If your child is working on producing /s/clusters (also known as /s/blends) in words, then continue reading for a great free activity to practice this sound. Examples of /s/cluster words include; snake, skate, school, and spider. Typically, children are able to appropriately produce this cluster sound by 4-years-old. If your child says “pider” for spider or “sake” for snake, he may present with with the phonological process of “cluster reduction”. Cluster reduction is when a child reduces the sounds of the cluster in a word. This phonological process can significantly impact your child’s intelligibility.
Free /S/Clusters Activity
Click on the link to download a free /S/clusters activity.
How to Use Activity
- Cut out the 10 /s/cluster picture cards on page 2
- Place one card at a time in the empty box
- Have your child trace his finger across the snake and say the “s” sound (Ex. “SSSSS”)
- Then have your child say the rest of the word (Ex. “SSSS-tair” for stair)
- This activity will provide your child with tactile and visual cues to produce all the sounds of the cluster
- Practice this technique with all 10 words
- Once your child is able to appropriately produce all the words (with all the sounds), then you can have him produce the words in a short sentence (Ex. “I see sss-now” or “I have a ssss-poon”)
Additional Practice Ideas
- Play a board game with your child. Before each turn, have your child say one /s/cluster word five times.
- Put the /s/cluster cards in a “mystery box”. Have your child reach into the box and pull out a card. Have him say the word five times.
- Have your child look around the house for items that have his sound (Ex. spoon, sponge, slippers, stairs).
- Print out two copies of the /s/cluster cards (page 2 of activity). Play a matching game with the cards. Have your child say each card as he turns them over.
For additional practice, check out these /s/cluster cards.
Remember, if you have concerns regarding your child’s speech skills, reach out to a licensed speech language pathologist and request advice or an articulation evaluation.