If your child is working on their TH sound, you may be looking for fun speech activities to help them learn and practice this sound. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best speech activities for improving your child's TH sound. We will also provide a few helpful tips to make these activities more effective. Keep reading to learn more!
In this article we will discuss:
What is the age at which children master the TH sound?
Articulation refers to the way you position your lips and tongue to make various sounds. Sounds flow to make words and sentences. At an early age, children start to produce cooing and babbling sounds. By the time they are six months old, most children can produce all of the speech sounds in their native language(s). The TH sound is a later developing sound. Some children will have no trouble producing the sound correctly by age 3 or 4. Others may still be working on it at age 5 or 6. When children still have a hard time producing the TH sound at 8 years old, it may be worth seeking out professional help.
An articulation disorder is defined as a speech disorder involving difficulties in articulating specific types of sounds. Articulation disorders often involve the substitution of one sound for another, slurring of speech, or unclear speech. While most children make mistakes as they learn new words, it is classified as a “disorder” when the mistakes continue past a certain age. The most common mispronounced sounds are /s/, /r/, /l/, /ch/, /sh/, and /th/.
Why is it difficult to produce the TH sound?
There are a few reasons why it can be difficult to produce. First of all, the position of your tongue is very important when making this sound. For the voiced and unvoiced TH sound, your tongue should be between your teeth and you should use light contact to make the sound. The only difference is that your vocal cords should vibrate for the voiced TH sound. This can be tricky for children to coordinate!
Second, the TH sound is made by exhaling a small amount of air through your mouth. This can also be tricky for children, who may have a tendency to either blow too hard or not hard enough.
However, you do not need to worry! With a little bit of practice, your child will be producing the TH sound like a pro in no time.
Help your child produce the TH sound correctly
There are two sounds of TH: Voiced and Unvoiced
The /th/ sound can be either voiced or unvoiced. This means that your vocal cords can either vibrate or not vibrate when you make the sound. The word “this” uses the voiced TH sound, while the word “thanks” uses the unvoiced TH sound.
If your child is having trouble producing the TH sound, it is important to first determine whether they are having difficulty with the voiced or unvoiced sound. You can do this by placing your hand on their throat as they make the sound. If you feel a vibration, then they are using the correct muscles and are producing the voiced TH sound. If you do not feel a vibration, then they are probably producing the unvoiced TH sound.
Examples of words with voiced TH sounds:
the, them, they, then, there, these, this, clothes
Examples of words with unvoiced TH sounds:
think, thank, thin, with, both, math
It is important for children to learn the difference between the voiced and unvoiced TH sounds, as they are both used frequently in speech. Voiced TH sounds are usually found at the beginning of words, while unvoiced TH sounds are usually found in the middle or at the end of words.
How to teach your child to produce the TH sound
There are a few different ways that you can help your child practice the TH sound. One way is to have them hold a straw in their mouth and blow through it to make the sound. This will help them get a feel for the correct position of their tongue and the amount of air needed to produce the sound.
Another way is to have them place their finger on their throat as they make it. This will help them feel whether or not they are using the correct muscles.
You can also practice words with TH sounds in them. Start with simple words with TH sound such as “three” or “bath” and then move on to more difficult words such as “theory” or “earth”. As your child gets better at producing the sound, you can increase the difficulty of the words.
Here are some fun activities to help your child practice the TH sound
Practicing new sounds can be pretty boring for kids. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few fun games and activities that you can do to help your child practice them!
1. Blowing bubbles
Have your child blow bubbles through a straw. This will help them get a feel for the correct position of their tongue and the amount of air needed to produce the sound. However, it is important to emphasize the sound you are working on while doing this activity. Introduce words with TH sounds such as “bath”, “thirsty”, or “clothes” and have them repeat the word as they blow the bubbles.
2. Pop the balloon
Have your child hold a balloon in their mouth and pop it by exhaling a small amount of air through their teeth with their tongue in between their teeth. This will help them get a feel for the correct position of their tongue and the amount of air needed to produce the sound.
If they get the hang out of it, introduce words with the TH sound such as “teeth”, “thorn”, or “thick” and have them repeat the word as they pop the balloon.
3. Tongue twisters
Tongue twisters are a great way to help your child practice it. Some examples of tongue twisters with TH sounds are “The thirsty crocodile drank some water” and “Thin threads take three threads to make a thicker thread”.
Reading is a great way to help your child practice the TH sound. Children who know how to read can benefit from reading books to practice their sounds. Look for books with words that have the TH sound such as “The Cat in the Hat” or “Thomas the Tank Engine”. This is a good activity for your child to be aware of how the sound is used in different words and contexts.
Have your child write sentences with words that have the TH sound such as “The cat is drinking milk” or “I think that it is time for a bath”. It is a way for them to think of words that have the sound and how to use them in a sentence. This is also a good way for you to see if your child is able to use the sound correctly in words.
With a little bit of practice, your child will be producing the TH sound like a pro in no time! At Better Speech, we offer online speech therapy services convenient for you and tailored to your child's individual needs. Our services are affordable and effective - get Better Speech now.
About the Author
I am a Speech-Language Pathologist with 14 years of experience working with children and adults who have communication difficulties. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science at Cebu Doctors' University and have been helping people overcome their communication challenges ever since.
I have worked with individuals of different ages, including toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, adults and seniors. I'm passionate about speech therapy and take great satisfaction in helping people overcome their communication challenges and improve their lives through better communication skills. In my spare time I like reading books, going hiking in nature and taking care of my dog Locas.