How to Help Children Pronounce "C" and "K" Sounds

by Stephen Maughan

It must be annoying when you say something and people don't understand what you're saying. What if all you wanted a piece of chocolate but your request was met with confused stares? Many kids have difficulties pronouncing the C and K sounds, and although you may wonder if anyone will ever understand him, the good news it that with some practice, and a good dose of patience, you can help him speak clearly so he will finally get that piece of chocolate he's been begging for.

Activities to Boost Clear Speaking

Step 1

Sing simple songs and Mother Goose tales together, and encourage your little one to sing lines in the song that feature "C" and "K," such as "Baa Baa, Black Sheep" or even "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." Speech therapist Jill McMinn suggests this is an effective way to improve speech. Feel free to indulge your inner pop star and make up your own songs to grab his attention -- just make sure the video camera is turned off.

Activities to Boost Clear Speaking

Step 2

Play games that encourage speaking the "C" and "K" sounds. Who doesn't like play? If it helps with his language, all the better. Teacher and speech therapist Gill Thompson believes that games actively encourage better speaking of letter sounds The game she recommends is using pictures on cards. Write the letter "C" and "K" on cards, and on the other side of each draw a picture of a word with this letter, like cat or kite, or with both, as in clock. Ask your child to pick a card, turn it over and say what he sees. If your drawing skills are limited to drawing stick men, why not use photographs or cut pictures from magazines instead?

Activities to Boost Clear Speaking

Step 3

Use toys to help develop his speech. You want to use a toy or puppet that begins with the letter "C" or "K" and use it as a prompt for speaking the words clearly. You might also like to make your own puppets, such as a crocodile and kangaroo, and take them out whenever you want to practice speaking the "C" and "K" sounds. Have fun with the puppet -- give the crocodile a grizzly accent and make him snap a few times before making him speak the correct word. Remember to put the crocodile away when he's gone to bed and your mother-in-law drops by unannounced!

Tips

  • Give your child plenty of encouragement and praise. According to Jill McMinn, if you are overly critical, you risk making your little one feel defeated and give up on speaking difficult sounds
  • If you continue to be concerned about your child's speech development, take time to visit your family doctor for advice.

References

  • Supporting Children with Speech and Language Impairment and Associated Difficulties; Jill McMinn
  • Supporting Children with Communication Disorders; Gill Thompson

About the Author

Stephen Maughan is a journalist based in Sussex, England. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and family magazines, including "Readers' Digest," "Playground," "Fine Books," "Dog's Today" and "Modern Mum." Maughan holds a postgraduate certificate in journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images