Children should be able to appropriately produce the /k/ sound by around 4-years-old. A common substitution for /k/ is the /t/ sound. If your child is younger than 4, it is developmentally appropriately for your child to make this substitution (Ex. “tea” instead of key). This substitution is part of the phonological process called fronting. The /k/ sound is produced in the back of the mouth with the tongue tip down, while the /t/ sound is produced in the front of the mouth with the tongue tip up.
6 tips to produce /k/ sound
1. Let your child know that the /k/ sound is produced in the back of the mouth.
2. Remind him that the tongue tip (front of the tongue) needs to be down.
3. You can have your child touch the upper part of his throat while trying to produce the sound as a tactile cue.
4. If your child is still having difficulty, you can use a lollipop to hold down the tip of the tongue while your child tries to produce /k/.
5. Have your child put his head back to help his tongue go back further for proper placement.
6. Have your child imitate a coughing sound. Let your child know that the /k/ sound is produced in the same part of the mouth as the coughing sound.
Purchase these /k/ cards to practice the sound in all word positions; initial (ex. key), medial (ex. monkey), final (sock). Have your child label the cards using his good “k” sound. Get creative with the cards. You can hide the cards around the house. As your child finds each card, have him label the card.
10 initial /k/ words
Read the word list to your child as an auditory bombardment activity. Tell your child to listen to all the /k/ sounds. Remind your child that when you say the /k/ sound your tongue goes back far in your mouth and the front of your tongue stays down.