Speech Sound Cues for Articulation

Every time I share a therapy video on the @adventuresinspeechpathology Instagram page, I get asked the same question over and over again: where can I get those speech sound cues?

So before I share some of my favourite cues with you, let me explain why children and SLPs around the world love using these cues!

1. They are all animal themed! Kids love the bright animal faces, and the large size of the cues.

2. Many of the cues are intuitive for children. Not only are some of the cues meaningful and make sense we have linked it to an animal’s attribute (e.g., bunny teeth for the “f” sound), but many of the animal matches the sound that we are teaching (e.g., “sh” for sheep, “s” for snake”, “t” for tiger, “c” for cat). 

3. They’re easy to use and hold, especially when we stick them on popsicle sticks.

bunny teeth sound for teaching "f"

Bunny teeth cue for "f"

This is probably one of my all time favourite cues in this packet! Many child know that bunnies have big front teeth, so this cue really draws attention that children need to use (and show) their front teeth as they make the “f” sound.

If a child says their “f” sound incorrectly, I might hold up the bunny cue and say,

“Oops, you forgot to use your bunny teeth when you tried to say fun! Try it again, snd show me those bunny teeth”.

Quiet coughing cat for "k/c"

There are many reasons why I love this cat cue! Firstly, I love that it has a big open mouth! Having your mouth open is a really important cue for many children, especially as they usually close their mouth and substitute a “t” sound for their “k/c” sound (e.g., that say tat for cat).

Secondly, I’ve had great success with having children pretend that they are a cat coughing up a hairball, and we make a “throaty” or “scratchy” sound that we then shape into a clearer “k/c” sound.

An extra bonus with these cues is that they come with short descriptions on how to say the sound.

Quiet coughing cat sound for "k"

Hissing snake sound for "s"

Hissing snake sound for "s"

Many SLPs’ use the idea of a snake to cue for the “s” sound. Not only does snake start with “s”, but when we make the “s” sound, it really does sound like a snake hissing.

I find this particularly useful if the child says the “s” sound with a lot of force, or it sounds slushy and not like a “hiss” at all.

It’s also a great cue to combine with “s” clusters and use with the “h” insertion trick (a trick every SLP should know!!).

lifting elephant sound for "l"

With this speech sound cue, we liken the lifting of the elephants trunk to the lifting of the child’s tongue.

This action is needed to produce a clear “l” sound, especially as many children will either use their lips and substitute with a “w” sound (e.g., they will say wook for look), or they use the middle of their tongue and make a “y” sound (e.g., they will say yike for like).

I also find is successful to move my pointer finger in a lifting gesture to emphasize the tongue lifting.

It’s time to get more practice in speech!
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  • Hey Rebecca!

    I was trying to find the animal sound cards with the little pictures on them (it’s the photo for shop therapy materials), but am having a hard time. In the picture, it’s a snake with green playdough around it, and you push the playdough at the picture. Do you sell these? Thanks!

    • Hi Summer,

      Sorry you couldn’t find them on our website. At the moment, these are only available on our TPT shop and are called Articulation Threading Mouths.



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