Speech Therapy Strategies for Kids: Mastering CH Words

By Rajini D

Last Updated: April 17, 2024

Welcome to the wonderful world of words, where mastering the sounds of speech is more than just a milestone—it’s a gateway to expressing thoughts, desires, and feelings. Among these sounds, the “CH” sound holds a special place in early childhood development. It’s a sound that pops up in cherished words like “chocolate,” “cheese,” and “chuckle,” and mastering it can be a game-changer for young learners.

But let’s be honest, navigating the journey of speech sounds isn’t always a walk in the park. For many children, the “CH” sound can be a tricky hurdle. It’s not just about the challenge of producing the sound correctly; it’s about how this challenge can affect a child’s confidence and social interactions. Imagine the frustration when “cheese” turns into “ees” during a snack-time chat or when “chocolate” is heard as “cocoa” in a storybook reading. These moments matter because they’re not just about clarity of speech; they’re about the ease with which a child communicates with the world around them.

Also read: Help Kids Master the “CH” Sound

Understanding the CH Sound

Diving a bit deeper into our speech journey, let’s zoom in on the “CH” sound, a unique and vibrant part of our spoken language puzzle. This sound, found in words like “cherry” and “watch,” plays a significant role in the colorful tapestry of our communication. But what makes the “CH” sound like a tricky contender in the speech development arena?

Understanding the Complexity of the CH Sound

At its core, the “CH” sound is a blend of two distinct sounds. It starts with a “t” sound, followed closely by a “sh” sound, creating what speech therapists call an affricate. This means it begins as a stop (where airflow is stopped entirely) and transitions into a fricative (where air passes through a narrow constriction, creating friction). It’s this two-part dance that often poses a challenge for young speakers. Their journey involves not just mastering each part but also learning to connect them smoothly in quick succession.

Here are some simple exercises to bring you and your little one closer to mastering the “CH” sound:

The Steam Train Game

Encourage your child to think of the “CH” sound as if it were a steam train. It starts slow with a “t” sound, like the train getting ready. Then, it speeds up with a “sh” sound, like the train zooming away. This fun picture makes practice exciting.

Mirror Practice

Stand with your child in front of a mirror. Say “CH” words together and watch how your mouths and tongues move. Seeing how it’s done helps kids learn the right way to make the sound.

Feather Fun

Try holding a feather in front of your mouth. Use the “CH” sound to make it float. This isn’t just good for learning the sound; it also turns practice into a fun game.

Finding the “CH” Sound

When you’re reading a book or watching TV together, keep an ear out for “CH” sounds. Clap or cheer when you hear one. This helps your child get better at noticing the sounds in different words.

Sweet Sound Shifts

Use treats to make practice fun. Have your child make a “t” sound before a snack and a “sh” sound after. It’s a yummy way to work on changing from one sound to the other.

By integrating these simple, fun exercises into your routine, you’re not just helping your child master a sound; you’re opening doors to clearer communication and more confident interactions. Remember, every child’s pace is unique, so celebrate the small victories and enjoy the journey together.

Also read: Is My 3-4 Year Old Talking Enough? A Parent’s Guide to Milestones

Why Some Kids Struggle with CH Sounds

Navigating the journey of speech development in children, especially when it comes to mastering sounds like “CH,” can sometimes feel like trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces. If you’ve noticed your child struggling with these sounds, you’re certainly not alone.

Common Reasons for Difficulties with CH Sounds

  1. Phonological Processes: This fancy term simply refers to the natural part of speech development where young children simplify adult speech. For example, they might drop one part of the “CH” sound, turning “chair” into “air.” It’s a normal stage, but sometimes, kids get a bit stuck and need a little extra help moving past these simplifications.
  2. Late Development: Just like walking or tying shoelaces, children develop speech sounds at their own pace. Some might master the “CH” sound early on, while others take a bit more time. It’s important to remember that being a late bloomer in speech development is not uncommon and doesn’t necessarily signal a problem.
  3. Motor Skill Challenges: Producing the “CH” sound requires a coordinated effort between the lips, tongue, and breath. Some children face difficulties with motor skills in general, which can extend to speech sound production. It’s akin to learning how to coordinate different body movements in a dance routine.
  4. Hearing Issues: Consistent exposure to how sounds are made in the environment, including speech sounds, is crucial. Sometimes, undetected hearing problems can affect a child’s ability to hear and thus replicate sounds accurately.

Know more: Communication Difficulties in Children | What Results in Communication Problems and How are they Treated?

Embracing Improvement with the Right Strategies

Now, if you’re feeling a bit worried after reading through these common challenges, take a deep breath. The wonderful news is that with the right support and strategies, most children can overcome their difficulties with the “CH” sound. Here’s a little reassurance:

  • Early Intervention: The earlier these challenges are addressed, the easier it is for children to catch up. Early intervention programs can offer tailored support, making a big difference in speech development.
  • Speech Therapy: Speech-language pathologists are like detectives and coaches rolled into one. They can identify the specific reasons behind a child’s speech difficulties and provide personalized strategies to help them improve.
  • Home Support: Engaging in simple, fun activities at home can also support your child’s speech development. It doesn’t have to be complicated – just playful and part of your daily routine.
  • Patience and Positivity: Remember, every child’s journey is unique. Celebrate the small milestones and maintain a positive, encouraging environment. Your support makes a world of difference.

At Wellness Hub, we understand the concerns and questions you might have about your child’s speech development. We’re here to guide you through understanding these challenges and finding the right support for your little one. While we might not have directly mentioned Wellness Hub until now, know that our resources and experts are here to support you every step of the way on this journey.

Strategies for Mastering CH Words

Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or teacher, integrating simple yet effective strategies can transform this journey into an engaging and enjoyable learning experience for children. Let’s explore a variety of methods that cater to different learning styles, ensuring that every child finds joy and success in mastering “CH” sounds.

Awareness and Discrimination Activities

Listening is the first step to speaking. Developing a keen ear for the “CH” sound helps children distinguish it from similar sounds. Try these activities to sharpen their auditory skills:

  • Sound Scavenger Hunt: Turn a walk outside or time spent at home into a mission to find objects that contain the “CH” sound. Celebrate each discovery together.
  • Musical CH: Play or sing songs that feature plenty of “CH” sounds. Pause occasionally and have children identify the sound or the word you paused on.

Articulation Exercises

Articulation, or the physical production of sounds, can be nurtured through playful exercises:

  • Mirror Time: Encourage children to watch their mouth and tongue movements in a mirror as they say “CH” words. It’s a great way for them to see how sounds are formed.
  • CH Sound Isolation: Start with isolating the “CH” sound on its own, then gradually build up to using it in syllables, words, and eventually, sentences. For example, from “ch…ch…ch…” to “chop,” then “Chop the cheese.”

Fun and Games

Incorporating “CH” word practice into games and daily routines removes the pressure of learning and replaces it with fun:

  • CH Word Bingo: Create bingo cards with “CH” words and pictures. As you call out words or show pictures, children can mark their cards.
  • Craft with CH: Engage in crafts related to “CH” words. For instance, make a “cherry” collage or a paper “chick.”

Using Technology

Leverage the vast array of online resources and apps to make learning interactive and exciting:

  • Educational Apps: Apps designed for speech development can provide interactive ways for children to practice “CH” sounds with instant feedback and encouragement.
  • Online Stories and Videos: Utilize resources from Wellness Hub that feature stories and videos emphasizing “CH” words, offering a visual and auditory learning experience.

Activities to Practice CH Sounds

Activity TypeActivity DescriptionExpected Outcome
Listening GamesEngage in “Sound Detective” games where the child listens for CH sounds in conversations, TV shows, or while reading together. Use a “Sound Jar” to collect items that start with the CH sound.Enhances the child’s ability to discriminate CH sounds from other sounds, improving auditory processing and awareness.
Articulation ExercisesUse a mirror to practice CH sounds, encouraging the child to watch how their mouth and tongue move. Start with the sound on its own, then in simple syllables (e.g., “cha”, “che”, “chi”), progressing to words and phrases.Directly improves the accuracy of CH sound production by providing visual feedback and allowing for self-correction.
Fun and GamesCH Word Bingo: Create bingo cards with images or words containing the CH sound.
Crafts with CH: Make art projects based on CH words, like “cherry” paintings or “church” models.
Makes the learning process enjoyable and effective by integrating CH sound practice into creative and playful activities.
Technology UseIntroduce educational apps and online games focused on CH sound pronunciation and recognition. Look for interactive stories that highlight CH words and encourage repetition.Supplements traditional learning methods with engaging, interactive content, offering diverse approaches to mastering CH sounds.

Explore more on our article 12 Activities to Boost Kids Speech & Language

Engaging Activities at Home

Creating a nurturing environment at home for practicing “CH” sounds can make a big difference. Here are some activities to try:

  • Cooking Together: Choose recipes that involve “CH” ingredients, like “chocolate chips” or “cheese.” As you cook, emphasize the “CH” words.
  • Storytime with a Twist: Pick books filled with “CH” words or create your own stories together. Highlight the “CH” words as you read, and encourage your child to say them aloud.
  • Treasure Hunts: Hide items that start with “CH” around the house. As your child finds them, have them say the word before moving on to the next clue.

Know more: The Crucial Role of Parents in Online Speech Therapy

When to Seek Professional Help

As we navigate the adventure of speech development with our children, there are times when the path isn’t as clear as we’d hope. Knowing when to seek professional guidance can make all the difference in your child’s journey. While it’s natural for children to progress at their own pace, certain signs might indicate the need for a consultation with a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). Here’s how to recognize those moments and how Wellness Hub can support you in taking that step.

Signs It Might Be Time to Consult an SLP

  1. Age-Related Milestones: If your child is significantly behind their peers in speech clarity, particularly with sounds like “CH” that most children master by a certain age, it might be time to seek advice.
  2. Frustration in Communication: Notice if your child shows signs of frustration or withdraws from speaking because they’re struggling to make themselves understood. This emotional response can indicate that they’re aware of the difficulty but don’t know how to overcome it.
  3. Consistent Mispronunciations: It’s normal for young children to mispronounce new words. However, consistently replacing “CH” sounds with other sounds (like “sh” or “t”) beyond the typical age of acquisition could suggest a need for support.
  4. Difficulty Following Directions: If there’s a noticeable pattern of difficulty understanding or following directions, it might not just be about the “CH” sound but a broader issue that an SLP can help diagnose.
  5. Social Challenges: Struggles with making friends or participating in group activities due to speech issues can affect a child’s social development and self-esteem.

Wellness Hub’s Role in Connecting Families with Professional Support

Recognizing the need for help is a crucial first step, and Wellness Hub is here to support you through the next stages. Our platform is designed to connect families with professional speech therapy services tailored to their specific needs. Here’s how we can help:

  • Access to Expertise: Wellness Hub offers a network of experienced Speech-Language Pathologists who specialize in pediatric speech development, including the mastery of “CH” sounds and beyond.
  • Personalized Support: Understanding that every child’s journey is unique, we facilitate access to professionals who provide personalized assessment and strategies, ensuring that support aligns with your child’s specific challenges and strengths.
  • Convenient Solutions: With options for both in-person and online consultations, Wellness Hub makes it easy for families to find the right support at the right time, ensuring that help is always within reach.
  • Resource Hub: Beyond direct therapy services, Wellness Hub provides a wealth of resources, from articles and tips to interactive tools, designed to empower parents and caregivers in supporting their child’s speech development journey.


As we come to the end of our journey through the “CH” sound adventure, remember that every child moves at their own pace. The key to helping them master speech sounds like “CH” is lots of patience and never giving up. Celebrate the small wins and keep the learning fun and positive. This way, you’re not just teaching them how to say “CH” correctly; you’re giving them the confidence to express themselves and connect with the world around them.

If you’re looking for more help or resources, Wellness Hub is here for you. We offer everything from expert advice to personalized speech therapy services. So, take a look at what we have to offer and join us in creating a supportive space for your child to learn and grow. Let’s tackle the challenges of speech development together, making every step forward a reason to celebrate.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What age should a child master the CH sound?

Most children should be able to produce the CH sound correctly by the age of 3.5 to 4 years. However, some children might take a little longer, and that’s perfectly okay. Every child’s speech development journey is unique.

2. How can I help my child pronounce CH sounds at home?

Engaging in simple, playful activities that emphasize the CH sound can be very effective. Try games, crafts, and reading stories together that feature CH words. Remember to make it fun and stress-free.

3. Why is my child struggling with CH sounds?

Difficulties with CH sounds can stem from various reasons, including late speech development, phonological processes, or motor skill challenges. If you’re concerned, consulting a speech-language pathologist can provide you with personalized advice.

4. Can technology help my child with CH sound pronunciation?

Yes, there are many educational apps and online resources that provide interactive ways for children to practice speech sounds, including CH. These tools can complement traditional speech therapy and home practice.

5. When should I seek professional help for my child’s speech development?

If your child is significantly behind their peers in speech clarity, shows frustration with communication, or has consistent mispronunciations beyond the typical age of acquisition, it might be time to consult a speech-language pathologist.

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

Wellness Hub connects families with professional speech therapy services, offering access to expert advice, personalized support, and a variety of resources designed to support children’s speech development.

7. What are some simple exercises to practice CH sounds?

Simple exercises like mirror practice to observe mouth movements, sound isolation (repeating the CH sound on its own), and playing listening games to identify CH sounds in words can be very helpful. These activities can easily be incorporated into daily routines.

8. How long does it typically take for a child to master the CH sound?

The time it takes for a child to master the CH sound can vary widely. While some children might grasp it quickly, others may need more time and practice. Consistency and patience are key, along with regular practice and, if necessary, professional guidance.

9. Are there specific games that can help my child with CH sound pronunciation?

Yes, games like “Sound Scavenger Hunt,” where you find objects that start with the CH sound, or “CH Word Bingo,” can make learning engaging and effective. Tailoring games to your child’s interests can also boost their motivation to participate.

10. Can difficulties with CH sounds impact my child’s academic performance?

Speech sounds play a crucial role in clear communication, literacy, and learning. Difficulties with CH sounds can sometimes affect reading and spelling. However, with early intervention and support, children can overcome these challenges and thrive academically.

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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