Mar 14, 2020 Though the R sound is one of the most used sounds in the English language, it is also notoriously known as one of the trickiest. This blog discusses how to teach and practice the R sound at home.
In fact, the R sound can be so tricky to pronounce that it is one of the last sounds to be mastered. Kids begin to say it at three years of age, and often only fully matures at the age of 6 or 7.
What makes the R sound so challenging is that it is a very unusual sound and has many variations. There are actually as many as 32 different sounding types of the R sound. Tongue placement is also tricky.
This article will only focus on the consonant R sound and how you can use our app and the following speech therapy ideas to practice this sound at home to help your child learn to say it correctly. If you are still concerned, contact a speech-language pathologist.
If your child has difficulties with other sounds, these articles may help you with speech therapy and articulation activities ideas:
- Articulation Therapy: An All-in-One Guide for Parents
- B Sound Articulation Therapy
- H Sound Articulation Therapy
- JJ and CH Sounds Articulation Therapy
- L Sound Articulation Therapy
- Lisp Articulation Therapy
- M Sound Articulation Therapy
- N Sound Articulation Therapy
- NG Sound Articulation Therapy
- R Sound Articulation Therapy
- S Sound Articulation Therapy
- SH Sound Articulation Therapy
- T and D Sounds Articulation Therapy
- W Sound Articulation Therapy
How to Make the R Sound
If your child does not yet know how to pronounce the consonant R sound, then you can watch this video with them and learn how to say it together. You can also read up more on the process of articulation therapy in our blog.
4 Therapy Ideas for Saying the Consonant R Sound
We recommend using the “Mouth Gym” section of our app to warm up a bit before you get started with these speech therapy activities.
The “Mouth Gym” section is designed to increase your child’s awareness of how their mouth works, as well as their coordination, range of motion, and endurance.
1. Roar! and Argh!
One of the funniest and most straightforward ways to practice pronouncing the consonant R sound is to pretend to “roar” like a lion and “argh” like a pirate.
You can do this by printing out a picture of a lion and a pirate and placing them in front of your child. Point to each image and have your child either “roar” or “argh” correctly. If they struggle, have them point to the picture, and you can say either the “roar” or “argh” sound correctly. You can give them another turn after that.
2. Car Race
You can play this fun activity using a pile of consonant R sound flashcards, toy cars (real or printed), and a printed racetrack for you and your child.
You two will take turns flipping over flashcards from a pile and saying the name of each picture 10 times. If you manage to say the name correctly 10 times, you get to move your car forward on the racetrack. Whoever crosses the finish line first wins!
3. Purse Divers
Whether your child is a boy or a girl, this game is great fun. Choose an empty purse that you have lying around and fill it with consonant R sound flashcards among its other contents.
Tell your child that they can look through the purse to find the flashcards. Every time they see a flashcard, they must say the name on the card 10 times before discarding it and looking for a new card. You could even up the ante and put doubles of the flashcards into the purse so that your child has to match the cards that are the same together.
4. Pretty Parrot
This activity is excellent for all levels of articulation – but even more so if your child is at the phrase or sentence level. You will need to print a picture of a parrot and tape it to the back of a popsicle stick.
Your child then gets to hold the parrot while you go through consonant R sound flashcards. You’ll say the name on the card, and your child has to “parrot” what you say exactly. You can even start making up your own silly sentences using the flashcards and swap roles with your child as well.
Need a Little Help?
You can find flashcards for the consonant R sound in the initial, medial, and final positions in words and even sentences. If you or your child happen to be artistic, then you can even make the cards yourself. Additionally, you can open our app and practice the activities and words that include the R consonant sound in them. Practice pronouncing the R sound with Speech Blubs:
An Important Trick
To increase your child’s self-awareness and gain a better understanding of how your child is perceiving speech therapy and their progress, you can get them to rate themselves on how well they said the consonant R sound in each activity using a rating scale.
Pronouncing the R Sound
Learning how to say the R sound correctly is no easy feat, and it is something that frustrates children across the globe. The key is to be patient and remember that these things take time. Children develop differently and at different rates, and what one child may find easy, another may find incredibly difficult.
You know your child best, so (besides your child) you are the most qualified to help decide which speech exercises for the R sound appeal to them the most and which of these activities will help your child learn to say the R sound quicker and more accurately correctly.
Remember, you always have an ally with Speech Blubs, and you can download our Speech Blubs app to help your child with their articulation and along their journey towards saying the R sound correctly by working on some of our fantastic R sound speech therapy activities. You can even contact us for additional support if you’re not sure what your next steps should be.
Reach out when you have questions on how to use Speech Blubs to improve speech at home!