If you’re a speech-language pathologist looking for a quick list of initial and final f target words to practice during speech therapy, make sure to bookmark this post. You’ll also find some great ideas for making therapy more fun with a variety of engaging games, resources, and speech therapy activities for teaching the f sound. Not only does this blog post provide a list of initial and final f words, but it also suggests a variety of strategies for teaching correct placement.
Correct Production of F
The f sound is a labiodental fricative sound. To produce the f sound, the top teeth need to rest against the bottom lip. When the top front teeth are placed on the lower lip, the next step is to blow a small puff of air. The result will be /f/ in isolation.
Common F Sound Errors
A child with an articulation disorder or phonological disorder may substitute the p sound for the f sound. In other words, the place and manner of articulation have been modified. The fricative sound is changed to a stop-plosive sound. The result may be an error that a speech language pathologist might classify as “stopping”, because the airflow is literally stopped. An example of this would be saying “pish” for “fish”. Stopping can be a common process noted in young children with phonological disorders. You may find minimal pairs for stopping to be a helpful tool when correcting this substitution. These errors may impact a child’s speech intelligibility.
How To Teach the F Sound in Speech Therapy
Speech Therapy Suggestions
It is often helpful to provide a tactile cue. This might be as simple as tapping or touching the bottom lip.
A fun way to remind your student about how to produce this sound is to give it a fun name that emphasizes “biting” down on the lower lip. You might give the f sound a silly name, like the “biting sound” or the “walrus teeth sound” or the “bunny teeth sound”.
SLPs could also elicit this sound by having the student practice moving a lightweight object, like a piece of dental string, across a table.
A lot of times, younger children might have a hard time and produce a “stop insertion” error while trying to say the f sound. In other words, while practicing the word “fish”, they might say, “f…bish.”
When this happens, I slow things down a bit. I model the f sound in isolation, pause, then open my mouth really wide. I exaggerate the vowel and then say the rest of the word. “F….AAAAAn” or “F….IIIIIIIsh.”
If I am practicing the f sound at the end of a word, I keep it simple at first. Speech pathologists may benefit by having the child keep the jaw in an elevated position. I like to encourage jaw stability. I often choose simple CVC target words, like “huff”.
Speech Sound Word Lists for the F Sound
The following word lists contain words with the initial f sound, medial f sound, final f sound, and f in consonant clusters (both initial and final position). These articulation word lists allow the SLP to easily work on a target sound in speech therapy. Quickly pull these word lists up during your speech therapy session and pair them with the game or activity of your choice.
Initial F Word List for Speech Therapy
Here is a list of f words in the initial position to use in speech therapy (f in the beginning of the word):
Medial F Word List for Speech Therapy
Here is a list of f in the medial position of words to use in speech therapy (f in the middle of words):
Final F Word Lists for Speech Therapy
Here is a list of f in the final position of words to use in speech therapy (f at the end of words):
Initial Consonant Clusters with F Word List for Speech Therapy
Here is a list of initial consonant cluster f words to use in speech therapy:
Speech Therapy Activities for the F Sound
Are you a school speech therapist looking for some great activities to work on the F sound? I’ll share 2 of my favorite go-to articulation activities that can be used for targeting this speech sound.
Initial F and Final F Picture Cards for Speech Therapy
A school speech therapist has a busy schedule and needs effective activities to use in therapy. These initial f and final f articulation picture cards are wonderful because they provide a speech sound mouth placement visual. They are also easy to send home for home practice. Family members can easily review the articulation f words as a carryover activity to work on their child’s speech.
To assemble, simply print out the cards, laminate them, then cut them out. Assemble them together using a binder ring for easy storage.
Playdough Articulation Activity
This activity targets a variety of speech sounds at the word level. Have fun practicing the f sound while creating “speech therapy manicures“! Simply pick the playdough of your choice, then practice a target word. After that, smash dough on the playdough smash mat and cover a nail. After practicing all of the target words, the manicure will be completed!