Learn how to differentiate between the letters "d" and "b"

Joely's been learning to read, and as is typical for children her age, she was having trouble differentiating between lower-case "b"s from "d"s. I'd been trying to figure out a good way to solve the problem, so I came up with this little illustration to help her remember which way "b" and "d" face. Associating the direction of the letter with the simple illustration has really helped her recognize the difference between "b" and "d."


Joely informed me that she also wanted to be able to color her "b" and "d" buddies, so I converted the illustrations to coloring sheets.

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  1. says

    I've also seen phonics programs teach the kids to read and spell the word "bed" and draw a person sleeping in the bed where the b is the headboard and the d is the footboard.



  2. Jeanette Moyer says

    Love these buddies. I teach K5, using A Beka Book and have been using the "bed" illustration, but it isn't working for all my kids. It is nice to have something different to try. Another tip that I have picked up is to hold your hands in the thumbs up position and and touch your bottom knuckles. It makes a bed and then they can see the b and d. Just thought I would share that.


  3. Christine says

    I hope I can explain this in writing well. I had the putting b's and d's to bed poster on my wall for the most of the year when a friend of mine suggested they use their hands. She was right when she pointed out that they have them with them everywhere they go, unlike the poster. When you point your index finger out in front of you and bring the rest of you fingers together behind to form a circle, your left hand makes a b and your right hand makes a d. Since b comes before d in the alphabet, you remember the b sound comes first and goes with the left hand and the d sound goes secod with the shape of your right hand. It seems to have really helped them to check their own reading and writing and improved the frequency that they get it correct the first time before checking.


  4. Caroline says

    Joy, I just did this on my own with a boot and doorknob as the picture! I wish I'd found your site first!! Anyway, any chance you could make an illustration with the lower case p & q as well? My 5 year old is really struggling with all four. Let me know, thanks!


  5. Kristy Dixon says

    I teach my child that the circle on the b faces to the right so in order to make a b correctly he needs to remember to be right. We make fun of it and say either you "be right or you be wrong" lol. So if the b is to the right, then the d is automatically to the left. I also use the same method for handwriting as I tell him that t's are tall and f's don't fall. He laughs when I make up these rhymes but they stick with him and he also likes to share them with his friends.


  6. Jessica says

    hello, I found this off pinterest and was wondering if you have something like this for the letters "p" and "q" also? thanks


    Joy @ Five J's Reply:

    No, sorry, I only have it for "b" and "d".


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