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185+ Initial S Articulation Words for Speech Therapy

Are you on the hunt for a list of initial s words that would be a great way to practice with your child or student?

As a speech-language pathologist, I know articulation goals are frequently seen at the elementary level.

If you’re a parent or speech therapist on the hunt for a list of speech therapy words that include your child or student’s target sound then you’ve come to the right place.

Minimal Pairs

A great way to work on sound production is through minimal pairs.

A minimal pair is two words that differ by only one phoneme, in this case, the initial /s/ sound.

For example, “sea” and “bee”.

When you pronounce these words side by side, it’s easy to hear the difference in the initial sound.

Having a list of initial s minimal pairs is a great way to work on correct production!

Initial S Words Speech Therapy
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Correct Production

The /s/ initial sounds in the English language are made by lightly placing the tip of your tongue on the ridge right behind your upper front teeth.

Be sure to place the sides of the tongue against the upper side of your teeth to allow for the passage of air to go down the center of the tongue.

Then while smiling blow a skinny stream of air over the center of your tongue (you do not want the air to come out the sides of the tongue).

Target Word

Here’s a list of initial s articulation sounds for you to use in therapy, practice at home, and with those who are diagnosed with articulation disorders.

  • For Example: sea, soap, soup, sauce, search, set, sit, sew, soak, sun, suit, surf, sad, saw, side, sign, sing, sound, soothe, seek, sell, see, sack, salt, sock, and sail

See the full list of words, phrases, and sentences below.

Be sure to grab my one-page freebie of initial s sounds below. Simply scroll to the bottom of this post and grab your free copy!

Initial S Speech Therapy

Board Games

One of my favorite speech therapy activities to work on articulation goals is to use board games!

There are a few different types of board games that can be great for working on initial s sound production.

The first type is a game where you simply play a game and when it’s your child or student’s turn they have to say one of their practice words from a list of words.

You can have them say their word once or five times before they earn their turn to play.

A few of my favorite games to play while working on articulation sounds while the student has to earn their turn are Go Fish, Connect Four, and Jenga.

The second type of game is one where the game includes your child or student’s articulation sound within the game itself. This is a great way to work on initial s sound production in the context of a game format!

Initial S Lists
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Word Positions: Initial S Words Speech Therapy 

Initial Position of Words

The initial position of the initial s is at the beginning of a word. For example, “sorry” or “salt”.

Medial Position of Words

Some words have the s sound in the medial position of a word, such as “castle”, “Mississippi”, and “dancer”.

Final Position of Words

The final positions of words are when the target sound is at the end of a word. For example, “bus” or “horse”.

Initial S Articulation

Word Level: Initial S Words Speech Therapy

There are a lot of initial s words that can be used at the word level.

You could have your child or student say each initial /s/ word as they search through a list to find where it belongs in their sentence.

Another way you could use initial /s/ words at the word level is by using a dot marker. Have your child or student place a dot under each initial /s/ sound in a sentence.

Look no further I’ve included a one-page freebie of initial s sounds below. Simply scroll to the bottom of this post and grab your free copy.

Initial S Pictures
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  • 1 Syllable: sea, soap, soup, sauce, search, set, sit, sew, soak, sun, suit, surf, sad, saw, side, sign, sing, sound, soothe, seek, sell, see, sack, salt, sock, sail, safe, sake, sale, same, sand, save, say, seal, seat, seed, seem, seize, self, sense, serve, sick, side, sight, silk, sink, site, size, so, soft, soil, solve, some, son, song, soon, sore, sort, sour, source, south, such, sum, said, sip, six
  • 2 Syllable: secret, seaweed, soccer, sandals, sailor, safety, supplies, silly, sibling, sister, sadness, salad, salesman, sample, sandwich, savings, season, second, section, secure, seldom, select, selfish, senior, sentence, series, servant, service, session, settle, severe, sideburn, signal, silence, silent, silver, simple, singer, single, social, software, solar, soldier, solid, sorrow, sorry, southern, subject, submit, substance, success, sudden, suffer, sugar, suggest, summer, sunny, sunshine, support, surgeon, sustain, soda, super, sidewalk, seven, sunrise, sunset, saddle, sequel
  • 3 Syllable: sacrifice, salary, salesperson, saleswoman, sarcastic, satisfy, secretive, selection, semester, sensible, sensitive, separate, several, signature, similar, solution, somebody, somehow, someone, something, sometimes, somewhat, somewhere, substantial, substitute, successful, sufficient, suggestion, suitable, summary, seventeen
  • 4 Syllable: satisfaction, secondary, secretary, security, separation, significant, situation, superficial, sustainable
  • 5 Syllable: serendipity, supernatural, sensitivity, satisfying, socialization, situational, summarization, similarity
  • 6 Syllable: superiority, simultaneously, semiannually

Practice in Flash Card Mode Right Here from Your Computer!

initial-s-save
initial-s-same
initial-s-safe
initial-s-search
initial-s-sand
initial-s-sail
initial-s-sale
initial-s-seed
initial-s-sea
initial-s-seal
initial-s-sack
initial-s-sock
initial-s-side (2)
initial-s-self
initial-s-seize
initial-s-sad
initial-s-sing
initial-s-silk
initial-s-soft
initial-s-seem
initial-s-seat
initial-s-say
initial-s-sell
initial-s-seek
initial-s-sauce
initial-s-sew
initial-s-sign
initial-s-sake
initial-s-see
initial-s-so
initial-s-salt
initial-s-sight
initial-s-set
initial-s-sick
initial-s-sink
initial-s-sense
initial-s-serve
initial-s-size
initial-s-saw
initial-s-side
initial-s-surf
initial-s-soup
initial-s-soothe
initial-s-soak
initial-s-sun
initial-s-soap
initial-s-sit
initial-s-site
initial-s-suit
initial-s-sound
initial-s-save initial-s-same initial-s-safe initial-s-search initial-s-sand initial-s-sail initial-s-sale initial-s-seed initial-s-sea initial-s-seal initial-s-sack initial-s-sock initial-s-side (2) initial-s-self initial-s-seize initial-s-sad initial-s-sing initial-s-silk initial-s-soft initial-s-seem initial-s-seat initial-s-say initial-s-sell initial-s-seek initial-s-sauce initial-s-sew initial-s-sign initial-s-sake initial-s-see initial-s-so initial-s-salt initial-s-sight initial-s-set initial-s-sick initial-s-sink initial-s-sense initial-s-serve initial-s-size initial-s-saw initial-s-side initial-s-surf initial-s-soup initial-s-soothe initial-s-soak initial-s-sun initial-s-soap initial-s-sit initial-s-site initial-s-suit initial-s-sound

Initial S Words Speech Therapy

1 Syllable2 Syllable3 Syllable
seasecretsacrifice
soapseaweedsalary
soupsoccersalesperson
saucesandalssaleswoman
searchsailorsarcastic
setsafetysatisfy
sitsuppliessecretive
sewsillyselection
soaksiblingsemester
sunsistersensible
suitsadnesssensitive
surfsaladseparate
sadsalesmanseveral
sawsamplesignature
sidesandwichsimilar
signsavingssolution
singseasonsomebody
soundsecondsomehow
soothesectionsomeone
seeksecuresomething
sellseldomsometimes
seeselectsomewhat
sackselfishsomewhere
saltseniorsubstantial
socksentencesubstitute
sailseriessuccessful
safeservantsufficient
sakeservicesuggestion
salesessionsuitable
samesettlesummary
sandsevereseventeen
savesideburn
saysignal
sealsilence
seatsilent
seedsilver
seemsimple
seizesinger
selfsingle
sensesocial
servesoftware
sicksolar
sidesoldier
sightsolid
silksorrow
sinksorry
sitesouthern
sizesubject
sosubmit
softsubstance
soilsuccess
solvesudden
somesuffer
sonsugar
songsuggest
soonsummer
soresunny
sortsunshine
soursupport
sourcesurgeon
southsustain
suchsoda
sumsuper
saidsidewalk
sipseven
sixsunrise
sunset
saddle
sequel
4 Syllable5 Syllable6 Syllable
satisfactionserendipitysuperiority
secondarysupernaturalsimultaneously
secretarysensitivitysemiannually
securitysatisfying
separationsocialization
significantsituational
situationsummarization
superficialsimilarity
sustainable
Initial S Word List Speech Therapy

SEE ALSO: 21 Best Reinforcement Games for Speech Therapy

Short Sentences or Phrases: Initial S Words Speech Therapy

When working on initial s sound production, it’s important to use short sentences or phrases once your child or student has mastered the sound at the word level at or near 80% or higher accuracy.

Here is a list of initial s word phrases to try:

Initial S Words Speech Therapy in Phrases

1 Syllable2 Syllable3 Syllable
blue seabig secretmake a sacrifice
bubbly soapseaweed treefull-time salary
cold soupsoccer ballkind salesperson
tomato saucewhite sandalsfriendly saleswoman
lost searchtall sailorsarcastic joke
set asidesafety firstsatisfy your thirst
sit next toschool suppliesdon’t be secretive
sew togethersilly facesmake a selection
soak upsibling rivalryfirst semester
full sunbest sisteract sensible
blue suitfilled with sadnesssensitive person
rough surfsalad dressingseparate people talking
sad facefriendly salesmanseveral hours
saw in halfeat the samplewrite your signature
side dishwarm sandwichsimilar people
sign belowsavings accountnew solution
sing songin seasonfind somebody
loud soundsecond floorsomehow complete it
soothe the babysection offsomeone is waiting
hide and seeksecure onbring me something
sell lowseldom visitsometimes watched
see you soonselect fromsomewhat liked
brown sackact selfishlocated somewhere
more saltsenior citizensubstantial amount
white sockmake a sentencenew substitute
low sailseries of eventssuccessful career
safe and soundservant heartsufficient work
for the sake ofservice dogmake a suggestion
for salein a sessionsuitable for
all the samesettle the problemsummary of events
big sandcastlesevere thunderstormseventeen girls
save the daylong sideburn
I sayflashing signal
baby sealmoment of silence
seat beltsilent treatment
flower seedsilver coins
seem to knowsimple work
seize the daygreat singer
normal selfsingle piece
sense of humorsocial gathering
serve foodcomputer software
sick daysolar panel
side to sidebrave soldier
in sight ofsolid rock
silk hatfilled with sorrow
sink or swimfelt sorry
building sitesouthern states
bite sizesubject of a sentence
so manysubmit your work
soft touchliquid substance
dark soilmake a success
solve the caseall of a sudden
and then somesuffer the consequence
oldest sonmade with sugar
a song and dancesuggest a time
very soonsummer fun
sore throatsunny day
sort outsunshine in the sky
sour candysupport your friend
water sourcetalented surgeon
down southsustain for long
such and suchdelicious soda
sum totalsuper job
you saidstay on the sidewalk
take a sipseven cute kittens
six pencilswatch the sunrise
beautiful sunset
get on the saddle
read the sequel
4 Syllable5 Syllable6 Syllable
feel the satisfactionwonderful serendipitycalm superiority
secondary schoolsupernatural powerhappened simultaneously
helpful secretaryextreme sensitivityoccurs semiannually
security teamsatisfying drink
separation betweensocialization with others
significant choicesituational location
situation changedsummarization of the text
superficial nailscommon similarity
not sustainable
Initial S Phrase Speech Therapy
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Sentence Level: Initial S Words Speech Therapy

The next step after working at the word level is to work on the initial s sound at the sentence level.

For example, you could use picture cards and have your child or student choose the correct initial /s/ word that goes with each picture card. The child or student could then use their initial /s/ word to create a sentence about the picture.

Initial S Words Speech Therapy in Sentences

1 Syllable2 Syllable
The boy went to the sea.She told her a secret.
The soap was extra soapy.He planted a seaweed tree.
The soup was cold.She plays soccer.
She added more tomato sauce.He bought new sandals.
They went on a search.He wants to be a sailor.
It’s time to set the table.Safety is the most important thing.
You need to sit down.They needed more school supplies.
I need to sew up the hole.They were making silly faces.
She soaked up the sun rays.They are siblings.
The sun was out.Her sister is her best friend.
He wore a suit.She was filled with sadness.
They went surfing together.My favorite salad dressing is ranch.
She was feeling sad.He is a friendly salesman.
The saw cut down the tree.I like to eat the samples at the grocery store.
The fruit is a side dish.The sandwich was warm.
He needed to sign the paper.I have a savings account at my bank.
The girl loves to sing.These strawberries are in season.
The bell made a sound.Her apartment is on the second floor.
He tried to soothe the baby.They will section off those chairs for the event.
They played hide and seek.Let’s secure the pin on her shirt.
He wanted to sell his shoes.Their grandparents seldom visit them.
They went to see her grandmother.Select your favorite fruit.
She put it in the sack.Please don’t act selfish.
The chef added more salt.My grandpa is a senior citizen.
He lost a sock.Make a sentence with your spelling words.
The sail on the boat broke.What series of events caused the vase to break?
He was home safe and sound.He has the heart of a servant and enjoys helping others.
Eat healthy foods for the sake of your health.Service dogs work hard.
This house is for sale.The meeting is in session.
These shells all look the same.Let’s work hard to settle the problem.
We built a sandcastle.There was a severe thunderstorm.
The superhero will save the day.Did you see his long sideburns?
I would say to be kind to others.There is a flashing signal on that sign.
The seal at the zoo is cute.The room was filled with silence.
Buckle your seat belt.At night, my room is silent.
I planted my own flower seed.I have five silver coins.
You seem to know the answer.That homework was simple.
Remember to seize the day!She is a great singer!
He wasn’t feeling his normal self.I need a single piece of paper.
She has a great sense of humor.They enjoyed the social gathering.
I will serve you a snack.Computer software can be expensive.
The teacher needed a sick day.That roof is full of solar panels
The tiger moved from side to side.He is a brave soldier.
I wear glasses to help my sight.This rock is solid.
What a nice, silk hat!He was filled with sorrow over his choice.
Will the penny sink or swim?She felt sorry for hurting her brother.
This is a new building site.There are many southern states.
These are delicious bite-size cookies.The subject of that sentence is a dog.
There are so many choices!Submit your work on time.
The blanket is soft to touch.My favorite substance to drink is water.
The soil in the garden is dark.His project was a success.
He will solve the case.All of a sudden, he jumped and scared me!
I would like some cake.I had to suffer the consequence of my bad choice.
I am the oldest son.The cookies are made with a lot of sugar.
They performed a song and dance for their parents.Suggest a time that works for you to meet.
We will leave very soon.Summer is my favorite season.
I have a sore throat.It’s a sunny day.
Can you sort out these puzzle pieces?Look at the bright sunshine in the sky.
I enjoy eating sour candy.I always support my friend.
We need to find a new source of water.He is a talented surgeon.
I want to travel down south to Florida.I can’t sustain running for much longer.
I found skating to be such fun!This strawberry is delicious.
What is the sum of 2 and 2?She did a super job on her homework.
You said you would come to the party.Stay on the sidewalk so you don’t get hurt.
I took a sip of water.There are seven days in a week.
I need six pencils for school.I was up early to see the sunrise.
What a beautiful sunset!
Climb onto the saddle to ride the horse.
I want to read the sequel of this book.
3 Syllable4 Syllable
He made a sacrifice by staying home with his family.They felt the satisfaction of a job well done.
Her boss offered her a new salary.Next year, we will go to secondary school.
The kind salesperson helped her find the shoe department.The secretary at our school is very helpful.
The saleswoman was very friendly as they paid for the clothes.The football game has a security team that keeps everyone safe.
Their daughter was often sarcastic.Some children don’t do well with separation from their parents.
Water can satisfy your thirst.The decision they made was significant to everyone in the room.
Don’t be secretive with your friends.The situation changed very quickly when the dog ran out of the yard.
Look at the ice cream options and make a selection.Some women enjoy wearing superficial nails.
The first semester of classes was about to begin.He started the race so fast that it was not sustainable.
Remember to act sensible at school.
Her friend is a very sensitive person.
The teacher said she would separate them.
The game lasted several hours.
Write your signature at the bottom of the letter.
The brother and sister looked very similar.
They came up with a solution to their problem.
Somebody ate the last cookie!
Somehow, I will complete this homework.
Someone is waiting outside for you.
Can you bring me something warm to drink?
They would sometimes watch the show with the talking dog.
She somewhat liked broccoli.
The moon is somewhere in outer space.
She had a substantial amount of books in her room.
There was a new substitute teacher in their class.
He had a successful career.
Five outfits were sufficient for the trip.
You can make a suggestion if you would like.
This dress is suitable for the event.
He wrote a summary of the book he read.
He had seventeen pairs of socks.
5 Syllable6 Syllable
It was by serendipity that I found a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk.The CEO of the company is down to earth, but she does carry herself with superiority and power.
Spiderman has a supernatural power.He dropped the ball and fell down simultaneously.
She has a sensitivity to many foods and will no longer eat them.The board meeting occurs semiannually.
After being in the sun all day, the drink of water was very satisfying.
After buying the new puppy, it needed socialization with other people.
This is a situational comedy that everyone can enjoy.
Please say your summarization of the text.
There was a similarity between the two girls.
Initial S Word Pictures

Initial S Words Speech Therapy Ideas

Dot Marker

One way to help your child or student see the initial s sound in words is by using a dot marker.

Have them say the word and then put a dot above the letter that makes the /s/ sound. For example, have them say “salt” and then put a dot above the s in the word “salt”.

Another way to use a dot maker is to use them as reinforcement boards allowing the student to make a dot with their dot marker after practicing one of their initial s words or using an I Spy sheet with initial s words already on the sheet.

Here are a few examples your child or student might enjoy:

  1. Dot Marker Articulation Stories Initial /s/ FREEBIE by SPEECHtacular – As students read each story, have them use a Dot Marker to dot each time their target sound is used. Complete these in individual or small group sessions, or send them home as homework!
  1. Acorn- Dot Marker Tracking worksheet (Articulation) by Kiddo Talk Speech Therapy – This is ideal to keep a kiddo focused during Articulation Drill tasks. Have them identify their target sound first and then get right to work…and drill, drill, drill!
  1. Articulation Coloring Sheet by Kimiko the SLP – Use this coloring sheet to keep your kids engaged while practicing their /s/ sounds!

SEE ALSO: 279+ Free Speech Therapy Digital Materials

Answer Questions

One way to help your child or student with initial s sound production is by answering questions.

You can either use a worksheet where they have to answer questions about initial s words or you could verbally ask them questions and have them answer out loud.

Some examples of initial s questions are: “What’s the name of this bird?” while pointing to a picture of a seagull.

Here is an example your child or student might enjoy:

  1. Articulation Story Loaded with “S” Sounds and WH Story Question by Speech Fun Club –  This Freebie resource focuses on “S” sound production at the connected speech level while also targeting listening comprehension and narrative language skills.
Initial S Sentences Speech Therapy
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Initial Consonant Deletion

What is initial consonant deletion?

Initial consonant deletion is when a child or student deletes an initial sound from a word. For example, the word “seal” might be pronounced as “eel”.

One way to work on initial consonant deletion is using minimal pairs to show the student the difference.

When working on initial s minimal pairs, you’ll have two words and your child or student will circle which word has the initial sound they are working on.

For example, if you’re working on initial s sound production, you might have the words “sip” and “dip”. The student then selects the correct word, “sip”.

Here are a few of my favorite initial consonant deletion worksheets that can be used for the initial s sound:

  1. Initial Consonant Deletion or Collapse: Animated story by Karen Pardyjak- This is a short story written to highlight the fact that using a specific initial consonant in CVC words changes the meaning. The story is an animated video, which is very useful in the tele-therapy or distance learning format.
  1. Initial & Final Consonant Deletion! Print N’ Go! 32 Squares by Speedy Speechy Supplies- 32 squares! Hand drawn worksheets! Draw a line from the word that’s being articulated and the word they MEAN to say! Initial Consonant Deletion made easy!
Initial S Speech Therapy

Distance Learning

One of the many ways you can practice articulation therapy for the initial s sound is through distance learning.

Here are three of my favorite distance learning approved ways to work on the initial s sound: 

  1. Initial Sound Picture Spotter – letter ‘s’ by Early Years Resources – Use this fun lesson to reinforce the initial s sound with a variety of words.
  1. S sound practice. Placement, isolation, and initial position of words practice by Lizzette Burger – This is a simple way to target /s/ phoneme in isolation and in the initial position of words.
  1. FREE S Articulation Short Stories, Lateral Frontal Lisp Sounds, Speech Therapy by Shine Speech Activities – This resource includes 2 stories targeting the initial sound position.
S Words Speech Therapy
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SEE ALSO: Free Articulation Games for Speech Therapy

Auditory Bombardment

Another way to work on articulation practice of the initial s sound production is through auditory bombardment.

Auditory bombardment is a term used to describe the process of providing a student with an abundance of listening opportunities to hear their target sound.

This can be done in a variety of ways such as through listening activities, songs, stories, and more.

Here are a few auditory bombardment activities to work on the initial s sound: 

  1. Auditory Bombardment by The Pedi Speechie – You’ll love this Auditory Bombardment freebie that includes the initial s sound. Each page contains parent instructions.
  1. Articulation War Plus – S sound by Snowflake Speech – This resource is a play on the card game War, with an added bonus of matching symbols to sound-loaded actions for extra auditory bombardment AND extra engagement!

Age Range

According to the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation 2 from 2000, most children have mastered the initial S sound by the time they are five years old. (This is a standardized sample from the GFTA-2 with 85% of children able to correctly produce that consonant by that age.)

If you are concerned about your child’s ability to produce this sound, it is best to consult a speech therapist about receiving speech services.

Initial S Words

Conclusion

There are a lot of initial s sound therapy activities to choose from!

If you don’t have a lot of time to create your own then be sure to check out the ones listed throughout this blog post.

Which one will you try first?

Initial S Words Speech Therapy
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Gina Crubaugh

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Thank you for providing this.

Melissa Berg

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Hi Gina, You are very welcome!

Gabrielle

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

I love all you therapy material !

Melissa Berg

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

Hi Gabrielle, I'm so happy that you are enjoying our resources! Have a wonderful week!