8 Tips to Produce the /S/ Sound; Plus a Free /S/ Activity

Your child should be able to appropriately produce the /s/ sound by 8-years-old. To correctly produce the /s/ sound your child’s tongue should stay behind his teeth and air should blow straight through the middle of the mouth.

Common Errors

Lisp

A lisp is when the tongue goes between the teeth for the /s/ sound (and usually the /z/ sound as well).

Lateral Production

This type of production is when the tongue stays behind the teeth but the air goes out of the sides of the mouth.  This error makes the /s/ sound a little bit like a “sh” sound.

Tips to produce /s/ correctly

  1. Practice in front of a mirror with your child.
  2. Show your child how you produce the /s/ sound.
  3. Let your child know the rules of the /s/ sound; tongue stays behind your teeth and air is blown straight through the middle.
  4. Have your child try to smile with his teeth closed and then produce the /s/ sound
  5. If your child is younger, you can try this analogy:  Your teeth are a cage and your tongue is a snake.  Keep the snake in the cage and don’t let it out when making the /s/ sound.
  6. Have your child practice /s/ by itself in isolation (“SSSSSS”)
  7. Once your child can produce /s/ with his tongue behind his teeth, have him practice the sound in syllables (i.e. see, say, sah, soo, sigh).
  8. When your child has mastered the sound in syllables, move onto the sound in the initial position of words (i.e. sit, sign, sick, sip).

Recommended Product

“S” Sound Card Deck

Free /S/ Activity

Click to download the activity: Silly Sock Activity

Sample Page of /S/ Activity
Sample Page of /S/ Activity

 

Remember, if you are concerned about your child’s speech skills, contact a licensed speech-language pathologist.  

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