Early Ideas for Last Sounds

Children sometimes leave the endings off of words. When this happens words often become hard to understand.  These are some ideas to help younger children put the last sounds onto words. Activities for children under 3 focus on having the child become more aware of sounds.  Young children are often not ready to try to repeat back words and sounds but they can take an active part in listening to the sounds and learning the words have endings.

  • When you are with your child and you hear them say a word that is missing the last sound say it back to them and make the last sound as obvious as possible.  Do something physical with your child that helps them to see and feel the last sounds of words.  As you say the last sound try:
    • Stamp your feet.  Stamp one foot for the fist part of the word and the other for the last sound.  Or if you have it planned, set out two sheets of coloured paper.  As you say the first part of the word step on the first sheet as you say the last sound step on the other sheet.  Better yet hop from one sheet to the other with your child.  Try cutting out monster or giant feet to step on.
    • Clapping your hands once for the first part of the word and again for the last sound.  Better yet clap your child’s hands or encourage  him to clap along with you.
    • Tap the table.  Once for the first part of the word and once for the last sound.  Even better would be to tap your child’s arm so he can feel the last sound.
  • If your child copies what you are doing or does it at the same time as you say the word thats great.  But even if they are just listening and watching they are still learning that some words have endings.
  • Point out words that have a clear last sound as they come up in books, at the store, around the house, etc. using the above ideas. For example, “Look, there is a ca…T” as you tap your child’s arm.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any questions. You can reach me at SLP@Speech-TherapyAtHome.com.

Madison Garvi – SLPatHome