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t and d sounds

‘t’ is a short sound that we can call the ‘tapping sound’. It is a quiet sound. This sound is made when the tip of the tongue moves to the front of your mouth, and the tongue sits just behind the top teeth. This sound typically develops around 2-3 years of age.

You can help your child say the ‘t’ sound by trying the following strategies:

  • Modelling and repeating words that have the ‘t’ sound, for example, "tea", "ta", "hat".
  • Encourage your child to make the ‘t’ sound by reminding them to keep their tongue behind their top teeth and use the tip of their tongue to tap the roof of their mouth.
  • Make sure you give your child lots of praise for trying the ‘t’ sound.

Activity ideas for practicing ‘t’

  • Play fun activities at home, for example, do a treasure hunt around the house to find things that have the ‘t’ sound.
  • Practice counting – emphasize “two” and “ten”.
  • Play with or draw teddies and turtles.

Once your child is able to produce the ‘t’ sound, you can encourage them to ‘turn their voice on’ and make a loud sound to produce the ‘d’ sound – drumming sound.

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