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sh sound

‘sh’ is a long, blowy sound and is made by rounding the lips. It typically develops around 4 years of age. 

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

  • encourage your child to round their lips and push out the air (like fishy kips or kissy lips).
  • use a hand cue such as the be quiet “shh” gesture can be used to show the sound position
  • model, repeat and emphasise words containing ‘sh’ (e.g. shoe, show, shop)
  • if your child is making a different sound (e.g. ‘s’), focus on modelling the correct production of ‘sh’
  • give lots of specific praise for trying the sound – e.g. “great ‘sh’ sound’, ‘you said ‘sh’ with your lips nice and round”
  • if they are struggling to put the sound ‘sh’ sound into words, model the correct production

Activity ideas for practicing ‘sh’

  • find objects around the house that have the ‘sh’ sound such as: shoe, shirt, shorts, shape
  • collect shells at the beach, talk about the ocean, fish and the sharks sharp teeth
  • play a pretend shopping game

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 15 Dec 2023