A picture symbol name tag is an aid that is used to help preschool children identify their belongings. It is a useful tool that helps first time school goers become independent as they are able to find their things and eases their transition in school.
These are specifically used for preschool children who have not yet learnt how to read or are in the pre-reading stage. The children in preschool may be able to name some common pictures they see and may even recognize some letters of the alphabet but in either case the children cannot read their names and hence require additional help to recognize what belongs to them.
Children can get confused or disheartened when they have to find their books or set of colours amongst everyone else’s that have also been kept on the same table or shelf, since it looks the same it is quite possible that the child picks the wrong one. Allotting a picture symbol to the child makes things easier for them and teaches them that the symbols have some meaning.
So, let’s see what is a picture symbol?
A picture Symbol is a visual tool that helps pre-reading stage children to recognize their things with ease. The symbol images are usually placed beside the child’s name. There is a separate symbol allotted for each kid either by the teacher or the parent. The symbol images can be hand drawn, clipart, stamps, or even stickers that are placed beside the child’s name.
How to use Picture symbols effectively?
Allow your child to choose the picture symbol before school begins either from the choices given by the teacher during the Parent teacher orientation meeting or at home, this enables the child to identify with the image chosen. Picture symbols are useful for preschool kids as they are not yet able to find their written names.
Involve your child when sticking the symbol images with their names on their various belongings. This helps the child see and memorise their things in isolation when it is at home. Children tend to learn their picture symbol much faster than they do their names.
Putting a symbol picture before your child’s name is comes in handy in circumstances when the child knows just the first letter of their name and there may be another child in the class with the same beginning first letter, for e.g. Kavin and Keya, or Naitik and Naisha. Preschool children tend to be egocentric believing that everything with the same letter is theirs so the Picture symbol before their names acts as a reminder. A starfish before ‘K’ belongs to Kavin, whereas a horse before ‘K’ belongs to Keya, a cat before ‘N’ belongs to Naitik and a ‘tortoise’ before ‘N’ belongs to Naisha. Using the picture symbol as cues the children will soon identify their belongings with ease.
Advantages of using Symbol images with names
When little children begin school for the first time, the experience can be overwhelming, a new place that is much bigger than they are used to, so many people and children around, and a lot of things they need to remember.
The picture symbols with the child’s name makes things a bit easier wherein the child knows what belongs to them. The teacher uses the same picture symbols to mark the children’s seating area, the place for them to keep their things. This reduces the chaos that usually occurs during arrival and dispersal times.
With the books, files and other materials clearly marked, the children move about confidently knowing exactly what they are supposed to do, they become less dependent on the teacher and can help themselves making the transition from one activity to the next a lot smoother.
Some other ways to help our children recognize their name.
As parents it is but natural for us to worry that our children will get too used to the symbol picture system and will not be able to recognize their name later on. While this is a valid concern, this usually does not happen as the teachers slowly and gradually make the shift from the picture symbol system tool to using the child’s full name.
This happens during the course of the year, as the children gradually begin learning and identifying the letters of the alphabet, the teachers start using labels with just the child’s name on it for some of their books and things. You will soon see that your child’s worksheet that is displayed on the boards will only contain the child’s name and your child will be able to spot their sheet. However, it is better to refrain from doing this during busy transition times like arrival or dispersal time and choose a less stressful time.
Children are also given opportunities during the school day to find their files or books that only contain their name and no symbol. The books and files are displayed on the table and the children can freely take their own after completing their previous activity.
Creating Effective Picture symbols name cards for your child.
The most effective symbol picture name tags are the simple ones. Choose an image that is simple, clear and easy for the child to identify. You can make use of stamps, clipart cutouts or even draw simple images like the sun, leaves, a tree, a flower, an apple or even a cute smiley face. You can even use one that begins with your child’s name, like a tree for Trisha, or an apple for Arjun.
To make the picture symbols more meaningful to your child, get them involved in choosing the symbol they would like. Take their help to colour in or stitch the picture on the name tags. The more they identify with these name cards the easier it will be for them to find their belongings in school.
Eurokids embraces the uniqueness of all kids, the teachers are well versed in how to deal with each child and their varied learning skills. At school the children are encouraged to do things independently while the teachers are around to assist them as required. To find a centre closest, visit the centre at regular intervals and see for yourself how the children gradually become independent and confidently handle the tasks by themselves.