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I hear the North Pole has been pretty busy right now. So much so, that they’ve outsourced a few of their tasks to our little family (see how we helped Mrs. Clause with some elf laundry!) Today we’re helping the Man In Red himself by making part of his “Good List” right here in our dining room!
If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you’re sure to have seen my VariQuest Sticker machine make a few appearances already (“Feed the Animals” and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Costume“). It’s such a simple, handy, tool that even my toddler/preschooler can use (no really, he loves it!) We used it today to make Santa’s Good List- a super simple activity that also helps with name recognition!
I started the activity by designing the Good List using my good old Sharpies (the metallic ones are my fave!) I also wrote each person in our family’s name on a white sheet of paper. Note that I used  different colors for each name- this will help my tot first associate his name with the color it is written in (we’ll start to actually read and recognize the letters in his name as we keep this display out for the season).

Since Cannon is still working on scissor skills (see how we made a Christmas Cutting Station for him to practice), I cut out the names myself so they wouldn’t frustrate him. He then got to do the fun part of turning each of our names into stickers!
One of my favorite features of this machine is that it doesn’t take any batteries. Just put the papers through one side, turn the wheel, and watch the stickers come out the other end!

The wheel turns so easily that I barely had to help Cannon (2.5 years old) at all. The stickers we made were relatively small, but you could choose to make them as wide as 5 inches!

Cannon would turn the wheel, stop, check his progress on the other end, then keep turning until the sticker was finished. He was pretty excited to see how normal paper going in came out to be stickers on the other side! (and honestly, who wouldn’t be excited about this? I love watching the magic happen just as much as he does) 🙂
Next he carefully peeled the names off the backing and placed them on our Good List.
We talked about the names, colors, and letters he saw as he did this.
“Cannon starts with the letter ‘C’. What color is your name written in?”
Since I didn’t want the lesson to stop here, I decided to use one of our DIY art frames to hang the list in our play area under the stairs (it’s a spot we visit frequently, so it will get lots of exposure!)
Each time we pass the area, I ask Cannon a question or two about the names on the list. After having it up only a few days, we are making huge progress on recognizing names! (do you see our Elf Clothes Line and Wreath Ornament making a cameo here?) All in all, this was a worthwhile project that will last us through December (then perhaps I’ll have to replace it with a sight word list)!
How did you teach your munchkin to recognize his/her name? I’d love hearing your ideas in the comments below 🙂 And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or Pinterest for more ideas delivered straight to your daily feed!

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