Summer Speech

Summer is here and with it comes lots of opportunities to practice /s/ sounds! The /s/ sound production is one of the most frequently practiced sounds in speech therapy. It typically emerges between the ages of 3 ½ and 5. With your speech-language pathologist’s lead, you can stimulate the sound by giving your child these prompts:

Citra summer speech ideas practicing s  sink or float

            • “Put your teeth together, keep your tongue hidden behind them, then blow a thin stream of air out of the mouth. The sides of the tongue should be touching the inside of the top teeth, so that air can flow along the groove created by the tongue.”

            • To stimulate the /s/ sound, prompt your child to say bunches of /t/ sounds, and then hold it out at the end (“tttttsssss”).

            • If your child produces /s/ with the tongue popping out of the front, tell him/her to “put your teeth together’ and say /ssss/ and keep your tongue a secret from me.”

After the /s/ sound is produced in isolation, try practicing words typically used in the summer: “swim, sky, splash, sun, sand, summer, camps, sunscreen, etc.” Be creative!

            You can also practice by reading these books:

            Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer by Susan Hood

            Curious George Goes to the Beach by H.A. Rey

            Ready for Summer by Marthe Jocelyn

            Baby Loves Summer! By Karen Katz

For a fun activity, play “Sink or Float.” Find a variety of items in or around your house that have an /s/ sound in them. Fill a large bowl or your bathtub with water. Say the item’s name with a good /s/ attempt and throw in the water. What happened? Did it sink or float, and why?

                        Remember, have fun and say /s/ sounds in your everyday routines.

                                                  Practice makes perfect!

Author: Amanda Zimmerman, MA, CCC-SLP, is a pediatric speech-language pathologist at The Columbus Speech & Hearing Center in Columbus, OH. She is a graduate of the CASANA Intensive Training Institute, and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Speech Language Pathology at The Ohio State University. For over a decade, she has focused on the evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders, with a specific interest in childhood apraxia of speech.

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