Thursday, 20 February 2014

20+ hands-on ideas for learning about the Letter B

Following on from our 25+ hands-on activities for exploring the Letter A, my daughter has taken her time in learning about the Letter B and I encouraged her to learn at her own pace. My daughter has engaged in the following hands-on activities that have supported her learning of the sound and name of the Letter B while she writes and 'reads' it, continuing her journey to becoming a reader.  
Letter B Box and Books
I put together a Letter B box and placed in there books that focus the Letter B (such as Boo to a Goose by Mem Fox) as well as some printable sheets and Letter B cards. By putting items into this box, it gives my daughter independence with her learning and allows her to select and do whatever activities she wants to. 
 There are heaps of different books that focus on the Letter B.  We placed in our letter B box the Reading Eggs Alphabet B book, My "b" Book (My First Steps to Reading) and other books about bears that I will share further down this post.
When we read books, I get my daughter to search for any Letter B's that might be on the page we are reading. This way, she is practising letter recognition as well as pre-reading skills.

Letter B Tray
Together, my daughter and I went on a Letter B hunt to find all the things from around our home that start with the Letter B. These items include butterflies, blocks, balls, bugs, bears, buttons, B flashcard and Letter B magnets, that we placed onto our BLUE tray.

Letter B Search

Board games such as Scrabble and Upword as well as Make-a-word (photo below on the left) all have letter tiles in them that we have used to search for letters. This activity builds recognition as my daughter searches for the Letter B blocks and it also lets me see what other letters of the alphabet she knows. 
 Letter B - Phonic Song
We listened to the Jolly Phonics Letter/sound B song a number of times. What I like about the jolly phonics songs, is that they not only have a little song for each letter/sound, they also have an action that goes with that letter. This helps children remember the sound more effectively when they see the letter, remember the song (and sound) and associate it with an action.

Making the Letter B
I printed off these letter collage worksheets to use as play dough mats. My daughter coloured them in and, using buttons, she 'wrote' the Letter B.
 We also used these buttons (the bigger ones) for threading together and practising fine motor development, which is needed for writing. More lacing was done as I had made a Letter B lacing card out of cardboard. Although my daughter coloured in the cardboard lacing card and laced it, she soon lost interest. I have since found some FREE printable Alphabet Lacing Cards that come with fun colours that I will try for our next letter.  
Using the same sheets from above, my daughter again 'wrote' the letter B but this time she used play dough.
My daughter loves using dot markers so I printed off these dot marker pages so my daughter could 'write' the letter B. 
I found this idea of using wooden blocks to make the Letter B. Although it was tricky for my daughter at first, she came back to it a few times and was able to put the blocks together herself.  
I had placed these ABC Lego Cards in our Letter B box as my daughter had enjoyed making the Letter A from these cards and I think they are a great way to explore letters.
Writing Letter B
Just as my daughter had done when she were learning about the Letter A, she used a salt tray to practise writing the  Letter B. I gave her simple, encouraging instructions on which way to write the letter, such as we started with "the bat" going straight down, before we drew "the ball". 
 My daughter used the Eggy Alphabet App to practise writing both capital B and lower case b.

Alphabet stencils were placed in our Letter B box and it was one of the activities that my daughter selected a few times to write different letters.

Counting with B
We have previous played with bottle top maths and since bottle starts with the Letter B, we brought our bottle tops out to play with. 
We had added some bears onto our Letter B tray (as shown above) so we used our bears to practise basic addition and to make colour patterns with.
  Letter B Craft
Painting is another way to practise fine motor skills so I cut an outline of a butterfly and my daughter had fun painting it (and herself). I showed her how we can make a pattern on one side and fold our butterfly over to make the same pattern on the other side (symmetry). 
Other Letter B Exploring
My daughter used our wooden mosaic set to put together a butterfly and a boat, both objects beginning with the Letter B.
My son wanted to join in on the Letter B learning and suggested we have a Bear's Picnic! So on our Blue rug together with our bears, (angry) birds and babies, we read bear books and ate banana bread, biscuits and  bananas.
I knew that my daughter was ready to move onto the next letter when she started reading/recognising the Letter B in the environment around her. My daughter said to me, "Mummy, did you know that there are  three letter B's in the word rice bubbles?"
I hope you got some ideas from this post that you can use to help your own child or students learn to read. If you would like to see more ideas on learning the alphabet, visit my pinterest board.


Happy learning!

This blog post has been linked up with: 
I Can Teach My Child


  1. Oooh it's so exciting to see my Lego Cards in action!! Thanks for including my link!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your cards with all of us!! My children love using them to learn.