The sounds K and G are both made when the back of the tongue raises up to meet the top of your mouth, temporarily stopping all airflow. These sounds are usually mastered by 3.5 years of age.
1. I often use a tongue depressor or Popsicle stick to touch the back of a client’s tongue and the roof of their mouth where both meet during the K and G. If you try this with your child, do this carefully as to not elicit the gag reflex.
2. Have your child lay down or lay their head back. By doing so, the back of their tongue is in a better position to touch the roof of the mouth.
Teaching the /Y/ sound may seem difficult because you can’t visually show a child where the sound is produced. The /Y/ sound typically emerges in both boys and girls at 2.5 years old. It should be mastered in girls by age 4 and in boys by age 5. Below are some tips for assisting your child in appropriately producing the sound.
I often like to ask my students to produce two sounds together in order to feel where the /Y/ sound is made (back of the throat). First I ask to produce the letter E (eeeeee). Then I ask the child to produce “ahhhh.” If you quickly interchange these two sounds, you start to produce the /Y/ sound. Another thing that I like to do is have my clients to lightly touch their throats to assist them in understanding where the sound is made.
Speech therapists often use a Speech Sound Developmental Chart to allow them to see when sounds typically start developing. The F sound usually emerges in a child’s language around 2.5 years old. By age 4, this sound should be mastered. For the V sound, a child may start producing it around 4 and should have the sound mastered by 8. Why can the V take longer to master? This is most likely because it is a “voiced” sound (one where the vocal cords vibrate). Go ahead, you try! Produce the F and V sound and lightly touch your throat. Do you feel the vibrations when you produce the V sound? Good! If your child is above this age and still not appropriately producing these sounds, don’t panic! Here are a few tips to help your child articulate them correctly. Keep in mind, this is NOT in place of a speech therapy. Only speech therapists are trained to most efficiently correct anarticulation disorder.
I enjoy teaching the F and V sounds because placement of the teeth and mouth are visible for children to see! (Unlike other sounds including the R).
First, ask the child to easily bite down on their lower lip. Modeling this position for the child will better allow them to do it themselves. I also use a mirror so that the child can see what I’m doing as well as their own teeth and lip placement. Slowly blow air out to produce the F and V sounds. Have your child try this as well. I often like to have children repeat the sounds (ex: Fa Fa Fa, or Va Va Va).
When your child can produce the sounds in isolation, then use words with F and V as initial sounds ONLY. Once your chid can produce these sounds in initial position, you can incorporate words that have F and V in medial position and final.
Ex: initial position: violin, fish, frog
medial position: beaver, laughing, severe
final position: leave, leaf, brief
Second, auditory discrimination is important for these two letters. Have your child feel the vibrations your mouth makes when you produce the V. Have them place their hands or fingers on their throat just like you did in the beginning. Practice in front of the mirror both the F and the V so that they can not only hear the difference between the two sounds, but also feel the difference between both sounds when producing it.
Print out some materials online if available so that you can practice a variety of words with your child!
Have questions or comments? Please feel free to contact us!
You may not have given much thought to it, but the /w/ sound involves shaping both lips into a circle. For some children, this may be a hard sound to articulate. According to our speech/sound charts, the /w/ is a sound that should be mastered by age 3.
Here are some tips if your child has trouble forming their lips into a circle to produce the sound:
1. Have your child smile then pucker their lips back and forth. By doing so, your child can hopefully feel the difference in their mouth movements and get a better idea of producing the sound appropriately.
2. A straw is a great tool in assisting children with this sound. Have your child place their mouth over a straw. Once their lips are wrapped around the straw, slide it out and have them look at the way their lips are positioned.
3. Bubbles are a great motivator! Have your child blow bubbles to form their lips into a circle. Have them voice the sound with their lips rounded before blowing the bubbles.
Have some other ideas? Have questions? Share with us on Speechbop!