Need th word lists for speech therapy? Speech pathologists looking for a quick list of initial th words and final th 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, articulation worksheets, and speech therapy activities to help a child practice the th sound. Not only does this blog post provide a list of initial and final th words, but it also suggests a variety of strategies for teaching correct placement. SLPs will be able to have a list of words on hand to easily use in the therapy room.
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Correct Production of TH
The th sound is made by sticking the tongue between the upper front teeth and the bottom front teeth and blowing air. The tongue tip is just visible while making this sound. Alternatively, the tongue tip might approach the inner surface of the upper front teeth.
The th sound can be voiceless (as in think) or voiced (as in them). Voiced sounds involve the vocal cords vibrating.
The th sound is a later developing sound. Articulation therapy can assist with correct tongue placement while producing the voiceless th or voiced th sound.
Common TH Sound Errors
Sometimes, the voiceless th sound is substituted with s (sink vs think), t (tink vs think), and f (fink vs think).
The voiced th sound might be substituted with z, d, or v.
A student with an articulation disorder may have difficulty with the th’ sound. An articulation disorder can impact a child’s speech intelligibility. However, speech pathologists must be careful to determine a speech and language difference versus a disorder. It is important to note that dialectal features are not considered articulation errors (or speech errors). This is especially important to consider during the evaluation process. Learn more from this article (reference: American Speech Language Hearing Association).
References: Bauman-Waengler, J.A. Articulatory and Phonological Impairments: A Clinical Focus. Third ed., Pearson Education Limited, 2013.
How To Teach the TH Sound in Speech Therapy
There are several ways to try to teach the th sound in speech therapy.
Speech pathologists can try using auditory bombardment. This would allow the child to hear the target sound over and over again. Word lists are provided in this article.
Give this sound a new name. For older students, you might call it “your tongue sound”, to remind them of proper tongue placement.
Provide visual cues. Touching the throat can be a reminder of the voicing for a voiced th. Tapping near your lips or bottom teeth can remind the student of where the tip of your tongue needs to protrude.
Get in front of the mirror! Use a mirror to see if the student can fog it up while they blow air during the production of this sound.
Use your hand flattened out as a representation of the tongue, then push it forward to represent continuous airflow.
A speech-language pathologist might introduce minimal pairs to help the child see and hear the difference between the th sound and the speech sound substitution.
Provide accurate feedback. “I heard the /t/ sound instead of your tongue sound.”
Speech Sounds- Word Lists for the TH Sound
The following word lists contain words with the initial th sound, medial th sound, and final th sound. These articulation word lists allow the speech therapist to easily work on a target sound and speech goals in speech therapy at the word level. Or, have your student think of an extra word or two to create short phrases for practice. Quickly pull these word lists up during your speech therapy session and pair them with the game or activity of your choice. These word lists provide less complex syllable shapes to more complex multisyllabic words.
TH Word Lists for Speech Therapy
Initial Voiceless TH Words
Here is a list of voiceless th words in the initial position to use in speech therapy (initial position of the th sound):
Medial Voiceless TH Words
Here is a list of voiceless th in the medial position of words to use in speech therapy (th in the medial position of a word):
- mouth guard
- bath towel
- 5:30 (five-thirty)
Final Voiceless TH Word List
Here is a list of voiceless th in the final position of words to use in speech therapy (th in the final position of a word):
- bubble bath
Initial Voiced TH Word List
Here is a list of voiced th words in the initial position to use in speech therapy (initial position of the th sound):
Medial Voiced TH Words
Here is a list of voiced th in the medial position of words to use in speech therapy (th in the medial position of a word):
Final Voiced TH Words
Here is a list of voiced th in the final position of words to use in speech therapy (th in the final position of a word):
- sun bathe
Speech Therapy Activities for the TH Sound
Speech therapists often need interactive resources, articulation activities, or a fun game to work on these difficult sounds! Here are my top articulation activities to teach TH sound acquisition. These activities provide a great way to motivate your students who have speech sound disorders!
TH Articulation Picture Cards for Speech Therapy
Easily remind your student to keep the tip of the tongue between the teeth while producing the TH sound! These articulation cards are incredibly effective because they provide a speech sound mouth placement visual cue. They are also easy to send home for at-home practice. Family members can easily review the articulation th words as a carryover activity to work on their child’s speech. These new words are practical and a great way to get started with targeting the voiced or voiceless th sound in initial, medial, and final word positions.
To assemble, print out the cards, cut them out, laminate them, and attach them using a binder ring. And as a bonus, they make fantastic speech room decor! Alyssa, SLP, reviewed, “These were not only great word lists, but also great visuals. Love that I can prep them once and hang them in my room for everyday use. Thank you!”
Voiceless TH Card Game
Do your students love playing cards in speech therapy? This card game companion is quickly going to become a hit in your speech therapy room! My students kept asking over and over to play the popular, color-coded card game. Then it hit me: I could use the colors and symbols on the cards. So now, before my student puts down a blue card during his turn, he must say the th articulation word that is listed under the blue section. If he draws a yellow card, he must say the th articulation word that is assigned to that target color. It’s fast, easy, and motivating! This activity targets initial voiceless th, medial voiceless th, and final voiceless th. Please note: The Pedi Speechie is in no way associated with the well-known card game, which is trademarked.
Playdough Articulation Activity
Sick of boring articulation drill? Why not have FUN and do a “speech therapy manicure“? This unique activity is going to absolutely become a favorite in your speech therapy room. You’ll need some play dough colors, of course. The play dough will represent the nail polish. Next, you’ll need to pick out which target sound you’d like to address during that session. The following sounds are included in this resource: p, t, d, k, g, s blends, s, f, sh, ch, r, r blends, l, l blends, voiceless th, voiced th, z, vocalic r, and more!
Meghan L., SLP, reported, “I LOVE this resource, and so do my students! It is such a fun way to target goals, and I appreciate its function as a digital activity, printable activity, or laminated activity. Cannot recommend this resource enough!”
Articulation Tic Tac Toe
Need to work on voiced or voiceless th sounds in single words? Try these articulation tic tac toe worksheets! They can be paired with bingo daubers or a magnetic wand and chips! These articulation worksheets are no prep and low ink. They cover a variety of speech sounds, including some of the hardest sounds, like th, vocalic r, s, z, ch, and j. Simply choose the articulation speech sound that will be addressed during the speech therapy session. Print out the corresponding page. Say a target word while playing a game of tic tac toe! With each new word, your student will place a chip on the page or daub the circle. This game provides simple and fun ways to practice the th sound in speech therapy!
Fun Articulation Games
Here are a few games that I like to pair with my articulation worksheets and articulation cards! These games can be used for a variety of skills. I have my students practice saying a target word, then they get to take a turn at the game.
More Articulation Word Lists for Speech Therapists
Short on time and need a quick summary of this article? Scroll up for the th word lists. Then, try out these best- selling articulation worksheets and activities to work on the th sound:
- speech sound mouth cards for articulation
- articulation card game companion
- articulation manicure activity
- articulation tic tac toe worksheets
Don’t miss these other articulation word lists!