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p and b sounds

‘p’ and ‘b’ are short, popping sounds. These sounds typically develop between 2 – 3 years of age. ‘p’ is a quiet sound and ‘b’ is a loud sound. To make these sounds, we put our lips together and release them to make a sound.

You can help your child produce these sounds by trying the following strategies:

  • Use a finger cue to help them press their lips together.
  • Use a mirror to show them their face and mouth movements.

Activity ideas for practicing ‘p’ and ‘b’

  • Model these sounds in play and everyday routines.
  • Pretend to be a puppy or a bear.
  • Pop some bubbles.
  • Play ball games and model words such as “pass”, “ball”, “bang”, “big” and “bounce”.
  • Play with a baby doll or a bear. Give it a pretend bubble bath and a bottle and put it to bed.
  • Paint a picture with purple, pink and blue paint.

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 contain harder sounds, multiple sounds or different combinations of sounds.

Last updated 15 Dec 2023