My preschooler isn’t in a preschool yet, but she has a thirst for learning that I try to satisfy with some learning time every day. The other week our focus letter was B. We discovered simple patterns using balloons, we did coloring pages showcasing how the letter B is formed, and we made sugar cookies as a letter B sound activity.
Help the preschooler understand what sound the letter B makes.
A lot of times, preschoolers know the names of letters and can identify them, but they don’t understand that each letter makes distinct sounds. This activity helps to reinforce the sound the letter B makes through play and repetition of the sound.
Lots of different types of sugar cookies, and sugar cookie dough, rolling pin, prepared cookie sheet, and oven. (You can earn bonus points by letting the preschooler decorate the cookies after they are baked, which would take frosting, sprinkles, and other decorating objects.)
This activity takes some advanced preparation: a sugar cookie dough needs to be made. Whether it is made as part of the learning experience, or as a separate activity, is really up to the caregiver. We made the sugar cookie dough the night before, so it would be chilled and ready for the activity.
Go through the pile of cookie cutters, and name each one. After naming each cookie cutter, ask the child if it starts with B. If the cookie cutter starts with the letter B, place it in a pile near the child. While placing it near the child say “Yes, ____ begins with B. B says /b/.” If the cookie cutter doesn’t, place it in the container. Be silly with this part. The more often the child hears /b/ in connection with the letter B the better retention the child will have.
Take the pile of B cookie cutters and have the child name them. Every now and then, stop and ask “What does B say?” and have the child respond with “B says /b/”.
After going through the whole list, it’s time to make cookies.
Roll out the cookie dough to the appropriate thickness. Then let the child place the cookie cutters on the dough. Naming the cookie cutters as they are being placed is another way to reinforce the sound B makes. And, asking the child what the name of the cookie cutter, and what sound B makes will reinforce the sound to letter correlation more strongly.
The trick to this activity is to emphasize and repeat the sound of B over and over again, and then have the child do the same. The more often the child hears the sound B makes, the stronger the understanding will be that B says /b/.
I actually got to do this activity with my preschooler and the three year old daughter of a friend of mine. By the end of the activity, both girls were chanting “B says /b/,” back and forth to each other. And the cookies were a nice bonus. Later, my preschooler was able to identify the sound of B in words spoken during conversations.