This sunflower name spelling mat is a fun and simple activity for teaching kids to spell their names. For young learners, who are just venturing into the world of letters, writing is still a very difficult task. This completely customizable name spelling mat provides kids with an easy alternative to spelling practice.
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This activity is actually inspired by my cousin’s amazing book Lilla’s Sunflowers. In this book, Colleen Rowan Kosinski tells the heartwarming story of a military family, separated by deployment, and the growing sunflowers that offer a small beacon of hope in the distance. The book also incorporates an amazing lesson that small acts of kindness can touch many lives.
Kosinski also illustrates the book, and let me tell you folks, these drawings are AMAZING! Although this book will hold a special place in the hearts of military families, you absolutely do not have to be a military family to enjoy the kind spirit of this book. I hope you decide to give it a read!
Sunflower Name Spelling Mats
- printable sunflower mat
- thick black permanent marker
After printing the mats, cut out all of the individual sunflower seeds. Write 1 letter, from the child’s name, on each seed, until you have spelled the entire name. For an added level of difficulty, use 1 or 2 extra seeds to create a distractor, by writing a letter that is not in the child’s name.
After you have written all of the letters, mix them up and place them in a pile face up in the center of the sunflower. The child will draw letters from this pile, 1 at a time, to assemble their name. It is totally fine if they want to sort through the pile to find each letter in order of appearance.
For a little added help, you can mark spaces on an additional sheet of paper. This will provide a visual cue for the child, so they will know when they are finished choosing letters. Hopefully, by the time the spaced are all filled, the name is spelled correctly.
When your child is just beginning to learn this skill, You may want to provide a written model she can copy. Once she has completed the task a couple of times you can remove the model.
After removing the model, it is important to let the child make mistakes, instead of jumping in and correcting them right away. This helps to build their confidence so that they can complete the task on there own. This means, you will allow your child to spell the whole name before asking her if she sees any mistakes and helping her find and correct them, if needed.