The M sound is one of my favorites to teach because it’s one of the sounds that children start to play with when babbling is started.
Ma ma ma ma is one of the first sound/syllable combinations that occur with kids because it’s made by bringing the lips together – one of the initial motor skills our children learn. If your child is having difficulty forming the M sound, here are some suggestions to help!
1. Model the sound yourself and encourage your little one to imitate you. Repeat the sound three times (no more or they will get frustrated).
2. Put your child’s hand on your mouth while you are making the sound so they can feel the vibrations, then put their hand on their own mouth and encourage them to try to make the sound.
3. Have them watch themselves in the mirror to make sure they are bringing both lips together. You can also point to your mouth to make them look at how you are producing the sound. I do this all of the time with my son (10 months) to get him to focus on my mouth.
4. If they have difficulty bringing their lips together because of low muscle tone it is time for some lip exercises. If you are interested in learning more about oral motor exercises, let us at speech blubs know and we will give you some suggestions!
Put the /m/ sound in front of all the long and short vowels, may, me, my, mow and moo. Then practice the /m/ sound at the end of the vowels, um, am, im, om, em and finally in the middle of the vowels, imo, aymu, ema, omee … you get the idea. This is done by practicing animal sounds and by singing nursery songs! Be silly and fun with this activity because it’ll keep your child’s attention.
If your child can successfully say the /m/ at the beginning of syllables then they are ready to practice the sound at the beginning of words.
If your child can say the syllables above with a nice /m/ sound then he is ready to move them into words. You can google /m/ in the beginning, middle or ending of words and you will see a ton of resources to use! Play games like “go fish” or matching to work on these words. Make sure you work on the sound in ALL positions of words!
Speech Blubs App has multiple activities that you can use to target specific speech sounds. The games are fun and highly engagable so your child won’t even realize that they are working on speech sounds!
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To practice making the M consonant here is the list of sections and words in them that you can practice with your child:
If your child can say the /m/ sound in the beginning of words then practice the initial /m/sound in sentences. For example, “Mail me a _________.” Fill in the blank with the initial /m/ words you have been practicing, “Mail me a moose, or Mail me a mermaid…”
If your child can say the /m/ sound at the end of words then practice the final /m/ sound in sentences. For example, “_________ come home.” Again filling in the blank with the final /m/ words you practiced.
If your child can say the /m/ sound well in the middle of words then practice the medial /m/ in sentences. For example, “Sammy has a __________.”
Create short stories with the picture cards you have been practicing. Have your child practice retelling them. For example, “The mummy went to the mountains and ate marshmallows and macaroni. Then he met a mermaid and shared milk and muffins…” Be creative with this, the most important thing is to create an opportunity for your child to get as much practice with the sounds as possible.
If your child is successful with the /m/ sound while retelling the stories you have created he is ready to move the /m/ sound into conversation. It is at this point you can correct your child if he forgets to pronounce the /m/ correctly in conversation.
If your child has difficulties with other sounds, here are the articles that can help you with speech therapy and articulation activities ideas:
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