b is for Beans

Joy of Learning Banner, b is for Beans

This fun, simple project accomplishes several things at once. It shows your child the shape of the letter b, demonstrates how it is formed, and introduces the letter’s sound. In addition, the activity helps her associate the letter with an object, beans. Grasping the beans with her first two fingers and thumb will help her strengthen and refine control of the muscles she will later use to hold a pencil and write.

Note: Please monitor the activity closely, so no beans find their way into a mouth, ear, or nose!

What you need for b is for Beans:

Bowl of dry beans—such as pinto, kidney, black, or navy—or a mix of colorful beans, construction paper, colored markers, glue

To prepare:

Choose a sheet of construction paper that contrasts with the color of beans you are using. With a marker, outline a large letter b.


  1. Introduce the project by telling your child that b is the first letter in the word beans. Have her say “b, beans” with you several times.
  2. Show her the prepared paper. Say, “This is b.” Have her repeat the sound. Trace the letter with your fingers in the same pattern you write it (down, up and around). Then invite her to trace the letter this way several times.
  3. Bring out the bowl of beans. Show her how to pick up the beans using her first two fingers and thumb, place a dab of glue on the picture, and then press in one or more beans. Once the project is complete, let the picture dry flat.
  4. When completely dry, hang the piece on a wall or bulletin board. Encourage your child to trace the b shape and say its sound often.

Download PDF: b is for Beans

Talita Paolini

Talita is the mother of Christopher and Angela Paolini, whom she homeschooled with her husband, Kenneth.