8 Basic Steps to Great Speech Sounds! - Step 4 - Word Level



It's getting real now!  Your child can say his sound in isolation, syllables and syllable-words! He is making progress and you both are feeling success!

These basic steps have lead us to a new and vast landscape… the world of real words!


The World of Words


Most sounds have tons of words that contain that sound at the beginning, middle or end of the word… just grab a kids dictionary and open to that letter - WOW! That’s a lot of words you could practice!




But don’t feel overwhelmed!

You don’t have to work on every single word in the dictionary. Some therapists focus on 3-5 words in a session, some pick 10 and others around 20. So, you have options! 

Your goal will be many opportunities each time you practice. Or should I say… play!

Build on Your Syllables!

What I like to do is make words from the syllables we’ve been working with! (need to see that post? Click here!)

Make a list of words that start with those syllables:

For example, remember ba-be-bi-bo…

     Long Vowels:

          ba: bake, bait, bale, baste, baby, bear

          be: beak, bead, beep, beam, bean, beet

          bi: bite, bike, bide

          bo: boat, both, 

     Short Vowels:

          ba: bath, bat, back, bad, bag, badge, 

          be: bell, bet, Ben, bed

          bi: Bill, bin, bib

          bo: ball,  boss, bop, Bob

     other vowel: book, boy, boot

Keep your words short at first! As your child successfully says the short words, then you can start longer words!

New Vocabulary Words??

You’ll need to balance familiar words with new words. I love teaching vocabulary. Actually, it’s one of my most favorite things, but if your two year old is learning to say the “b” sound, practicing “bide” requires a discussion of a phrase like “bide your time” and that may be a bit advanced! 

Or you may choose to introduce new words so they are developing their speech at the same time as language. You know your child best!

I would recommend that you pick words that are meaningful to your child!

Important Words

When I first start therapy with a new family one of the first tasks they do is write a list of “Important Words.” These are words that are important to the child; words that they want to say! These words usually are favorite toys, pet’s names, family names, friends, favorite characters or common words in their vocabulary.

If I went through that list above I’d probably select for a 2-3 year old: bear, beep, bead, bike, boat, bath, back, bag, bell and book. But if they had a brother named Bill or a sister named Bella, I’d swap those in!!