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 for more speech and language tips for these books, check out these different posts: All Better, Busy Books, Switch and Swap, Flippy Floppy Farm Animals, That’s Not My 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!