Toddlers and preschoolers recognize many words before they can truly read. With that in mind, I created a family name game for my daughter when she was first enjoying words.
I printed the names of our four family members (Daddy, Mommy, E, and M) in four different fonts each. I used decorative scissors to trim the names, and then I glued the names to small rectangles of cardstock. I also found one picture for each family member to help visualize the names just for fun. Of course, you could use several pictures. (I laminated all for durability knowing more than one child would use. Though I don't truly homeschool, the laminator has been a great investment!)
We used a file folder to create a home for our Family Name Game. File folders are a great way to contain little pieces!
When the file folder game's cover says, "The (Family Name)s." I wrote the title on a piece of paper, and M found the letters she needed to make the title.
Inside we "wrote" each family member's name with the foam letters. She didn't need too much help, but I sounded out the words, and she told me what letter should be next.
We keep the game piece of names and pictures in a zipper baggie.
To play, we match name cards under the foam name in the game. The pictures just add some extra fun.
I just think it's great exposure for a pre-reader, knowing our last name (and spelling it), as well as to identify us as a family. Since the cards are all laminated, we can use this with E when he gets older, too!
If you don't have foam letters, you could use stickers or even go on a letter hunt through magazines or newspapers. I imagine the process of the letter hunt would be great fun for a young one!