Speech Development
Children’s speech sounds develop from the time they begin their first babbles until mid elementary school. The following chart provides parents with more specific information about what sounds should be developing at what age ranges. When sounds are emerging, children’s speech production may include omissions, substitutions or inconsistent productions. Intelligibility refers to "speech clarity" or how easily an individual can be understood.  In typical development, as children learn to speak, their intelligibility of speech steadily increases.  A key characteristic of children with speech sound disorders is that they are often significantly less intelligible than their peers at the same age.

How well words can be understood by parents:
By 18 months a child's speech is normally 25% intelligible
By 24 months a child's speech is normally 50 -75% intelligible
By 36 months a child's speech is normally 75-100% intelligible
(Lynch, Brookshire & Fox (1980), p. 102, cited in Bowen (1998).)

Speech-Sound Development

This chart shows at what age 90% of the boys and girls can correctly produce the English speech sounds at the beginning and end of words. Vowels are correctly produced by the age of 4. All children do not develop at the same time or in the same way, so we cannot expect correct speech from every child in the lower primary grades.

The following are norms according to Smit (1990), : (1993) and Grunwell (1997)


Another way to look at sound development:
Early 8 Sounds
Emerging Development                                               /m/        as in “mama”
Between ages 1-3 with                                                 /b/         as in “baby”
Consistent production                                                  “y”         as in “you”
~age 3                                                                         /n/         as in “no”
                                                                                   /w/         as in “wagon”
                                                                                   /d/         as in “daddy”
                                                                                  /p/          as in “pop”
                                                                                  /h/          as in “hot”
Middle 8 Sounds
Emerging Development                                               /t/           as in “top”
Between ages 3-6 ½ with                                           “ng”           as in “ring”
Consistent production                                                /k/           as in “cup”
~age 5 ½                                                                    /g/           as in “game”
                                                                                  /f/            as in “fan”
                                                                                 /v/            as in “van”
                                                                                 “ch”           as in “chip”
                                                                                   “j”            as in “jump”

Late 8 Sounds
Emerging Development                                              “sh”           as in “ship”
Between ages 5 -7 ½ with                                           /s/            as in “see”
Consistent production                                                “th”           as in “think”
~age 7 ½                                                                    “th”           as in “that”
                                                                                  /r/            as in “red”
                                                                                 /z/            as in “zoo”
                                                                                 /l/             as in “like”
                                                                                “zh”            as in “treasure”
(Adapted from Shriberg’s Order of Speech-Sound Acquisition)

Children's Literature Titles with Target Sounds

Reading books that target specific speech sounds is a great way to model correct speech productions.  Many of the books listed include repetitive language, giving your child repeated exposure to targeted sounds.  While reading, pause to allow your child to fill in the word that targets his/her sound.  


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle
The Baby BeeBee Bird by Diane Redfield Massie
How Many Bugs in a Box?  by David A. Carter
Chicka, Chick Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
The Wheels on the Bus by Paul D. Zelinsky
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall


It's Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall
A Pair of Socks by Stuart J. Murphy
Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess
Pizza Pat by Rita Goldman Gelman
Purple Sock, Pink Sock by Jonathan Allen
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss


City Mouse-Country Mouse by John Wallner
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff
The Gum on the Drum by Barbara Gregorich
Mouse Mess by Linnea Asplind Riley


Know Your Noses by June A. English
The Mitten by Jan Brett
No, David! by David Shannon
Two Eyes, A nose, and a Mouth by Roberta Grobel Intrater
Nine Men Chase a Hen by Barbara Gregorich


In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
Tails by Matthew Van Fleet
The Fat Cat Sat on a Mat by Nurit Karlin
Where's Spot? by Eric Hill
Teeny Tiny by Jill Bennett & Tomie dePaola


Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
My Dad by Anthony Brown
No, David! by David Shannon
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow


Counting on Calico by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day
Cows Can't Fly by David Milgrim
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Kraus
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Kiss the Cow by Phyllis Root
Two Cool Cows by Toby Speed
Five Little Ducks by Penny Ives
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina


Go Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
My Gum is Gone by Richard Yurcheshen
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
Big Pig on a Dig by Jenny Tyler
Grandfather Twighlight by Barbara Helen Berger


Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall
The Dog Who Cried Woof by Bob Barkly
The Foot Book by Dr. Suess
Fuzzy Yellow Ducks by Matthew Van Fleet
Touch and Feel Farm by Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Old MacDonald had a Farm by Child's Play


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother too? by Eric Carle
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt


Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
Happy Hiding Hippos by Bobette McCarthy
A House is a House for Me byMary Ann Hoverman
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle


Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Webar
Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
5 Little Ladybugs by Karyn Henley
Big, Small, Little Red Ball by Emma Dodd
Look Book by Tana Hoban
Smile Lily by Candace Fleming

/l/ Blends

Cows Can't Fly by David Milgrim
I Love Planes! by Philemon Sturges
Slip! Slide! Skate! by Gail Herman
Flip-Flops by Nancy Cote
Sledding by Elizabeth Winthrop


Big Frank's Fir Truck by Leslie McGuire
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
Little Green Truck by Ken Wilson-Max
Five Green and Speckled Frogs by Priscilla Burris
A Crack in the Track by W. Rev Audry & Jane Gerver
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood
Rosie's Roses by Pamela Duncan Edwards


Can You See What I see? by Walter Wick
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
Sid and Sam by Nola Buck
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

/s/ Blends

The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
Sledding by Elizabeth Winthrop
Snake Supper by Alan Durant & Ant Parker
There are Rocks in My Socks! Said the Ox to the Fox by Patricia Thomas
Fox in Sox by Dr. Suess
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats


Going to the Zoo by Tom Paxton
If I ran the Zoo by Dr. Suess
Two Eyes, a Nose, and a Mouth by Roberta Grobel Intrater
Zip, Whiz, Zoom! by Stephanie Calmenson
Whose Nose? by Jeanette Rowe


Sheep in a Shop by Nancy Shaw
Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw
Six Creepy Sheep by Judith Roth enderle
A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Suess
Splish,Splash! by Sarah Weeks
I Love My Shadow by Hans Wilhelm
"Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley
Mrs Wishy Washy Makes a Splash by Joy Cowley
Mrs. Wishy Washy's Splishy Sploshy Day by Joy Cowley


Ah-Choo! by Margery Cuyler
Chick Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Say Cheese, Please! by Leslie McGuirk
Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox by Grace MacCarone


The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
Tyler Toad and the Thunder by Rovert L. Crowe
Oh, the Thinks You Can Think by Dr. Suess
One, Two, Three! by Sandra Boynton
Cousin Ruth's Tooth by Amy MacDonald
Mouths and Teeth by Elizabeth Miles

"dg" or "j" as in jump

The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord
Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan
Making Plum Jam by John Warren Stewig
The Animal Hedge by Paul Fleischman
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by E. Christelow

/w/ and "y"

 Yo! Yes?  by Chris Raschka
The Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinski
I Went Walking by Sue Williams
Big Wheels by Anne Rockwell
Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley

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