Svetlana Atenzon 2 min read

How To Teach Kids The SHH Sound – Tips & Tricks From a Speech Therapist

If your child is working on the SHH sound in speech therapy, you may be wondering how to help them at home. Here are some tips and tricks from a speech therapists at Better Speech that can make learning this sound easier for kids. Keep in mind that each child is different, so don’t be afraid to try different things until you find what works best for your child.
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Saying the Shh sound may be difficult for children whose cheek and lip muscles are not yet developed.

Usually after the age of about 3, your child will be developing more cheek muscles to help them make more sophisticated speech sounds. The Shh sound is one of those sounds that requires some development of those facial muscles. Before your child knows how to do it, they may substitute the sound for the Shhh with another sound, or omit it altogether. But you can help your child practice the movements.

Speech Therapists at Better Speech are highly trained to help you toddlers with these difficulties.

The key to making the Shh sound is the lip pucker.

There’s a classic movie from 1944 called To Have and Have Not, where Lauren Bacall’s character says that famous line:

You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow”

Saying the Shh sound starts in the same way. The Shh sound is essentially a lip pucker:

Curly-haired girl with glasses points her fingers to her mouth

Think about giving Mommy or Daddy a kiss. Besides being a loving gesture, you can start to train and develop the cheek muscles. This is good practice for other sounds as well.

A little boy kissing his mother

Then, practice blowing the air forward through the kiss in a narrow stream. To test this, hold your hand in front of your child’s face. You should be able to feel the airflow and determine that it’s going forward in a narrow stream and not spread out to the sides.

Curly-haired girl with glasses shows quietly

Help your child practice words with the Shh sound with speech therapists.

Once you get the sounds fairly accurate, you can move on to words.
Keep in mind that the Shh sound appears in the beginning, middle and end of words.
For example, Ship has the Shh sound in front, eyelashes has it in the center and bush uses it at the end.

SHip

eyelaSHes

buSH

speech therapy for child and adult.

Determine which position is easier for your child to say. For some kids, the Shh sound is easier in the beginning of words and for some at the end of words. When you determine what is easier for your child, start with those words first. Then move on to words that use the Shh sound in different positions in the word.

Here are some examples to get you started:

Start Position Words

Middle Position Words

End Position Words

Ship

Eyelashes

Bush

Share

Cashew

Smash

Shout

Dasher

Leash

Shirt

Marshal

Trash

Shelf

Fishing

Fish

Shoe

Brushed

Brush

Shin

Eggshell

Smush

Help is available if your child needs to work on the Shh or other speech sounds.
Feel free to reach out to us. If you have any questions, get in touch with us, or sign up for a free consultation to find out more about how Better Speech can help you and your child.