I was reading an issue of Family Fun magazine a few weeks ago and came across a brilliant idea. I cannot take claim to this on my own, but I saw great value in it, so I am not only using it now, but sharing it with you.
Our son Patrick has mastered his first name. He knows exactly how to spell it. Clearly. He knows his middle and last names, but not how to spell them. The middle name is easy to understand and spell, so I'm not worried about him having difficulty relaying this info to anyone (like emergency personnel) if needed. However, our last name is not common and since he does not pronounce it quite right, it would be difficult for law enforcement to accurately gather this information from him in the event that he needed to give it to them.
The solution? I have taped a piece of paper on the back of the seat in my car so that he can see it every time he is in his car seat. It has our last name spelled out in large capital letters. While we are in the car, I ask his to read those letters out to me. Eventually, I'm hoping that this will get ingrained in his little head so he will have it memorized. And knowing pre-schoolers' minds, it shouldn't take long.
I plan to do the same with our phone number once he has mastered our interesting last name (yeah, you'll just have to wonder for privacy's sake).
We'll struggle more with our address since it is LONG, and he can only recognize letters and not actually read yet.
However, this worked for one mom who reported it to a great magazine. She taught their address and phone numbers to her son as well as things such as the value of coins, so it's not just limited in its application! It appears that it is starting to work for us, so I'm hoping it will work for you too!