Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Name Train Preschool Matching Activity

Calling all train lovers! This name matching activity is for you!

Name activities are our favorite way to begin introducing alphabet letters to kids. They are interactive and let kids explore the letters of their name in playful ways.

Learning activities for kids don't need to be complicated or hard to set up. This name train matching activity was pulled together in just a few minutes!

This simple name train is the perfect activity! Kids can learn and move at the same time.

You may look at this activity and feel like it seems familiar. That's because it is! Toddlers love repetition, so we like to take an activity that we know they already like... HUNTING... and pair it with a new skill (matching letters). 

This activity is important for two reasons. 

1. It helps kids begin to notice differences in letters and work on visual discrimination (ability to recognize details in visual images).

2. It helps kids exercise their minds (and bodies) while practicing problem solving skills.

This activity also introduces kids to the letters in their name and helps them connect with those letters and try and make meaning from them.

How to Set Up a Name Train

Materials needed:

  • colored cardstock
  • painters tape
  • Sharpie
  • post-it notes
  • scissors


1. Cut out a train engine from black paper. I just eyeballed it, but you could print out a picture and trace the train engine image as well.

2. Write the letters of your child's name on different colored pieces of cardstock. Put either one or two letters on each piece of paper.

3. Tape the train engine and train cars to the wall or table.

4. Draw circles on your Post-it notes. Write the letters of the child's name on each wheel post-it note. You want to have a post-it to match each train car letter.

5. Hide the post-its around the house in semi-visible locations.

6. Send your child off to find the post-it wheels and come back and match them to the train. 

7. Hide the post-its again and REPEAT!

RELATED: Want to try another hunt? This stuffed animal hunt activity was super popular!

My kids were having so much fun with this (including my big kids), that we were late for one on their class meetings! Oops!

Kids gravitate to activities that include their names, so definitely make sure to incorporate names when you are introducing kids to alphabet letters!

If your kids love this, they might enjoy trying our Alphabet Train Matching Activity.

Do you have any other favorite ways to introduce kids to alphabet letters and their names? Tell us in the comments!

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