Written by Sindhuja Prabhu
Do you remember some of the tongue twisters you learnt as a child? Tongue twisters are a lot of fun. When you challenge each other among friends and cousins, it can get very entertaining. Have you ever tried teaching some to your kids?
Start with some easy and popular tongue twisters for kids.
In This Article
Tongue twisters are a set of words or a phrase with similar sounding words. You have to repeat them on loop without jumbling the words. The words sound very similar and when you say them together at a fast pace, they tend to get jumbled. They “twist” your tongue hence are called tongue twisters.
Tongue twisters are not just for fun and passing time. They make your brain sharper and improve your speech. When you try to repeat a set of words without mispronouncing them, a lot of focus goes into it. Your brain works hard to keep the words in line and tries to make you repeat them without a mistake.
Tongue twisters help improve speech and stretch the vocal muscles. It improves pronunciation and teaches a child to enunciate their words. Talking clearly is very important for effective communication.
We all know how a baby babble turns into baby speech. The words are not pronounced properly because the muscles are not strong yet and the child is learning to use their tongue and vocal muscles to form the words.
It takes time to strengthen these muscles. This is why a preschooler speaks more clearly than most toddlers, and a primary school child speaks better than a preschooler.
Want to introduce your child to tongue twisters? Here are 10 simple ones to start with. Let them start slow and increase the speed as they get familiar with the phrases. You can conduct games and contests with these too, to while away some time.
This tongue twister focuses on the sound “P”. “PI” and “PE” have the same sounds. This tongue twister plays around with this to make it fun and confusing. It can be very interesting for children who are just learning to sound their alphabet and two letters.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?
Try telling this tongue twister and you will see how your tongue struggles to pronounce “su” and “shoe” without mixing them up. The faster you go, the more unclear it will sound.
I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.
Where she shines, she sits, and where she sits, she shines.
This is a very simple tongue twister that all kids might get. Small children and children who are yet to get good with sounding the letter “S” will find this challenging.
I scream, you scream, we all scream, for ice cream!
Fuzzy and Wuzzy – two rhyming words with a “z” ending is sure to make you slur all the way. Sit back and watch the fun when your child tries to get even a couple of words out of their mouths. This can really stretch the muscles around your mouth.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair,
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he?
This is definitely not a tongue twister for very young kids. They will find it tough to even pronounce these words slowly. This can be the perfect challenge for the little older ones or young ones who are very good with small tongue twisters.
To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
This one really brings out the complications in the English language. Four different spellings with the same sounds! It doesn’t get more complicated than this for a child just learning the language!
“ise”, “ece”. “ees”, “eas” and “eze” all sound the same. English is definitely not a very easy language to learn!
Denise sees the fleece,
Denise sees the fleas.
At least Denise could sneeze
And feed and freeze the fleas.
This is an excellent use of similar-sounding words with different spelling and rhyming words. A good wordplay to keep your child occupied for quite some time. The real challenge is to repeat all those lines at least a few times together.
Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew
While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew
Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze
Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze
That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze
Quite a big tongue twister. Perfect for little older kids who have learned to keep their thoughts on track while speaking. Two different spellings for similar sounds, and two such sets. Now, this can be a challenge even for adults.
Ned Nott was shot and Sam Shott was not.
So it is better to be Shott than Nott.
Some say Nott was not shot.
But Shott says he shot Nott.
Either the shot Shott shot at Nott was not shot,
Or Nott was shot.
If the shot Shott shot shot Nott, Nott was shot.
But if the shot Shott shot shot Shott,
Then Shott was shot, not Nott.
However, the shot Shott shot shot not Shott, but Nott.
Here the word “thought” is used in two different tenses and meanings, thus adding to the confusion. It is difficult to keep your thought straight with this one. Your child is bound to keep repeating this until they lose track of their thought.
I thought a thought,
But the thought I thought wasn’t the thought I thought I thought.
If the thought I thought I thought had been the thought I thought,
I wouldn’t have thought so much.
This tongue twister does not play with sounds but repeats the same word multiple times, thus making you lose count of how many “doctors” you have actually told in one breath.
If one doctor doctors another doctor,
Then which doctor is doctoring the doctored doctor?
Does the doctor who doctors the doctor, doctor the doctor the way the doctor he is doctoring doctors?
Or does he doctor the doctor the way the doctor who doctors doctors?
These tongue twisters are a real fun way to pass time and to keep your child entertained. If you are looking for some gadget-free fun for your child, this can be perfect! Give them a try yourself.
Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.