How to Say P & Teaching Cues

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How To Say P

To learn how to say the P sound we must know what each articulator (lips, tongue, teeth, breath, and voice) does. 

Lips: Lips are slightly pressed together (enough not to let air escape but not too much where it feels unnatural)

Tongue:  It is relaxed in a neutral position

Teeth: They are relaxed in a resting position

Jaw: The jaw is up and centered

Breath: /P/ is a plosive sound which means the breath bursts out of the mouth upon sound production

Voice: /P /is a not voiced sound which means the voice box is turned off

Please say P in front of a mirror and look and feel what all your muscles are doing. Once you have a good handle on how to say P, you can now better teach your child.

Printable Sheet


How to use this section:

I will introduce all cues that I find helpful. Please read and become familiar with each one. You will not use all of them. Instead, when you are ready to start practicing, you will try a few and figure out which ones are most helpful for your child. Most likely, you will use a combination of a few. Please refer back to this section as needed!

Speech therapists use a variety of cues during therapy including tactile (touch), verbal (words), and visual (visual models/mirrors) to elicit a correct sound production. Below are the most useful cues for P.


  1. Get out a mirror and have your child put their lips together
  2. Model what a correct /p/ looks like and have your child copy

For visual cues to work, make sure your child is looking at you. I bring objects near my mouth or point to my mouth to bring a child's attention to my mouth.


  1. Say “lips together”
  2. Say “hide your teeth”
  3. Say “close lips”
  4. Say “make lips pop”


  1. Lightly press your child’s lips together
  2. Have your child put their finger in front of their mouth as if he or she is saying “sh” (but don’t round lips) and then explode with a /p/ to make his/her finger “pop.”

Printable Sheet

What's Next

Now that your know how to say P and what cues are helpful, head over to Teach P to start teaching and practicing!

› How To Say P


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