This is a fun activity concerning baby names and the way they have changed in popularity over the years.
- Bring in some baby photos or pictures of babies out of magazines. If taking them out of magazines such as New Idea, cut them out and glue them onto squares of cupboard so they are like flashcards. Whenever possible, write the baby’s name on the back of the flashcard or photo. You can also write down who the parents are too.
Tips: If you collect enough magazines and baby photos, you could turn this part of the activity into a craft session, getting the group to make the flashcards.
- As you start passing the photos around, get your client to guess what the baby’s name is. It can be fun to ask questions like:
Who does this baby look like? Does she look like Kate or Catherine? (If a boy).
Other discussion questions could include:
What did you name your own baby or babies?
How did you come up with the names? Did you get them out of a book?
Were your children named after another family member?
How did your parents choose your own name?
What do you think about the habit to name babies after their fathers and add the world ‘Junior’ to distinguish them from the father?
What do you think about some of the modern baby names like Moon and Cloud?
What do you think some of the most popular names of all times have been?
What are some of your favourite names?
Did you know?
In 1880, the top 10 most popular female and male names were:
Mary, Anna, Emma, Elizabeth, Minnie, Margaret, Ida, Alice, Bertha, Sarah, John, William, James, Charles, George, Frank, Joseph, Thomas, Henry, Robert.
In 1920, the top 10 most popular female and male names were:
Mary, Dorothy, Helen, Margaret, Ruth, Mildred, Virginia, Elizabeth, Frances, Anna, John, William, Robert, James, Charles, George, Joseph, Edward, Frank, Richard.
In 1950, the top 10 most popular female and male names were:
Linda, Mary, Patricia, Barbara, Susan, Nancy, Deborah, Sandra, carol, Kathleen James, Robert, John, Michael, David, William, Richard, Thomas, Charles, Gary.
Baby Name Quiz:
There are 20 girls names listed below. Ten of them were the most popular girl’s name of 1940. The other ten were the most popular names of 2006. Circle the ten names that you believe were most popular in 1940. The correct answers are on the last of the page. You may be surprised at the result!
Do the same with boy’s names listed below
1940:James,Robert,John,William,Richard,Charles,David,Thomas,Donald,Ronald,Marry,Barbara, Patricia, Judith, Betty, Carol, Nancy, Linda, Shirley ,Sandra
2006:Jacob,Michael,Joshua,Ethan,Matthew,Daniel,Chirstopher,Andrew,Anthony,William,Emily, Emma, Madison, Isabella, Ava, Abigail, Olivia, Hannah, Sophia, Samantha