Tongue twisters are fun word play to recite with kids. Did you know that they also help with speech development? Learn 30 tongue twisters to teach your kids.
Trying to recite a tongue twister as quickly as possible without making mistakes is a big challenge. Try saying, “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?.” Your words will stumble at some point, but you won’t stop laughing at yourself.
Tongue twisters are not just a linguistic game, but they have a practical purpose for speech and language development. Its regular recitation stimulates control of the muscles responsible for speech, ensuring a clearer pronunciation of words with difficult syllables. It also expands children’s vocabulary.
You will learn more about the benefits of tongue twisters for kids and see some of the funniest examples to practice!
Developing language with tongue twisters
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a tongue twister is “a word, phrase, or sentence difficult to articulate because of a succession of similar consonantal sounds (as in “twin-screw steel cruiser”)”.
Tongue twisters often rely on alliteration, which is the repetition of a sound starting with a similar letter. Thus, phrases are formed that, when said quickly, lead us to stumble and mispronounce words (which is why they are so fun).
By exercising the muscles responsible for speech, these verbal games help improve diction, that is, the way you articulate or pronounce words. That’s why many actors and singers recite tongue twisters as a “warm-up” before performing.
Speech-language pathologists also use tongue twisters to improve children’s consonant and vowel sounds. Tongue twisters help patients to articulate syllables and not mix sounds. Likewise, if the child has difficulty with the sounds ‘p’ and ‘b’, the therapist will have them practice tongue twisters focusing on these sounds.
Because tongue twisters challenge our ability to enunciate the individual sounds in each word, they force us to pay close attention to the precise sounds of each word. Mastering individual sounds in words is an important skill for successful reading, so tongue twisters can also help in the literacy process.
Tips for developing speech with tongue twisters:
- Tell the child to start reciting the tongue twisters at a slow pace until they can recite all the sentences.
- The next step is knowing the tongue twister by heart, which also stimulates their memory.
- The child should repeat the tongue twister as quickly as possible until it is mastered and can be recited three times in a row without making a mistake.
- When the child has mastered one tongue twister, start again with another.
Fun tongue twisters to practice with kids:
From the age of 2, it is possible to encourage children to recite simple tongue twisters. At this stage, the child is in the process of acquiring phonemes and, therefore, it is normal that many syllables are not correctly pronounced. But tongue twisters, as well as poems rich in alliteration, can help in this process of speech development.
Here are some of the children’s favorite tongue twisters:
1. Red lorry, yellow lorry.
2. Sheep should sleep in a shed.
3. She sees cheese.
4. Zebras zig and zebras zag.
5. The blue bluebird blinks.
6. Four fine fresh fish for you.
7. He threw three balls.
8. Greek grapes, Greek grapes, Greek grapes.
9. Lucky rabbits like to cause a ruckus.
10. Cooks cook cupcakes quickly.
- Betty and Bob brought back blue balloons from the big bazaar.
- I saw a saw that could saw out any other saw I ever saw.
- Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely.
- I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and the slitted sheet I sit.
- A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
- Any noise annoys an oyster, but a noisy noise annoys an oyster more.
- Four furious friends fought for the phone.
- Chester cheetah chewed a chunk of cheap cheddar cheese.
- Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better
- We surely shall see the sun shine soon.
- Can you can a canned can into an uncanned can like a canner can can a canned can into an un-canned can?
- Red lorry, yellow lorry, red lorry, yellow lorry, red lorry, yellow lorry
- Two tried and true tridents, two tried and true tridents, two tried and true tridents
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers? If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
- When a doctor doctors a doctor, does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor as the doctor being doctored wants to be doctored or does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor as he wants to doctor?
- Any noise annoys an oyster but a noisy noise annoys an oyster more.
- If two witches were watching two watches: which witch would watch which watch?
- If you notice this notice, you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.
- If you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.