The Alphabet Parade continues this week with, drum roll, please: the letter D.
The six letter D worksheets provide opportunities for your child to get familiar with the letter D and the sound it makes, and also practice writing the uppercase and lowercase versions of the letter. As with all alphabet parade worksheets, each worksheet includes extra tips and activity suggestions you can try at home to further your child’s understanding of the letter D.
Start by focusing on the sound the letter D makes since it is an extremely easy sound for children to make and hear. The “duh” sound is one of the first sounds a baby makes when babbling and the word “dada” is often a child’s first word for this same reason. The letter D sound is made by bringing your tongue up to the roof of your mouth and then speaking as you lower your tongue back down. And unlike many other sounds, your mouth remains open the entire time as your lips never close to produce the sound. Since making the correct sound does not produce a puff of air your child can feel with his hand (like the sounds for the letters B and F), have your child watch your tongue’s movement as you make the correct sound.
If your child struggles to make the correct sound, it may be that he is confusing the sound made by the letter D with the sound made by the letter B. When making the letter B sound, you need to close your lips. However, you need to leave your lips open when making the letter D sound. Stand side by side in front of a mirror with your child and practice making the letter D sound together. That way he can watch how his mouth moves as he makes the sound.
When teaching your child to write the letter D, begin with the uppercase version of the letter. If your child has already mastered writing an uppercase B, the uppercase D will be a breeze. Direct your child to draw one long, straight line downward. Then he needs to pick his pencil up, place it at the top of the first line, and then draw one smooth arc towards the right connecting the top of the line to the bottom of the line.
Writing the lowercase d can be challenging for young children. First, the long straight line on a lowercase d is to the right of the curve, whereas the long, straight line on an uppercase D is to the left of the curve. Second, the lowercase d is a backwards version of the lowercase b, since both letters have a small ball and a tall stick.
To help your child learn to write the lowercase d, and to avoid any confusion with the lowercase b, direct your child to start by drawing a small, round “doughnut.” Then, without lifting his pencil, direct him to continue drawing the upward line all the way to the top before changing direction and drawing a long, straight line back down to the bottom of the page.
If your child struggles to distinguish between the lowercase d and the lowercase b, try this simple trick. Write the lowercase letters a, c, and e from left to right on a large piece of paper, equally spaced so there are large blank spaces between the letters. Then have your child form the letters b and d with each hand by connecting the thumb and index finger on each hand to form a circle and extending the remaining three fingers on the each hand directly upward. If your child holds his hands over the two blank spaces on the page, he will see how he has completed the alphabet by filling in the blanks with the missing b and d. This trick will help remind him that his left hand forms the letter b and his right hand forms the letter d.
Coming Next Week: The Letter S.