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The BEST K and G Words (Speech Therapy)

If you’re a speech language pathologist looking for activities, ideas, and articulation word lists for k and g words speech therapy practice, then you’re in the right place! This blog post explains the correct tongue position for k and g sounds. In addition, this article lists the most common substitutions for k and g, as well as articulation therapy tips for eliciting k and g sounds. Read on for k and g words speech therapy lists, and make sure to check out the recommended articulation activities for practicing these sounds! 

This blog post recommends the best k and g words speech therapy activities for speech-language pathologists to use during therapy sessions.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we could receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.

Why Does a Speech Therapist Target K and G Words (Speech Therapy)?

A speech-language pathologist often targets k and g words in speech therapy. 

Many children, especially young children, have a hard time correctly producing k & g. 

SLPs teach the correct placement for velars and practice the target sound (k,g) in words, short phrases, and at the sentence level.

It is important to target a variety of articulation sounds as children with speech sound disorders may be at risk for reading disorders.


Sices, L., Taylor, H. G., Freebairn, L., Hansen, A., & Lewis, B. (2007). Relationship between speech-sound disorders and early literacy skills in preschool-age children: impact of comorbid language impairment. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755217/#:~:text=Disorders%20of%20articulation%20or%20speech,phonologic%2C%20and%20verbal%20memory%20skills.

Looking for the best k and g words speech therapy activities? Check out these fun velar fronting and articulation activities to try during your speech therapy session.

Correct Position for K and G

Both k and g sounds are velars and stops. 

These velar consonants are both considered to be a “back sound”- or speech sounds made “in the back of the mouth”.

The correct tongue placement for both k and g involves the back of the tongue lifting to make contact with the soft palate. 

At the same time, the front part of the tongue (tongue tip) is placed behind the lower front teeth.

A seal is formed for velar sounds and air pressure builds. 

This is a quick movement. You will hear the velar sound with the burst of air that is released. 

To feel this, put your hand near the front of the mouth during k and g production.

K is a voiceless sound. That means the vocal folds do not vibrate during the production of /k/.

G is a voiced sound. This means the vocal cords vibrate when saying /g/. 

Have your student feel their throat while producing /k/ and then /g/ to feel the difference between voiced and voiceless sounds.

Reference: Peña-Brooks Adriana, and M. N. Hegde. Articulation and Phonological Disorders: Assessment and Treatment Resource Manual, PRO-ED, Austin, TX, 2007.

The Most Common Substitutions for K and G

Many different types of speech sound disorders can impact a child’s speech intelligibility.

This is an umbrella term that can include articulation disorders, phonological disorders, and motor speech disorders (such as childhood apraxia of speech).

Phonological processes, including velar fronting or final consonant deletion, can impact the correct production of k and g sounds.

Need a breakdown of speech pattern simplifcations? Read about the different phonological processes

Articulation Therapy Tips

Need a great way to teach the k&g sounds?

There are different ways to elicit these sounds during direct instruction therapy tasks. 

  1. Try auditory bombardment. Read word lists or children’s books that contain k and g sounds.
  2. You could try instructing a child to “Lift the back of your tongue”- but I like to focus on the tongue tip as a better visual cue. I instruct my students to say their “low T” sound- and have the tip of their tongue touch the gumline behind their front bottom lower teeth.
  3. Minimal pairs can be very effective when targeting velar sounds.
  4. Use your hand as a visual for correct tongue placement.
  5. Use gravity! Have your student lay on their back while practicing these sounds.
  6. A certified SLP could try using a tongue depressor to assist with lingual placement. This would only be recommended for a child who is comfortable with this method.
  7. Working with younger students? I love doing “feed the….” activities, which would be appropriate in early intervention or with preschoolers. Check out this crocodile hand puppet that can be fed small objects. Work on target words like “ick” and “yuck”.  
These are articulation cards that target k and g words for speech therapy.

Resource Pictured: Speech Sound Mouth Cards

Home Practice Ideas

Parents can help students work on the k and g sounds at home.

One idea might be to provide parents with an auditory bombardment word list.

Parents could read k or g words.

Their child should listen but not repeat the words.

Once a student can say the k or g sounds in isolation, they might practice simple CV or VC sound combinations (such as “go” or “ick”).

Finally, going on a scavenger hunt around the house for k and g words can be a fun activity.

Here are /k/ words that a child might find around the house:

  • comb
  • ketchup
  • can
  • pocket
  • nickel
  • sock
  • book
  • chalk

G Word List

Are you looking for an articulation word list that contains g in the initial, medial, and final position of words? 

This blog post contains g articulation word lists that can be used during your speech therapy session.

K Word List

Here is a word list for initial k, medial k, and final k words that speech pathologists can use in therapy. 

These speech words can be paired with a game or a fun activity.

Articulation Word Lists

Do you need more articulation word lists to use in your speech therapy sessions? 

Check out these handy lists:

K & G Words Speech Therapy Activities

Are you a speech therapist searching for a fun way to practice target words in speech therapy?

If you are working on k and g sound production, be sure to check out these engaging resources.

Speech Sound Mouth Visuals

These speech sound word cards will be unlike any you’ve ever owned.

You will be able to target a variety of speech sounds in the initial position, middle position, and end of a word.

First, these are a practical type of speech room decor– I hang them up on my wall!

Next, these articulation cards are in the shapes of mouths- so you’ll have the ultimate handy visual during articulation therapy.

Finally, these cards can be laminated for unlimited use.

This image shows k and g words speech therapy articulation cards that can be used during articulation therapy.

Try these speech sound mouth cards to work on speech sounds at the word level.

Minimal Pairs Activity Play Dough Smash Mat

If you are working on fronting, these minimal pair activity sheets will be perfect to pair with play dough or a magnetic wand and chips!

This Minimal Pairs Bundle includes minimal pair pages for a variety of phonological processes, including:

  • fronting
  • cluster reduction
  • initial consonant deletion
  • final consonant deletion
  • stopping
  • gliding
  • voicing and devoicing
  • backing
This image shows a velar fronting activity for speech therapy. This phonology activity targets g vs d minimal pair words and can be used with preschool students.

The velar and palatal fronting packet is included in the bundle. 

How To Use The Minimal Pair Pages

An auditory bombardment word list is included on every page. 

For example, if you are targeting the initial k sound, a list of initial k words is provided at the bottom of the page.

Your student would listen as you read the words, but not repeat them.

Next, you can do an auditory discrimination activity with your students. Which sound did they hear? I have my student give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to indicate if they heard (or did not hear) their target speech sound.

Finally, your student can practice minimal pairs

If you are working on velar fronting, you’ll choose a specific page with either k or g words. 

Magical Minimal Pair Worksheets and Activity Pages

This Magical-Themed Minimal Pair Bundle also targets fronting!

Every phonology activity contains both a color and low ink option, so it’s perfect for on-the-go. Just print! 

If you wish, you can laminate the color pages.

In addition, this packet is FUN! 

Let imaginations SOAR with this magical packet! 

Adorable wizards, gnomes, fairies, and dragons decorate every page. 

This picture shows a minimal pairs smash mat activity that targets velar fronting. It can be used during a speech therapy session for a preschool student with a phonological disorder.

This Magical-Themed Phonology Bundle includes cluster reduction, voicing and devoicing, initial consonant deletion, final consonant deletion, fronting, and backing activities.

The fronting activity packet (which is included in the bundle) contains the following minimal pairs:

  • k vs t initial
  • k vs t final
  • d vs g initial
  • d vs g final
  • sh vs s initial
  • sh vs s final

This will also you to target both velar and palatal fronting. 

Articulation Tic-Tac-Toe Worksheets

Have some dot markers on hand?

Or perhaps a magnetic wand and chips

Perfect, because you’ll want to use them with this Articulation Tic Tac Toe resource! 

A variety of speech sounds are targeted, including k and g.

Each page features words with one target sound in the initial position, medial position, and final position.

Your student will practice saying a word before each turn at the game.

If desired, your student could also generate short sentences using the target word!

K & G Mixed Groups Resource

School speech-language pathologists are often trying to see a large caseload while working around 15 or more teacher schedules, special schedules, and activity schedules.

This is in addition to fitting in IEP meetings and paperwork!

It can be a tough balancing act!

This often leads to seeing students in groups- and sometimes, the goals don’t always match up.

One student might be working on articulation, and another might have expressive or receptive language goals

This Mixed Groups Bundle for Speech Therapy offers the solution.

One page is selected based on the target speech sound (such as the initial k sound, which is provided in the K & G Mixed Group Resource).

Articulation words are sorted by noun or verb.

While one student works on articulation, another student can work on language goals- using the same target words. 


In summary, this article provided a variety of k and g words speech therapy lists (see k words and g words).

In addition, this article explained why a speech-language pathologist might target k and g words in speech therapy.

Read the article to better understand the correct lingual positioning for k & g.

Several elicitation tips are recommended for teaching velar sounds.

Related Speech Therapy Articles:

Finally, here are some effective resources to target k and g words in speech therapy:

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