition is an added bonus!
How to Play Name Splash
The supplies are simple for this game.
- Splash water balls or DIY sponge balls
- Bucket filled with water
Grab a few sets of splash water balls from the dollar store or make your own sponge balls. .
- Write the letters in your child’s name with chalk in a circle, leaving a space in the middle for the child and bucket to be placed. Add a few sets of the letters so that your child has some options. Feel free to add uppercase and lowercase letters to help them identify the different sets. For children with b,d, p, or q in their name, it is easiest for them to identify uppercase letters first.
- Fill a bucket with water and place it in the blank space. Then, add the balls to the bucket and give them a squeeze so that they fill up with water
- Have your child stand in the middle of the letters. Each time you say a letter, have the child spin around to find the letter, and throw a splash ball at it! Pick another letter and do it again!
For children who know the letters in their names, mix up the letters and write them out of order. Instead of naming a letter and having your child find it, have your child splash the letters in the correct order as quickly as possible!
For children still struggling with letter recognition, write the letters in order in a straight line. Making up a tune or rhythm while saying the letters will help your child remember the order of the letters in his name. Splashing the balls at the letters while saying them will help with beginning recognition and build confidence!
I played this game with my preschooler at home. We started with her name, and then started playing with the names of her friends too! After we filled up the driveway, she moved the game to our back patio and made up her own version. Simple, low prep learning activities are our favorite for reasons like this! The fun doesn’t have to end!
The Name Splash game can be played at home or on the sidewalk at preschool. It’s the kind of game that can be adapted to fit any situation and still be lots of fun! And if you’re feeling adventurous, fill water balloons to use in place of the splash balls!