K words

k words, k sounds, activities for the k sound,

K words can be particularly tricky to say for many children. Because the /k/ sound is made in the back of the throat, children aren’t able to pick up on visual cues for producing the sound like they are for other speech sounds. 

Your articulation therapy sessions with a client who’s struggling with producing the /k/ sound may go something like this:

“Cat”...”Tat”. “Car”...”Tar”. “Cape”...”Tape”.

One of the most common errors children make when attempting to make the /k/ sound is applying the phonological process of fronting.

Fronting occurs when the child replaces a sound that should be made in the back of the throat (a velar sound, such as /k/) with a sound made in the front of the mouth (an alveolar sound, such as /t/). 

According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), fronting is typically eliminated by age 4. However, many children continue to have difficulty producing the /k/ sound past 4, and it can significantly impact their intelligibility.

Eliminating the phonological process of fronting and accurate production of the /k/ sound are common goals in speech therapy. If you feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels and the child just isn’t picking up on the /k/ sound, we’re here to help.

Think of this as your ultimate resource for tips, tricks and activities for teaching the /k/ sound, along with a list of the most functional words containing k sound for children to learn. 

 


How to teach k sounds (how to elicit k)

Exercise #1: The Lollipop Stop

When a child substitutes /t/ for /k/, how can you stop that tongue tip from going up?

Try giving the child some tactile assistance to start off. Using a lollipop, ask the child to keep his or her mouth open. Then, touch the lollipop to the surface of the tongue, toward the tongue tip.

As you hold the lollipop in place, preventing the tongue from going up, ask the child to try making the /k/ sound.

You can also use a tongue depressor instead of a lollipop! The idea is the child will begin to understand and feel how to produce the sound, and you can gradually eliminate providing tactile assistance. He or she can then try making /k/ in isolation more independently.

Exercise #2: Lay on Your Back

Here’s another method to help a child keep his or her tongue down to produce the glottal /k/ sound. Ask the child to lay on his or her back on the floor.

As the child does this and looks up towards the ceiling with his or her mouth open, it will be slightly harder for the child to make the /t/ sound as an error when trying for “K”.

Exercise #3: Coughing for /k/

To elicit the /k/ sound, try asking the child to open their mouth and cough.

Demonstrate this by pointing to your throat as you make the /k/ sound similar to a coughing sound. This can help increase the child’s awareness of where and how the sound is made.


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Exercise #4: Bring out the Books

Books are a fun, functional way to work on a child’s articulation of speech sounds. Read a book that contains frequent repetitions of words that contain the /k/ sound.

Bring the child’s awareness to your mouth as you model how to make the /k/ sound while reading the book. Once the child is able to make the sound in isolation, try seeing if he or she can carry it over to syllables and words!

Here are some favorite kids books that provide frequent opportunities for the child to practice k words:


Exercise #5: Creative Cooking

Get creative with some real or pretend cooking to help children produce and practice the /k/ sound or k words.

In-person or by coaching a caregiver over teletherapy, have the child help bake cookies, cupcakes, or ice cream!

Here are some ideas for incorporating the /k/ sound or k words into one of these fun, delicious activities:
  • Encourage words like cupcake, cookie, cook, and cream.
  • Have the child ask, “Can I…” before helping with each step.
  • Practice the /k/ in the initial, medial, and final word positions, with words such as: pick, decorate, and take.
  • Clean up when you’re finished backing and let the cookies or cupcakes cool down.

Online Articulation Games for Teletherapy  (for k sound)

Over teletherapy, you can make virtual treats by using your screen sharing feature. Incorporate the same words to work on the /k/ sound!

Give these websites and games a try:



List of K Words


Initial Position
1-Syllable

Car

Kite

Card

Keep

Cake

Can

Cup

Cold

Cook

Cool

Cow

Count

Corn

Cut

Cat

Coat

Multisyllabic

Carrot

Candle

Candy

Closet

Caterpillar

Computer

Kangaroo

Ketchup

Kindergarten

Cookie

Cupcake

Crayon

Medial Position

Backpack

Bicycle

Broken

Chocolate

Circle

Lucky

Napkin

Sticky

Sneaker

Popsicle

Vacuum

Yucky

Ice Cream

Final Position
1-Syllable

Take

Took

Cook

Pink

Rock

Shake

Stuck

Snake

Truck

Walk

Park

Dark

Fork

Bike

Work


Multisyllabic

Backpack

Sidewalk

Patty-Cake

Picnic

Awake

Schoolwork

Beanstalk

Drumstick

Chipmunk

Shamrock

Teamwork

Artwork


More resources

 

Speech language pathologists working in private practice with individuals who have an articulation disorder or phonological disorder can utilize TheraPlatform for helpful resources and to manage their speech therapy practice. TheraPlatform also offers a risk-free, 30-day trial for its EHR software. No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

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