Did you know that tongue twisters are one of the few types of spoken wordplay that are not only fun to recite but also are a great tool to aid in children’s language development?
Attempting to recite a tricky rhyme or tongue twister as fast as possible without tripping over your own tongue is a great challenge. You can’t help but smile and enjoy the race to get it right.
Tongue twisters usually rely on alliteration, which is the repetition of a sound starting with a similar letter, with a phrase designed in such a way that it is made very easy to slip up—hence, the fun!
But tongue twisters are not only a fun, linguistic game but also serve a practical purpose for speech and language development!
Tips for using tongue twisters to develop speech
- Start reciting the tongue twisters at a slow pace, and ensure it is able to be recited clearly.
- The next step would be to know the tongue twister by heart.
- Repeat the tongue twister as fast as possible until it is mastered and able to be recited three times in a row without stumbling.
- When one tongue twister is mastered, try another.
Using certain sounds to work on particular speech areas
Speech pathologists use tongue twisters to improve the child’s consonant and vowel sounds. Tongue twisters ensure that the students articulate the syllables and don't slur the sounds together. Also, if the student has difficulty with the ‘p’ and ‘b’ sound, the therapist will have the student practice tongue twisters that focus on these sounds.
‘P’ tongue twisters
- Peter Piper
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?
- Pheasant plucker
I am not the pheasant plucker,
I'm the pheasant plucker's mate.
I am only plucking pheasants
Because the pheasant plucker's late.
‘B’ tongue twisters
- Betty Botter
Betty Botter had some butter,
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It would make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter,
That would make my batter better."
So she bought a bit of butter –
Better than her bitter butter –
And she baked it in her batter;
And the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.
Whereat with blade,
with bloody, blameful blade,
he bravely broached his boiling bloody breast.
‘S’ tongue twisters
- Seventy seven
Seventy seven benevolent elephants
- Skunk Stunk
A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk,
but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
- Swan Swam
Swan swam over the sea,
Swim, swan, swim!
Swan swam back again
Well swum, swan
Have fun with these tongue twisters and get silly! Children learn more when they are having fun and when something is engaging. Practice your speech and language development with tongue twisters!