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ch and j sounds

‘ch’ is a short, sneezy sound and is made by rounding the lips. It typically develops around 4 years of age.  It is normal for children to replace ‘ch’ with sounds such as ‘sh’, ‘t’  or ‘d’ until 4 and a half years of age.

You can help your child produce ‘ch’ by trying the following strategies:

  • Encourage your child to round their lips and push a short puff of air (like fishy lips or kissy lips).
  • Try saying ‘t’ and ‘sh’ together really fast.
  • Make the “achoo” sound.
  • If your child is making a different sound (e.g. ‘t’), focus on modelling the correct production of ‘ch’.
  • Give lots of specific praise for trying the sound – e.g. ‘nice sneezy ‘ch’ sound’, ‘you said ‘ch’ with your lips nice and round’.
  • If your child is unable to say the ‘ch’ sound, focus on modelling, repeating, and emphasising words containing ‘ch’ (e.g. chair, chop, chin, cheeks, chicken).
  • If they are struggling to put the sound ‘ch’ sound into words, model the correct production.

Activity ideas for practicing ‘ch’:

  • Play trains and model choo choo or chase each other. 
  • Find objects around the house that have the ‘ch’ sound such as a chocolate, chips, cherry.
  • Model and emphasise choose, chop and chew during cooking or mealtimes.
  • During play time, pretend to: chop or chew food, chop playdough into chips, choose. 

Once your child is able to produce the ‘ch’ sound, you can encourage them to ‘turn their voice on’ and make a loud sound to produce the ‘j’ sound (as in jump). 

It will take time and practice for children to develop their speech sounds. Children may be able to say a sound on its own but will take time to put it into words. Longer words will be trickier. It will take time and practice to be able to say their new sound in everyday conversation.

Some words are more complex because they have harder sounds, multiple sounds, or different combinations of sounds.

Last updated 06 Feb 2024