At around 4- to 5-years-old, your child should be appropriately producing the “L” sound. Some common substitutions of this sound include; “y” (Ex. “yike” instead of like) and “w” (Ex. “wove” instead of love). If your child is past the age of 5 and still producing this sound error, it may no longer be a developmental error. Below are some tips and activities to practice with your child to help produce the “L” sound appropriately.
- Remind your child that his tongue should go up for the “L” sound. His tongue should touch right behind his front teeth.
- Use a mirror and show your child how you make your tongue go up for the sound and have him imitate the motion.
- If your child is having difficulty getting the correct placement, use a lollipop and rub it behind his top teeth. This will provide your child with a tactile cue for where the tongue should be.
- Practice saying “L” in syllables. (Ex. Lee, La, Loo, Low, Lay) Tip: Use a mirror as you practice.
- Once your child is able to say “L” in syllables correctly, move on to “L” in initial position of words (Ex. Lion, Ladder, Lamp).
- Download this FREE “L” activity to complete with your child to practice “L” in initial position of words.
Additional Practice Ideas
- Have your child search for items in the house with his sound (Ex. Lamp, Light, Lego).
- Help your child cut out items from magazines that have the “L” sound, then practice saying them.
- When reading a book, point out all the words that have the “L” sound, then practice saying them.
- Have your child tell you 10 things he likes. Practice the “L” sound in the word like each time. (Ex. I like ice cream. I like trains. I like popcorn.)
For additional “L” practice, purchase this set of “L” articulation 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.