Name Recognition Salt Painting


SALT PAINTING NAME RECOGNITION DIY promotes fine motor control, develops concentration, and helps preschoolers and kindergartners spell their own names.

Please stop googling ‘kindergarten readiness’ and grab some salt! With this easy-to-make Name Recognition salt painting activity, your preschooler will learn to spell his/her name through fun learning by doing practice!

Did you know the recent adaptation of the common core state standards expects your kindergartner to know his\her first name? Moreover, your five-year-old might be asked to write his/her own name! Granted, children WILL learn to write and read when their brain is neurologically ready, just like they learned to walk and speak! However, preparing your preschooler with fun and engaging invitations to learn will definitely take the pressure off to be ready on time!!

What You’ll Need for Name Recognition Salt Painting

Here is the list of materials you will need for the salt painting name recognition activity:

  1. cardboard or heavy cardstock (regular paper will get too wet)
  2. white liquid glue (I used this glue – less expensive HERE)
  3. salt (any salt will work)
  4. small glasses filled with water
  5. food coloring
  6. droppers

⠀Video Tutorial


Name Recognition Salt Painting Activity

Below are the instructions for an adult:

First, write your child’s name. Second, apply a thin layer of glue over the letters. Then, sprinkle salt generously over the glue. (Tapping salt with a finger will assure that the glue gets saturated with salt. The more salt sticks to glue, the better the salt will absorb the color.)

Below are the instructions for the child:

Offer droppers to a child to squirt water over the salt while following the letters of the child’s name.

Skills At Play

✔️hand-eye coordination
✔️fine motor control
✔️letter and name recognition


AGE 2.5 YR +

You can try this activity with children aged two and a half. Please note, a child is NOT writing his/her own name, which can happen anytime after their third birthday. (Children generally learn to write before they learn to read.) This exercise is a PRE-CURSER to writing, and here, a child is mastering fine motor control and hand-eye coordination while seeing his/her own name written out. Moreover, precision at a young age is not required! The more the little hands practice seeing the letters and the formation which make up their name, following the letter shape, the more their brain will encode (put to memory) how their name is written.


I was able to document the first time Adrian ever wrote anything! And it was his name! (You would think ‘MAMA’ is easier! Lol) This was spontaneous and unexpected, and I am glad I was near to witness it. Adrian was three years and two months. He took a pencil and a piece of paper and wrote his name! I did not think he could! But he did! And he wrote! We did NOT practice WRITING his name, but we DID practice name recognition activities, as I share in this post.

What the hand does, the mind remembers.

Dr. Montessori

Tips While Salt Painting

Do not use too much glue or glue that is too liquid! (Cheaper glues tend to be watery, resulting in NOT much salt being stuck to it.)

Do not oversaturate the salt with watercolor! You want to put just enough water for the salt to absorb it. If you pour too much water over the salt, even the cardboard will get soggy.

OPTIONAL: let the glue dry before squirting water. However, in the video tutorial, since I tapped the salt and compressed it into the glue, I did not have to wait until everything dries out.

Pre-Writing Practice

Remember, before putting a pen in your child’s hand, make sure that they have had enough fine motor control and hand strength by offering plenty of opportunities to practice: using droppers, finger-painting, squeezing tongs, exploring play dough, pinching pegs, threading pony beads, cutting with scissors and so forth!

Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.

Martha Graham

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For more Name-Recognition Activities, see …



Did you know that finger painting is a fantastic way to strengthen small muscles of the hand and develop pre-writing skills?!

You’ll Need:

  1. cardboard or heavy cardstock
  2. colorful markers to trace letters of a child’s name with
  3. paints

INSTRUCTIONS: PARENT: Write a child’s name and offer to finger-paint the letters. CHILD: Suggest dotting letters starting from LEFT to RIGHT.

AGE 2.5 YR +

Learning Left-to-right Progression

Your little one is learning left-to-right progression, which is a very valuable skill that sometimes goes unnoticed since it is so natural to us adults. However, it is not intuitive to little people and a lot has to happen in their brains to move objects with their hands, as well as eyes from left to right. We want to practice this skill because this is how we read and write.


You can also try this activity by finger painting pre-writing strokes and lines!

See a detailed post HERE.

✔️letter and name recognition
✔️ letter formation
✔️hand-eye coordination
✔️fine motor control
✔️color recognition & matching



Here is another FUN nature-inspired way to practice NAME RECOGNITION. P.S. You can also do similar tracing with numbers, shapes, etc.

YOU will NEED:

  1. cardboard or heavy cardstock
  2. marker
  3. loose items (we are using nature’s finds)

AGE 2.5 YR +


PARENT: Write a child’s name on cardboard (you can use plain paper too).

CHILD: Offer to trace each letter with nature finds following LEFT TO RIGHT.


✔️hand-eye coordination
✔️ letter recognition and formation
✔️ problem-solving and spatial awareness



Here is ANOTHER quick and easy name recognition and letter formation activity you can set in no time! All you need is a marker and dot stickers. You can write your child’s name ( or any other word), indicate proper tracing directions, and offer your child dot stickers.

AGE 3 YR +

Since with this activity, you will want to emphasize the proper direction/ letter formation, I suggest starting it around the child’s third birthday or once a child has a solid understanding of letters.


✔️letter formation
✔️alphabetical order and pattern recognition
✔️hand-eye coordination
✔️color names
✔️dexterity and bilateral coordination


Name Recognition Salt Painting Kids Preschool Activity
Name Recognition Salt Painting

Which name recognition activity was your favorite? Leave a comment!

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