This study investigated the effects of age, speech, articulatory suppression and phonemic similarity on the phonological coding of pictorial material. A serial recall task was employed to assess the effects of phonemic similarity in children aged between 3 and 11. Half of the subjects in each age group overtly named the pictures at presentation and the others remained silent. For suppression subjects who named the pictures these two tasks were performed concurrently. It was hypothesized that the effects of phonemic similarity would be affected by age and speech. This was supported, with older children showing a greater effect of phonemic similarity and subjects scoring more when allowed to overtly name the items. It was also hypothesized that the youngest children would benefit most from the overt naming of items. Analysis of the results indicated that the overt naming of items facilitated phonological recoding amongst the younger children, thereby supporting this hypothesis. The possibility that these results are due to the maturation of a phonemic store prior to the development of subvocal rehearsal processes is discussed.