Teacher's Tips for learning 'b' & 'd'

In the early stages of learning to read and write children often confuse the letters 'b' and 'd' as well as 'p' and 'q'.

This is very normal and it will take time for them to practise the letter formations and see the letters written in text before they become more consistent recognising and writing the correct letter.

All children learn in different ways. One size does not fit all. So, here are a variety of activities to cater for different learning styles to help your child. If you find your child does not take to one of the activities - just simply try another...learning has to be fun.

If you would like any of these printable resources – please email – and we will send them to you…

Letter formation rhyme

Often a good way to start is to introduce a letter character with a letter formation rhyme

 Go down the bat, go back up half way then curve around the ball.


  Curve around Don Dog's back, go up to his head then go down and flick.

Different reading and writing schemes use different letter formation rhymes. A popular one is Ruth Miskin's 'Read Write Ink' letter rhymes.

One of the best ways to learn the letters with your child is to give them the initiative and ask them to think of their own 'rule' or what they notice is the same or different about the letters. They will come up with amusing things like "the b sticks his tummy towards the d" or "you start the 'd' like a 'c''.

Some children find this helful as a quick reminder...

A poster for your child's wall

Lots of children learn by sight. If this is the case with your child - point out letters in signs, menus, adverts etc. A text rich environment is always beneficial for learning.



Sorting and sticking game

This is a great game for a practical learner.

Cut out all the pictures begining with 'b' and 'd' and stick them on the letter templates.


Identifying the 'b' and 'd' 

Depending on your child's age or ability - you can make this game more challenging by having more letters.







Playdough letters

Depending on how developed your child's fine motor skills are you can vary the size of the letter template...This is a great activity for a practical, hands on learner.


Threading letters




Sand, flour or shaving foam letters




hip hop hen: abc letter tracing app 

Our award winning letter tracing app is a fun way to learn the correct letter formation.






You can access these printables from the abc letter tracing app which are free to download.



There are a lot of other fun activities that you can do with different materials - just be imaginative and creative...

If you would like any of the printables in this blog - please email - and we will send them to you.








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