The confusion of the letters “b” and “d” are a frequent difficultly among new readers. Typically, by the third grade most non-dyslexic children have mastered the distinction. You can help children tell the difference between these two letters much earlier if you practice the identification of the letters with the child on a frequent basis. Practice and word association are two of the best methods to use for letter recognition according to

Explain to the child that the lowercase “b” has a belly, while the lowercase “d” has a bottom when reading from left to right. Use the illustration of the word “bed” to show the child how the “b” faces right and the “d” faces left.

Create flashcards with simple “b” and “d” words on them, such as bed, bob, dad, dog, bog and dot. Take a few minutes each evening to go over the words with the child. Constant repetition and reinforcement will eventually help the child recognize the difference between the letters.

Tell the child that the “b” shows someone carrying a ball in front of them. The “d” looks like a dinosaur with a spike or hump on his back. Word associations are often all that is necessary to help children recognize the difference between the letters.

Make a “b” and “d” game for the children. Cut out several pictures of "b" and "d" words from magazines. Glue the pictures to the top of Popsicle sticks. Write the letters “b” and “d” onto the outside of two separate paper or plastic cups. The child should place all of the “b” words into the “b” cup and all of the “d” words into the “d” cup.

Have the child practice writing the letters “d” and “b” every night for a few minutes. Sometimes the act of writing the letters is enough for a child to remember the difference.

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Things Needed

  • Cardstock
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Magazines
  • Glue stick
  • Popsicle sticks

About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.