Teach N & Syllable Level Practice

Teach your child how to say N and then practice the newly learned skill at the syllable level. Your child will learn how to say N correctly in the beginning, medial, and end of syllables. If you are just starting your home practice, this is a very important first step.

Teach N With a Mirror

We are going to teach your child the N sound using a mirror. This technique works well for most children. If your child is distracted by the mirror, remove it. You can follow each step simply by looking at each other.

N is a visual sound which means that your child can easily see how to make it by looking at you. Therefore, bring attention to your face as much as possible during these practices.

Mirror Game

Materials: A mirror, preferably a slightly big mirror such a floor mirror and the N syllable list

How to do activity:

1. Get down to the level of your child. This may even include the floor!

2. Look into the mirror with your child.

3. Now, get your child interested in the activity by being silly (if needed)! A few tips include kissing the mirror, making silly faces, or touching the mirror.

4. Next, work on imitation. Make a gesture of any kind and have your child imitate. 

5. Once your child is successfully imitating, open your mouth really wide and put your tongue behind your teeth. Say "na," "na," "na." Have your child imitate while looking at you or the mirror. If your child imitates you, great! If not, read number 7 or 8.

7. If your child can't find the alevolar ridge, bring attention to your tongue tip by pointing to it or moving it back and forth. Once your child is paying attention to your tongue, put it on the alveolar ridge (bumpy part behind the teeth) as if you were going to say the N sound. See if your child can imitate. If he or she does, yeah! Move on to number 9. If not, read number 8.

8. Place a dab of something sticky on your child's alveolar ridge such as peanut butter or yogurt. Then put a dab on your child's tongue tip (if necessary). Tell your child to touch the sticky food on the top of their mouth with their tongue. With their tongue in place, tell their child to freeze their tongue to that spot and then say the N sound. 

9. Now that your child can say the N sound, pick a syllable from the list below. 

10. Say the syllable with an exaggerated face and have your child repeat.

11. Cover syllables with N in the beginning, middle, and end. The middle and end position may be the most difficult.

N syllable list

Helpful Tips:

  • Bring attention to your tongue and lips when possible. I like to point.
  • Make it fun!


Work on syllables for a few minutes a few times a day or until your child learns how to say N correctly. 


Don’t forget to fill out the syllable chart above so you can remember what you tried and how it went! 

Your child may learn N syllables quickly, in a matter of minutes for some! When your child is saying N right most of the time, move on to the word level! Don't spend too much time here.

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