It is very common for young children to have a hard time saying their R sounds. They might have a hard time saying the R at the beginning, middle, and/or the end of the word. Some children master it in one position of the word, such as the beginning, and still struggle with a different position, like the middle. Luckily, there are things that you can do to help your child learn how to say R properly before they even reach elementary school. Here are a couple tips.
1. Teach Them Not To Use Their Lips
Many children restrict themselves from properly saying the R sound because they use their lips to form the R sound. In so doing they make it sound more like a W and less like an R. Usually they use their lips in a kissing position as they say the R. This needs to be corrected.
The first step is to teach the child to open their mouth when they say an R sound. Start by trying to teach the child to say R while they smile. If needed, take a tongue depressor or a marker and place it on the side of their mouth so they have to keep their mouth open and in a smiling position. Then have them say words with the letter R in them. This is the first step.
2. Teach The Child To Use Their Tongue
After the child has gotten out of the habit of using their lips to say the R sound you can start adding in the tongue. You should teach the child to put their tongue on the top of their mouth is a rolled position. By holding their mouth open in a smiling position you should be able to see what they are doing with their tongue. They might need to look in a mirror so that they can see what they are doing. They might be able to see on their own that their tongue is not moving properly. Once they learn how to roll their tongue then you can practice saying more R words while smiling and using the tongue.
3. Blend The Words
At the beginning the child may be able to only say simple words such as “Car, Road, Mary.” But as they master those simple words you can help them to learn more difficult words such as “Mirror, Racer, Red Rover” and other words that have multiple R’s and in different positions. If the child is having a hard time with the more challenging words try blending it with a simple word. So have them first say “Car-Rover.”
By doing these simple things you can help your preschool aged child learn how to correctly say their R sounds, which helps them to prepare for preschool programs and kindergarten.