8 Interesting Games For Teaching Letter Reversal

Ever seen a child write “b” in place of “d” or “p” in place of “q” and vice versa? That’s what we call letter reversal or mirror writing. A child struggling with this issue often writes specific letters (sometimes even a few numbers) backward or upside down. Parents usually get worried when they see their child reversing letters while writing, but letter reversal is pretty common in children 3 – 7 years of age.

Writing is a skill that requires the ability to replicate pre-writing strokes, phonetic awareness, cognitive skills, and an understanding of the fact that when one changes the direction of a letter, its meaning changes too! Helping a child with letter reversal before age eight can aid in breaking the habit early on. 

Games and activities can be beneficial for kids struggling with letter reversal. If you’re a parent or a teacher looking for ways to solve reversal problems in your child or students, we have got you covered! Enlisted below are some fun and exciting online games that encourage kids to work on their letter differentiation skills, which help fix letter reversal. 

Fun games for solving letter reversal in little learners

1. BDPQ Bandit 

BDPQ Bandit 

This is a fun online game for kids who find themselves reversing letters when writing. It is also a great game for other kids, irrespective of their struggles, to reinforce their ability to correctly identify similar-looking letters such as b, d, p, and q. The game starts with a wall full of letters and an angry bandit standing alongside the wall who challenges kids to identify different letters.

Players must find those letters on the grid and click on them to lock them in the colorful bins at the bottom of the screen. When the player completes one challenge, the next challenge with a different letter appears. And the game continues until the player gets a good round of practice for all four letters. 

2. The “d” Balloon Drop

The "d" Balloon Drop

The second game on our list is the “d” balloon drop. As the name suggests, players must identify balloons carrying the letter “d” and pop them strategically so they fall in the correct cars of the train running on the track below. The game has several levels with increasing difficulty.

It is fun yet challenging for little learners because the balloons fly past quickly, which means players must be prompt at identifying and bursting the right balloons and ensuring each one falls on the correct car. In higher levels, players are challenged to burst incorrect as well as correct balloons to move ahead in the game. When the game ends, a leaderboard displays where the player stands compared to their competitors. 

3. Letter Reversals

Letter Reversals

Letter Reversals by Tiny Tap is a simple yet effective game to help kids learn their letters accurately. The game concentrates on the two letter pairs that many students often get confused with – b, d, p, and q. While the game is recommended for kids 6 – 7 years old, it is simple enough for younger kids too! It begins when the player taps on the start button.

All four letters, which kids find hard to differentiate between, are reflected on the screen. A voice prompt asks the player to click on a particular letter. If the answer is correct, it is followed by the next prompt. However, if the player gets it wrong, a funny “uh-oh” sound lets them know it’s time to try again. If the player doesn’t get the answer right after two tries, the correct answer is highlighted to reinforce it in the child’s memory. 

4. Whack-a-Mole (B/D Reversal)

Whack-a-Mole (B/D Reversal)

Whack-a-mole is a game with only one rule – hit the mole with a “b” on it. The game begins when moles, which are small burrowing creatures, rise and hide back in the holes. Every mole has a word written on its body. Some words contain the letter “b,” and some don’t. The player is expected to hit, or rather click the mole with a “b” on it and leave the ones that don’t.

The game begins at a lighter pace, gaining speed as the player reaches higher levels. At every higher level, more moles start appearing out of the burrows, and at a faster rate that kids must handle efficiently to move forward. Players practice identifying lowercase and uppercase “b” as they try to achieve a high score, which is later displayed on the scoreboard. 

5. Letter Reversal Card Game:

Letter Reversal Card Game

This is the first offline game on our list. Kids can play it alone or in pairs to raise their competitive spirit. Here are the steps for setting up this game –

  • Prepare a set of twenty cards. On each card, write down simple words containing one of the targeted letter pairs (b and d, p, and q, m, and w, etc.). For kids confused between b and d, you could include words like bat, ball, brick, door, dusk, and down.
  • Shuffle the cards and lay them face-down on a table. Have a child pick one card at a time and say which of the two letters they can find in the word.
  • If they get it correct, they score one point.
  • Now the other child gets a turn and flips another card before telling whether it contains a “b” or a “d.”
  • The game continues until all cards are flipped open.
  • The child who scores the most points wins the game.

6. Letter Rush

6. Letter Rush

Here is another high-energy game that students can enjoy in class while strengthening their knowledge of letter formation. Let’s see how it goes –

  • Call two students forward and give a marker to both.
  • Have them stand at a distance from the whiteboard.
  • Give them an instruction that they must complete.
  • For instance, you could say – Write five b’s, write five d’s, or cross two b’s out of the five, and so on. You could also write two words on the board and ask the players to circle the word that starts with, say, the letter “p” or the letter “q.”
  • The student who runs and reaches the board first gets a chance to answer.
  • Give them a point if they get it right.
  • You can give five instructions to each pair of students.
  • The student who collects more points by the end of the game is the winner.

7. Match Up

Match Up

The problem of letter reversal arises because quite a few letters in the English alphabet look similar when flipped backward or upside down. No wonder little kids get confused. To help them overcome this confusion, here is another game to try:

  • Prepare a set of fifty cards, each containing one letter. Only include the letters children get confused with. These are b, d, p, q, m, w, n, u, h, y, f, and t.
  • Shuffle the cards and distribute them equally among the two players.
  • One player lays a card face-up on the table. Now the other player places another card over it.
  • This continues until two cards of the same letter appear one after the other.
  • The player who drops the second card must identify the letter correctly to win the entire stack of cards on the table.
  • If he doesn’t get the answer right, the other player can try naming the letter, and if he does so correctly, he gets to keep the cards.
  • The game wraps up when all cards are exhausted. The player who ends up with the higher number of cards wins the game.

8. Letter Reversal Bingo

Letter Reversal Bingo

Bingo is an all-time favorite game for kids. So why not use it to help them practice recognizing letters they frequently struggle with? Your entire class can benefit from this game. So, don’t just keep it reversed for students making letter reversals. This engaging game will keep kids entertained and strengthen their understanding of letters so they make fewer letter reversals in writing. 

  • Make 5 x 5 bingo cards for your students. The cards should contain all the letters that kids find confusing.
  • Hand over one card and a marker to each student.
  • Before you begin, play a slideshow of the targeted letters using your classroom projector or revise them on the whiteboard so your students can build a visual memory.
  • Begin the game by calling out one letter from the group of targeted letters.
  • Students can now cross out the letter if it appears on their card.
  • Remind your students that they can cross a letter only once, even if it appears multiple times on the grid.
  • When a child crosses all the letters on a vertical line or crosses the entire card, they must call out “BINGO!”
  • Keep calling out the letters while waiting for someone to say “BINGO.”
  • Continue the game until you have winners for three complete lines and a full card.

Wrapping up, 

Besides the games mentioned above, kids can also try online games for letter recognition and letter tracing to amplify their learning. There are other ways, too, to reinforce proper letter formation. Asking kids to practice writing letters in the air, using analogies, or tracing them on the sand are some ways to get letter reversal right. You must remember that it is important to stick to one letter at a time until the child masters it. This can avoid confusion and let the child concentrate on one thing. 

We understand that it is only natural for parents to get concerned when they observe their child writing reversed letters or maybe even transposing numbers as it may indicate a learning difficulty. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Most kids outgrow letter reversal as their reading and writing skills improve with time and practice. However, if a child continues to face this confusion beyond the second grade, it’s probably time to provide them with proper intervention and assistance. It will help them overcome their struggles and correct any letter reversal problems they might have.  

Leave a Comment