b, d, p, q spinner

Have you ever noticed that the letters p, d, b, and q are exactly the same shape??? The only thing different about them is which way they are facing…making them especially confusing to toddlers/preschoolers attempting to learn their lower-case letters.

I’ve noticed that Big Brother has a hard time differentiating which letter is which, so I decided to make this spinner to help. I used the letters “p” (turned upside-down is “d”) and “b” (turned upside-down is “q”) on two circles and then put a picture coordinating with each letter underneath. Obviously graphic design is not a gift of mine…as you can tell by this very plain attempt. But if you want to use it, feel free to download it here.

Here’s what you’ll need:  a printout of the picture shown above printed on cardstock, another piece of cardstock (or scrapbook paper) and two paper fasteners (brads).

1. Print off the document above (on cardstock) and cut out both circles.

2. Use scraps of scrapbook or construction paper to make 4 small rectangles. Mine measured 1.5″x1.25″.

3. Put a small line of glue at the top of each rectangle and place on top of the pictures to create flaps.

4. Poke the brads through each circle and fasten onto a piece of paper (cardstock, construction, or scrapbook paper work well)

Let your little one enjoy spinning and lifting the flaps as they learn to recognize the letters b, d, p and q!


  1. i'm feeling a little behind, and bad admitting this, but we haven't even worked on wilder's letters. one week we did A as the letter of the week but I never got past A, and I didn't really know what to do for activities.
    where do we start?

  2. Mindy, don't feel behind! I didn't really start working with Caleb on letters until this past summer. And by "working" I mean OCCASIONALLY doing a letter-related activity and pointing out the letters in his name.

    One of the best "motivators" for teaching letter recognition has been the wooden letters that spell out the boy's names on the walls in their bedrooms, only as it may seem. Once Caleb started asking about those, that's when we started practicing letters. There is no right "timetable." I thought it was more important to concentrate more on colors and shapes first and then move on to letters and numbers. We haven't worked much on numbers, though!

  3. Wow, I love this, I am making this tomorrow!! my girls has a hard time with this letters too, great idea! I love your blog!

  4. I modified your template to have a dinosaur and a question mark. This way it works both in French and English (we speak French in our household).
    Thank you so much for sharing this great idea!!!!
    I really enjoy your blog. I feel more productive with my boys now!

    1. Hi Gini,

      My DD is studying french. I don’t know it. Can you clarify why having a dinosaur and a question mark makes it kid friendly? would love to apply with my kid.

  5. Love this idea. For my daughter, I drew pictures of a bat and then a ball for the letter “b”. I then drew a puppy dog’s face and then his tail wagging for the letter “d”. When she gets confused, I ask her which comes first in the letter a bat or a dog. We also just let her draw the letters in shaving cream on the table for that tactile learning! She had a blast and so did her big brother and little sister who joined in on the fun!

  6. My son was taught to “make a bed” with his fists with the thumbs up and the knuckles touching. The thumbs look like the bed posts. Then he spells b-e-d. Now writing b’s and d’s are easy!

  7. This is a great idea–just what I need. I refined this on Pinterest and lots more people repinned it from there. I printed it out this morning and noticed, however, that the dog is upside down. With all of the interest, you may want to fix it so that others don’t have the same problem. Thanks.

  8. This looks like a great idea! I have a student who really struggles with the concept, and I can’t wait to try it with him! Thanks so much!

  9. Awesome idea. I can not get it to print but I will try to make my own my daughter is struggling with this and this is such a great idea

  10. Love this idea! When I click on the link to download, it says 10 error streaming document. Please help! Lol

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