top of page

To overcome letter and number reversals, the key is practice!

Saying the letter names ('bee' 'dee' 'pee') as you read and write helps to secure which shape goes with which letter. 

For b and d, you can also use the popular 'bat before ball' and 'drum before stick' to help with letter formation. If you repeat these every time the child writes a b or a d, they will start to do it themselves and it really helps the child remember which way round it goes. 

b, d, p, q snap

b, d, p, q snap

This snap game is made more interesting with some Zap cards requiring you to give 5 cards to the other player!


You can get a printable version of the game here. If you are writing your own, don’t forget to draw lines on the card and use a variety of handwriting styles to improve recognition.


It is really important to say each letter as you put it down.


b / d/ p/ q Pictogram

Gather a collection of b, d, p and q pictures (a list of words which work really well as pictures is available here)

Put all of the pictures into a bag. As you pick out a picture, decide which letter it begins with and record on this 'pictogram.'

This game gives lots of practice of writing the letters, and the children will be wondering which letter will 'win'!


Picture pick up

There are many activities you can do with a set of b, d, p and q pictures. Here is a list of words which are easy to represent as pictures. 

  • Make a spinner with the letters you are practising. Spin and select a picture starting with that letter. Towards the end, you might have to miss a turn, so you can see who gets the most cards to win. 

  • Make a die with the letters you are practising. Play as in the spinner game. 

  • Write out the words and try to match with the pictures

  • Play i spy, but add an extra clue as well as the initial letter. 


Points per word

Print out this list of easy to spell b/d/ words. 

On the back of each word, allocate a random score between 1 and 10. 

Pick up a word and read it to your partner without showing them. They have to spell it, and then if correct they get the number of points on the back. 

I like to give most words a low score, then make a couple of words worth 9 or 10... children get very excited if they get a big scoring word!


b, d, p Dobble

Dobble is a great game for concentration and visual recognition.  It’s a clever card game in which every card has one and only one picture in common with every other card.


In this version, I have used easy to spell b/d/p words, and then children can write their answer, therefore practising their letter formation!


I used this word list and this website to create the cards. I then stuck pictures over the words. If you are practising reading rather than spelling, just leave the cards with words on!

Images on cards in picture used with the kind permission of Twinkl Educational Publishing. (C) Twinkl Ltd. All rights reserved.


b and d alliteration

Choose a set of b/d nouns as pictures. For every noun, write an alliterative adjective on a card. 

Spread out the nouns (pictures) and then pick up an adjective card. The teacher or the child reads the adjective, and then has to find a noun which begins with the same letter. Write the alliterative pair (either b b or bright bee, depending on the child's confidence in writing)


Write the missing letter

Use the b/d/p/q pictures (printable here). Underneath each, write the words with a gap missing for the initial letter.


Children have to fill in the initial letter.

Images in document used with the kind permission of Twinkl Educational Publishing. (C) Twinkl Ltd. All rights reserved.



b / d/ p/ q race

Create a die with:

  • b

  • d

  • p

  • q

  • you choose

  • miss a turn

Make sure you underline the letters so it is clear which way round they go!

Draw a simple 'Racetrack'.

Roll the die, and whichever letter it lands on, trace over that letter. At the child traces over the letter, remind them of 'bat before ball' and drum before stick,' encouraging them to say it too!

If you don't have a blank die, allocate a number to each letter and use a normal die. 


Silly sentences

Create a set of colour coded pictures: nouns, adjectives nd verbs starting with b, d, and p. You can download this here.

Pick one of each colour (noun, adjective, verb) to make a silly sentence


Write the sentence.

Note: pictures rather than words are used here so the children can't copy the correct letter shape but have to process and remember it!

Images used with the kind permission of Twinkl Educational Publishing. (C) Twinkl Ltd. All rights reserved.

Anchor 1
bottom of page