D is for Donut

D is for Donuts – that’s good enough for me! Oh, donuts donuts donuts start with d!

Yes, this is the song that has been sung in our house since this simple and easy “d is for donuts” unit study that we used to practice the “d” letter sound. We’re going to have to do another letter sound unit study soon to get them to switch songs!

donut pinnable

For our “sss is for sounds” series, we do a handful of fun activities in one day that all emphasize a specific letter sound. I use the Orton-Gillingham approach combined with our Montessori materials and Reggio tendencies to come up with a mini unit study.

There are so many fun opportunities for exploring “donuts” for the letter sound “d,” including these cute donut sensory play ideas shared by my friend Anne over at Left Brain Craft Brain.

As with all of our “sss is for sounds” mini unit studies, I first presented the letter sound at circle time and passed around our “d” lowercase sandpaper letter for the children to trace while making the “d” sound. I then excitedly described the theme for the day with lots of “d” alliteration, for example: “Today, we’re dealing with the delicious topic of donuts!”

P.S., ever wonder why they are called doughnuts? While many cultures had a variation of the fried cakes, at some point nuts started being added to the center because the cakes didn’t always cook through. Now the solution seems to be to just not have a center!

D is for Donut craft made with homemade puffy paint - part of a mini donut unit study

Donut Craft Idea for Kids

Materials Needed for Puffy Paint Donut Craft:

Check out the directions on my guest post at Practical Mommy.

7 Ways to play with Hula Hoops

Donut Gross Motor Activity

Yup, we pretended that a hula hoop was a giant skinny donut and practiced several gross motor skills with it, including:

  • Twirling the hula hoop around on our waists and wrists
  • “Jumping rope” with the hula hoop (easier than learning with a skipping rope)
  • Version of musical chairs where everyone has to jump inside a hoop when the music ends
  • Rolling the hoop to our friends and catching it
  • Throwing homemade bean bags into the hula hoop

I’ll share more about how we play with hula hoops to build gross motor skills soon!

Kids kitchen science experiment for yeast activation - figure out the best environment for how to activate yeast

Donut Science Activity

Okay, this may have just been an excuse to make (and eat) a donut, but there are plenty of chemistry lessons to be learned in baking — especially with yeast! We made a couple of donuts from the Top Pots Hand-Forged Doughnuts cookbook and practiced our observation and measuring skills.

If you weren’t interested in actually baking donuts, you could instead do a kitchen science experiment on activating yeast, seeing under which conditions yeast is best activated in water.

First try activating 1/2 tsp yeast in half a cup of each hot water, warm water, cold water. Make a guess as to which will activate the yeast the most. Observe and make conclusions supported by your observations.

Next, try adding salt or sugar, or both to whichever temperature of water you found to be the most reactive. Follow the same scientific procedure outlined above.

Healthy Donut Snack Idea

While I think that donuts are a perfectly acceptable option (especially if you made them yourself), these Cheerio-and-sprinkle “doll donuts” are a cute alternative.

We simply spread natural peanut butter on the Cheerios and then dipped the Cheerios in sprinkles. Handling those Cheerios was a great fine motor practice — with a tasty reward!


d is for donut unit study for learning letter sound "d" with donut crafts, donut gross motor activities, and more!


What do you think? Would you explore donuts for learning the “d” letter sound, or would you pick something a little less D-licious?

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  1. Love all these D activities – especially the puffy paint. But I will now have that Cookie Monster song stuck in my head all day, thank you, lol!

  2. I so love your doll donuts the best! I’m going to have these at the next tea party with my grandkids.

    Thank you so much for sharing this at Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. It’s a great post! Thank you so much for sharing this at Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. (I’ve pinned it!)

    All the best,

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