Help Kids Master the “CH” Sound-Speech Therapy Tips

By Rajini D

Last Updated: April 15, 2024

Welcome to our journey through the world of sounds, specifically the ‘CH’ sound, a key milestone in your child’s speech development. Imagine the joy in their voice as they correctly say “cheese” for a photo or the excitement when they share about their school “lunch.” These moments are precious, not just for the memories they create but for the confidence they build in your child’s ability to communicate clearly.

For many parents and their little ones, the ‘CH’ sound presents a unique challenge. This sound, which requires a specific positioning of the tongue and a controlled breath, can be tricky for young speakers to master. It’s not uncommon for kids to substitute ‘CH’ with easier, more familiar sounds, turning “chair” into “tair” or “cheese” into “tees.” Such substitutions are often a child’s creative solution to navigate around sounds they find difficult.

Understanding the ‘CH’ Sound

Diving into the intricacies of speech, the ‘CH’ sound stands as a unique blend of two distinct sounds, which, when combined, create a challenge that many children embark on mastering. This sound, known among speech therapists and educators as a “voiceless postalveolar affricate,” requires the speaker to start with a ‘T’ sound and transition into a ‘SH’ sound, a sophisticated maneuver for young linguists.

The Challenge for Children

Why, you might wonder, does this particular sound cause hurdles for children? The ‘CH’ sound is not just a simple vocalization but a ballet of tongue placement, breath control, and timing. Children learning to speak often find it easier to replace complex sounds with simpler ones they can confidently produce. This leads to common substitutions, where ‘CH’ might be swapped for ‘T’ or ‘SH’ sounds, transforming “chocolate” into “tockolate” or “cheese” into “teese.” These creative adjustments are part of the learning process as children explore and experiment with language.

Speech Development Timeline

Concerning the timeline for mastering the ‘CH’ sound, it’s helpful to remember that each child’s speech development journey is unique. Generally, children begin to correctly produce the ‘CH’ sound around the age of 3½ to 4 years. However, it’s not unusual for some kids to perfect this sound well into their 5th year. This variance is perfectly normal and doesn’t immediately signal a cause for concern.

Strategies for Parents

For parents navigating this phase, it’s essential to approach it with patience and understanding. Engaging in “CH pronunciation activities,” exploring “phonics CH sound exercises,” and considering “speech therapy for children” if needed can provide a supportive framework for your child. These resources not only aid in overcoming the ‘CH’ sound challenge but also enrich your child’s overall speech and language development.

Encouragement and Support

Rest assured, mastering the ‘CH’ sound is an achievable milestone with the right approach and resources. Whether through playful engagement at home or structured support from speech therapy, every effort contributes to your child’s journey toward clear, confident communication. For families seeking guidance and support, Wellness Hub offers resources and insights into speech development, ensuring you’re never alone on this journey. Together, we can turn the challenge of ‘CH’ sounds for kids into an opportunity for growth and learning.

Also Read: Early Identification/ Warning Signs in child development

Simplifying ‘CH’: Strategies and Activities

Simplifying the ‘CH’ sound for our little ones doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right blend of phonics basics and playful pronunciation exercises, we can turn this learning challenge into an enjoyable journey of discovery and improvement. Let’s dive into some effective strategies and activities designed to make the ‘CH’ sound more accessible and fun for preschoolers and beyond.

Phonics Basics for the ‘CH’ Sound

Phonics, the relationship between sounds and their corresponding letters, is a foundational stone for teaching kids how to read and pronounce words correctly. The ‘CH’ sound, a combination of the distinct ‘T’ and ‘SH’ sounds, offers a perfect opportunity to explore phonics in action. By breaking down the sound into its components, children can begin to understand how different letters work together to create unique sounds.

Engaging Activities to Distinguish ‘CH’ from ‘SH’

  1. Sound Sorting: Create a set of cards with ‘CH’ and ‘SH’ words and images. Ask your child to sort them based on the starting sound. This visual and auditory activity reinforces the distinction between the two sounds.
  2. ‘CH’ Hunt: While reading a story, ask your child to listen carefully and raise their hand every time they hear a word with the ‘CH’ sound. This encourages active listening and reinforces phonemic awareness.
  3. Echo Games: Say a ‘CH’ word, like “cherry” or “chair,” and have your child echo it back. Gradually introduce ‘SH’ words into the mix and challenge them to only echo the ‘CH’ words. This fun game boosts their ability to distinguish between similar sounds.
  4. Crafting with ‘CH’: Engage in arts and crafts that involve ‘CH’ words. For example, creating a paper chain while emphasizing the ‘CH’ in “chain” or decorating a paper church. These hands-on activities make learning tangible and memorable.

By incorporating these simple exercises, teaching the CH phoneme becomes an interactive and enjoyable experience. Not only do these activities support child speech improvement, but they also lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning and appreciation for language nuances.

Engaging Activities to Practice ‘CH’

Moving forward on our adventure with the ‘CH’ sound, let’s delve into some engaging and fun-filled activities that promise to not only sharpen your child’s pronunciation skills but also enhance their enjoyment in learning.

Visual Aids: Utilizing Pictures and Flashcards

Visual aids are powerful tools in teaching phonics and pronunciation. They help children make connections between objects and their corresponding words, reinforcing the ‘CH’ sound in a memorable way.

  • Flashcards Fun: Create or find flashcards featuring ‘CH’ words alongside vibrant images. Use these cards to play games, such as memory matches or a quick-paced sorting game, categorizing cards into ‘CH’ and non-‘CH’ sounds.
  • ‘CH’ Picture Collage: Together with your child, browse through magazines or print images online to find objects that start with the ‘CH’ sound. Create a collage and label each picture, emphasizing the ‘CH’ pronunciation as you work.

Interactive Games: Matching Games, Picture Guessing Games, and Using Toys

Interactive games engage children in active learning, making the practice of ‘CH’ sounds feel like playtime rather than a learning session.

  • ‘CH’ Sound Matching Game: Use two sets of cards—one with ‘CH’ word images and the other with written words. Challenge your child to match them, enhancing both their reading skills and sound recognition.
  • Toy Talk: Gather toys that have names starting with or containing the ‘CH’ sound. Encourage your child to name each toy, focusing on the correct pronunciation. This can also lead to imaginative play scenarios based around these ‘CH’ toys.

Reading Together: Selecting Books with Plenty of ‘CH’ Words

Incorporating reading into your ‘CH’ sound practice offers a dual benefit: it nurtures a love for reading while reinforcing the target sound.

  • ‘CH’ Hunt in Books: Choose books with a good number of ‘CH’ words. As you read together, ask your child to point out or say the ‘CH’ words they hear. This can turn into a fun game that both enhances listening skills and reinforces the sound.

Pronunciation Practice: Repetitive Fun Exercises Emphasizing ‘CH’ Sounds

Repetition is key to mastering new sounds. However, this repetition can be made enjoyable and highly effective with a little creativity.

  • ‘CH’ Sound Songs and Rhymes: Create short songs or rhymes that incorporate a list of ‘CH’ words. Singing these together can be a delightful way to practice the sound, with the melody helping to reinforce memory.
  • Echo the ‘CH’: Say a ‘CH’ word and have your child echo it back with emphasis on the ‘CH’ sound. Increase the fun by adding actions or making it a call-and-response game during playtime.

Each of these activities is designed to build your child’s confidence and skill in pronouncing the ‘CH’ sound, all while keeping the learning process light-hearted and engaging. Remember, every child learns at their own pace, so celebrate the effort and progress, no matter how small.

Activities to Master the ‘CH’ Sound

Activity TypeActivity Description
Flashcard FunUse flashcards with ‘CH’ words and images. Play matching games or quick sort games to reinforce the sound.
Matching GamesCreate or use pre-made matching games that pair ‘CH’ word images with their corresponding words.
Picture GuessingHold up pictures of items with ‘CH’ sounds and have the child guess the word, emphasizing the ‘CH’ sound.
Reading TogetherSelect books rich in ‘CH’ words and read together, spotting and saying ‘CH’ words aloud.
Pronunciation PracticeEngage in repetitive pronunciation exercises, such as mimicking the ‘CH’ sound in a fun, exaggerated manner.
‘CH’ Sound SongsInvent simple songs or rhymes that include a list of ‘CH’ words, making learning musical and memorable.
Storytelling with ‘CH’Encourage the child to tell a story using as many ‘CH’ words as possible, boosting creativity and practice.

Everyday Practice

Incorporating ‘CH’ Sound Practice into Daily Routines

  1. Morning Routine: Start the day by choosing clothes with ‘CH’ words (such as a T-shirt with a picture of a “cherry” or “chicken”). While dressing, emphasize the ‘CH’ sound in those words.
  2. Meal Times: Meals offer a fantastic opportunity to practice. Talk about “cheese,” “chicken,” or “chocolate” during breakfast or dinner. Ask your child to name all the ‘CH’ foods they can think of.
  3. Storytime ‘CH’ Hunt: During bedtime stories, make a game out of finding ‘CH’ words in the story. This not only reinforces the sound but also makes reading time even more engaging.

Know more: Speech Therapy at Home: Top Tips For Parents

Encouraging Storytelling and Conversation with ‘CH’ Sound Words

  • ‘CH’ Themed Storytelling: Encourage your child to create stories that involve as many ‘CH’ words as possible. This could be stories about a “cheeky chimpanzee” or a “charming cheetah.”
  • Daily ‘CH’ Recap: Have a daily “chat” where you both share the best part of your day, focusing on using ‘CH’ words. For example, “I chose to sit on a chair in the sunshine” or “I watched a show about a child who could fly.”

Celebrating Progress and Using Positive Reinforcement

  • ‘CH’ Sound Achievement Chart: Create a chart to track progress every time your child correctly uses ‘CH’ words. Stickers or stamps can mark achievements, leading to a reward when they reach a set goal.
  • Praise and Encouragement: Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Praise your child for their efforts, highlighting their progress with phrases like, “I love how clearly you said ‘church’!” Celebrate the small wins together, making them feel proud of their accomplishments.

Read more: 12 Activities to Boost Kids Speech & Language

Signs Your Child Might Benefit from Professional Speech Therapy

  1. Pronunciation Challenges Persist: If your child consistently struggles with pronouncing ‘CH’ sounds or other phonemes beyond the typical age range (around 3½ to 5 years), it might be time to consult a professional.
  2. Frustration or Avoidance: Notice if your child becomes frustrated when attempting to speak or avoids speaking situations. This can be a sign that they’re struggling more than expected.
  3. Limited Vocabulary for Age: If your child’s vocabulary seems limited compared to peers, or they show difficulty in stringing sentences together, speech therapy could provide much-needed support.
  4. Social Interaction Difficulties: Challenges with making friends or participating in group activities due to speech issues can also indicate that additional help might be beneficial.

Recognizing Speech Therapy Needs

Struggles with ‘CH’ SoundConsistently unable to pronounce ‘CH’ sound correctly, substituting it with other sounds beyond the typical age range for mastering this sound.
Frustration SpeakingShows signs of frustration or upset when trying to speak, possibly avoiding speaking in certain situations due to difficulty with sounds.
Limited VocabularyHe finds it challenging to engage in play or conversations with peers, possibly due to a lack of clarity in speech or understanding by others.
Social Interaction DifficultiesFinds it challenging to engage in play or conversations with peers, possibly due to lack of clarity in speech or understanding by others.

How Wellness Hub Can Be a Resource

At Wellness Hub, we understand that seeking help for your child can be daunting. We’re here to support families every step of the way, offering:

  • Expert Guidance: Access to a network of speech therapy professionals who specialize in pediatric speech and language development.
  • Tailored Strategies: Individualized assessment and therapy plans that cater to your child’s specific needs, ensuring they receive the support necessary for success.
  • Parent Resources: Workshops, articles, and tools designed to equip parents with knowledge and strategies to support their child’s speech development at home.
  • Community Support: Connecting with other families through Wellness Hub can provide valuable insights, shared experiences, and a sense of community as you navigate your child’s speech development journey.

Explore more on our article Is Online Speech Therapy Effective? A Comprehensive Overview


Navigating your child’s journey to mastering ‘CH’ sounds requires patience and lots of practice. It’s important to remember that every child learns at their own pace. Celebrating the small wins is key. Every time your child tries, it’s a step forward. Your encouragement means the world to them. It shows them that they can overcome challenges with your support.

Wellness Hub is dedicated to helping families through this journey. We offer expert advice and resources to make learning easier for your child. We’re here to support you with tips and strategies that work. Together, we can help your child communicate clearly and confidently. Your child’s success is our goal, and we’re here to help every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How can I help my child with ‘CH’ sound pronunciation?

Encourage regular practice through fun activities like flashcard games, reading books with ‘CH’ words, and engaging in storytelling that emphasizes ‘CH’ sounds. Consistency and patience are key in helping your child master the ‘CH’ sound.

2. What are some simple activities to improve ‘CH’ sound pronunciation in kids?

Simple activities include playing matching games with ‘CH’ words, using visual aids like flashcards, practicing pronunciation with repetitive exercises, and incorporating ‘CH’ sounds into daily conversations.

3. At what age should children master the ‘CH’ sound?

Most children begin to correctly produce the ‘CH’ sound around the age of 3½ to 4 years. However, it’s not uncommon for some kids to perfect this sound well into their 5th year.

4. Why is the ‘CH’ sound difficult for some children to pronounce?

The ‘CH’ sound is a combination of the ‘T’ and ‘SH’ sounds, requiring precise tongue placement and breath control. It can be challenging for young children to coordinate these movements, leading to substitutions with simpler sounds.

5. When should I consider speech therapy for my child’s ‘CH’ sound difficulties?

Consider seeking speech therapy if your child’s pronunciation challenges persist beyond the typical age range, if they express frustration or avoid speaking, or if they have difficulty interacting socially due to speech issues.

6. How does Wellness Hub support children’s speech development?

Wellness Hub offers access to a network of speech therapy professionals, tailored strategies and activities for home practice, and a wealth of resources for parents to support their child’s speech and language development.

7. Can playing games really help my child learn to pronounce ‘CH’ sounds correctly?

Yes, games can make learning engaging and enjoyable for children. Games that focus on matching, identifying, and using ‘CH’ sound in context help reinforce pronunciation skills in a fun and effective way.

8. How long does it take for a child to improve ‘CH’ sound pronunciation with practice?

The time it takes for a child to improve their ‘CH’ sound pronunciation varies greatly from one child to another. With consistent practice and the right activities, many children show improvement within a few weeks to a few months. Remember, every child’s learning pace is unique, and ongoing encouragement and practice are crucial.

9. Are there specific books or resources recommended for practicing ‘CH’ sounds?

Yes, there are many children’s books and educational resources specifically designed to focus on the ‘CH’ sound. Books with a high frequency of ‘CH’ words, phonics-based learning materials, and online resources curated by speech therapists can be particularly helpful. Wellness Hub offers a selection of recommended materials and activities to support ‘CH’ sound practice at home.

10. How can I make practicing ‘CH’ sound fun and engaging for my child?

Turning practice into a game is a great way to keep your child engaged. Use flashcards for a ‘CH’ sound scavenger hunt, create stories together using as many ‘CH’ words as possible, or sing songs that incorporate ‘CH’ sounds. The key is to make the activities interactive and enjoyable so your child looks forward to them as part of playtime rather than seeing them as tasks.

About the Author:

Rajini Darugupally

M.Sc., Speech-Language Pathologist (9+ years of experience)

Rajini is a passionate and dedicated Speech-Language Pathologist with over 9+ years of experience, specializing in both developmental speech and language disorders in children and rehabilitation in adults. Driven by a desire to empower each individual to find their voice, Rajini brings a wealth of experience and a warm, genuine approach to therapy.

Currently, at Wellness Hub, she thrives in a team environment that values innovation, compassion, and achieving results for their clients.

Connect with Rajini to learn more about how she can help you or your loved one find their voice.

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