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8 Basic Steps to Great Speech Sounds! - Step 5 - Simple Phrases

You are ready for the next step now!! Your child is able to say sounds in isolation, syllables and words. The next step is Simple Phrases!

This is probably the most complicated step that I explain to parents, but once they get it, it's crystal clear! So, stick with me for a minute...

There are two basic places a sound can be in a syllable:

  • beginning of the syllable

  • end of the syllable

  • (if you are thinking "what about the middle of a syllable?!" - its either a blend at that point or you are actually dealing with two syllables so figure out if it's at the beginning of that syllable or the end!)

Pick a word, any word you've been working on... For the sake of an example, how about the word "hop." The beginning sound is "h" and the ending sound is "p."

Let's try another word... "dog." The beginning sound is "d" and the ending sound is "g."

If you pick a word that has a blend (like the word "blend") you'll have two consonants together! So in this case, I would not address this word at this level. Try to stay away from blends (AKA: consonant-clusters) for right now!

A Simple Phrase keeps the sound

in the same position

in the phrase as it is in the word.

Ok, I'll explain what I mean...

If the sound you are focusing on is at the end of a word, then keep it at the end of the phrase.

If the sound you are focusing on is at the beginning of the word, then keep it at the beginning.

How about some examples!

If you are working on words that end with "p" and you've selected the words hop, cap and sip. Those words all end with "p" so keep the "p" at the end of the phrase:

  • I hop

  • my cap

  • little sip

If you are working on words that start with "p" and you've selected the words: pool, pig and pick. Those words all start with "p" so keep the "p" at the beginning of the phrase:

  • pool time

  • pig walks

  • pick that!

Sometimes, the phrases sound a little strange. But that's ok for right now. Hopefully you won't spend a lot of time at this level!

One way to make it sound more natural is to turn it into a sentence, and then back it up. For "pool" you could have said "I love pool time!" and your child will repeat "pool time!" Or for "pig" you could have said "A pig walks to the barn" and your child will repeat "pig walks!"

So, I'll say it again: A Simple Phrase keeps the sound in the same position of the phrase as it is in the word. (Makes more sense when you re-read it, right?!)

Practice Time!

Now you know what to do ... how to practice these phrases is pretty easy: play a game! Or say it while playing. Or say it while reading a book!

Play a Game: You can just say one phrase on each turn of a board game (find those games: here, here or here). You can try to find a game that would have that sound targeted in the game naturally, but I've found that kids don't mind playing games and practicing sounds!

During Play: You can set up a situation where you say that phrase or a variation of that phrase during play. So if we were playing with pigs in our Play Farm, I would make the pig do all kinds of crazy things: pig walks, pig runs, pig eats, pig flies, etc... Your child can tell you what to do with the pig or you guys can take turns! Just have fun!

While reading: There are so many great books for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school kiddos. If you find a book that corresponds with a word or a few words, even better! Like if I were working on ending "p" I'd grab the book Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw. LOVE IT!

Here is Little W working on his "s." He said "I press" and "You press!"

This is a great level to be a little bit more creative and fun.

With a little bit of practice, your child should be saying the sounds correctly at the phrase level!

Happy playing! -Lauren :)

PS: Don't forget to pin this for later!

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