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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Name Cheers in Preschool

Have you ever had anything to cheer about with your preschoolers?   Each spring I like to have my Little People make Name Cheer books.   These are accordian-type books that the kids make which have a page for each letter of their name.  (I originally got this idea from a Mailbox magazine.) Once the kids make their book and practice a bit, they take turns standing up in front of the class with pompoms and leading the class in their Name Cheer, with the "audience" cheering the each letter back:

"Give me a B!"  (B!)
"Give me an O"  (O!)
"Give me a B!"  (B!) 
 "What does that spell?"  (Bob!).  They love it, and it helps everyone involved with recognizing and naming letters, not to mention helping the cheer leaders learn how to spell their own names.

However, what they love even more is using and getting to keep their own pom poms.  Last year I just borrowed a coteacher's pom poms for Name Cheers, but this year I wanted to let everyone take a pom pom home so they could do their cheer for their family.  So I decided to make some.

After searching on Pinterest I found this Pom Pom tutorial:

Source: marthastewart.com via Julie on Pinterest
I basically followed the instructions from the link above, and found the directions very easy to follow. Therefore, I will just point you to that link for the basic pom pom steps instead of trying to replicate what is already well-explained.

I will say that I seriously overestimated the amount of tissue paper that I needed for 25 pom poms.  To keep you from doing the same, I will tell you that it worked out that it took approximately one standard sheet of tissue paper for each pompom.  However, since I used more than one color on each pom pom,  I cut several different-colored sheets of tissue paper at a time and mixed up the colors as I went to make multi-colored pom poms.  Like this:

One difference that I made from the original tutorial was that I did not wrap my cut tissue paper strips around a dowel.    I made this switch largely for cost purposes, but also because the combination of Little People and dowels in my mind just makes me think of poking.  And who needs poking with the Little People?

Instead of a dowel I used toilet paper rolls.  One roll was too short of a handle, so I put two rolls together.

Fold one of the toilet paper rolls in in half lengthwise (like a hot dog).

Place the folded tube inside the non-folded one a few inches.

Then fold the unfolded one so that the folds line up with the already-folded inside tube: (I know, there are a lot of "folds" in that sentence - sorry.)

Hold them together tightly and wrap well with masking tape.  This will become your handle onto which you tape the tissue paper.

Using this as a handle, follow the instructions in the link as Martha suggests.

When I was done, I had a wonderful pile of pom poms for the Little People.

As a side note, I also made one pom pom out of my favorite new material, plastic tablecloths.

While it turned out cute, I still decided that tissue paper was the most cost-efficient choice for the large quantity I was making.

When all of our Name Cheer books were made, I put them all on our bulletin board with the available pom poms.  After the kids practiced saying the letters in their name, they got to choose the pom pom that they wanted and used it to lead their Name Cheer in front of the class.  Then they got to take the book and pom pom home and (hopefully) do their Name Cheer for their family.

Making the pom poms is definitely something that I would do again.  It was easy, inexpensive, cute, and highly popular with the Little People.  Definitely a keeper.


  1. I love this! I'm going to make a few for my daughter...she would love this! :)

    1. I'm so glad you like them. They're such a fun way for the kids (both cheerers and "audience" to practice the letters in their name!