Bilabials are sounds that are produced by putting the upper and lower lips together.
/b/: This is a sound that stops (so you can not make this sound continue, like a /s/). Producing this sound involves placing the lips together and allowing air to vibrate through the vocal folds (voice on!)
/p/: This is also a sound that stops. While it is the same placement to produce the sound, the /p/ is voiceless so sound does not go through the vocal folds (voice off!)
/m/: This is a nasal sound, so all the air comes through the nose. The lips come together, but they don’t open! Instead the air is pushed up through the nose. This is not a stopped consonant – the sound can continue as long as you have the breath support!
Here are the different cues I use to help children produce these sounds:
- Visual cues: I simply point to my lips and over exaggerate placing my lips together. With /b/ and /m/ I will also place fingers on my throat to indicate that voice is on. Some children benefit from a picture to associate with each sound so I will show them a picture that has an initial /b, p, m/ sound.
- Tactile cues: Some children benefit from touch/feeling to help produce the sound accurately. They can place their hand in front of their mouth for the /b, p/ and a finger under their nose for the /m/. You can also have them place a few fingers on their throat so that they can feel the vibrations when producing /b, m/.
There are 5 books that I absolutely love when working on these sounds because of the MANY opportunities to work on /b, p, m/. Since these sounds are early developing (see my post on Speech Sound Production), I like to use books that are highly engaging to keep their interest and to maximize the amount of productions!
I recommend that you check out this 10 minute video that goes through all of the opportunities to practice bilabials in 5 different books.
If you are looking to add any of these books to your home library or school library, feel free to browse all titles on my e-commerce site: https://w7951myubam.com. Please contact me if you would like some personalized recommendations; I would love to help!