Tongue Twisters for Kids: An Important Speech Development Tool

Tongue twisters for kids

As children, many of us have played games involving tongue twisters. In these games, we usually must repeat a difficult phrase 3 to 5 times quickly, without mispronouncing even a single word.

For example, try saying aloud the following sentences 5 times in quick succession:

       1. “एक ऊँचा ऊँट है, पूँछ ऊँची ऊँट की, पूँछ से भी ऊँची क्या, पीठ ऊँची ऊँट की“

       2. “Six Thick Thistle Sticks”

Could you repeat them 5 times, without mispronouncing even once? Fairly challenging, isn’t it?

What are Tongue Twisters?

“Tongue Twisters are phrases or sentences which are difficult to pronounce because of successive similar consonantal sounds”

Tongue twisters are a great way to help the children to learn a language better. Tongue twisters can enhance their speech production skills. They have been correlated with strong spoken language skills. Tongue twisters stimulate the brain into enhancing its pronunciation skills. The impact of reciting a tongue twister is not just on the oral cavity of a child, but also on the brain, which controls a child’s oral and speech functions.

Is this the Trickiest Tongue Twister Ever?

Tongue twisters for kids

Did you know that some psychologists consider the tongue twister that we have reproduced below to be the trickiest tongue twister in the entire English Language?[1] Try saying it aloud 5 times, real fast!

“Pad kid poured curd pulled cold”

It is highly unlikely that you would be able to master the above tongue twister. (In case you succeed, call us and get a surprise gift! ?)

You will love our Social Channels. Please explore them.
Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin
Why are Tongue Twisters so difficult?

tongue twisters for kids

The answer lies in the peculiar nature of sounds (of language) and the limitations of the brain in its execution capabilities with regards to the pronunciation of different sounds. For example,

  1. Certain combinations of sounds and phrases appear to make people tongue-tied and the brain momentarily seems to have lose coordination and control of the mouth. There is something about sounds ‘th’ and ‘sh’ that makes it particularly difficult to say them in a sequence. This is precisely why “she sells seashells” or the “sixth sick sheik of the six sixth sheep’s sick” are quite difficult to master.
  2. Often, one sound seems to replace another. For instance, ‘toy boat’ becomes ‘toy boyt’ and ‘top cop’ becomes ‘cop cop’.
  3. Another reason why tongue twisters are hard is due to the pattern of sounds. In case of “she sells seashells”, the s/sh at the beginning are alternating in one pattern and the e/l of the rest of the word is alternating in the opposite pattern. It is kind of like rubbing one’s stomach while patting head simultaneously. Try it. Either patting or rubbing of both stomach and head simultaneously is easy but to pat one and while rubbing the other is quite challenging. Similarly, our brain isn’t simply designed to handle two alternating patterns in the same utterance.
Tongue Twisters for Kids: How can Tongue Twisters help in Speech development?

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Speech Production has 3 major components:

  1. Initiation: Using Vocal tract to set the air in motion
  2. Phonation: Airflow modification while it passes through larynx for creating sound
  3. Articulation: Refers to the manner in which the oral muscles are shaped to produce desired types of sounds

Tongue twisters can help in exercising the child’s articulators as they extend the tongue as far as possible, thereby truly extending the muscles of the tongue. They are also recommended by speech therapists to improve a child’s consonant and vowel sounds. They can help the child notice the tiny differences between the pronunciation of different letters, like the letters “p” and “b”. Tongue twisters also ensure that the students articulate the syllables properly and don’t slur the sounds when pronounced together.

It is perhaps not surprising that the following is said about tongue twisters: “Hard tongues mellow and delicate tongues solidify, contingent upon the words of Tongue Twisters”.

Tongue Twisters for Kids: Tongue Twisters and Language Development

It is intuitive that tongue twisters for kids can help in speech production and development. But what about the larger goal of language development? Tongue Twisters can help in strengthening the following aspects of language development:

  • Fluency and Expression: Regular practice of tongue twisters can help improve the diction of the child and enhances the clarity of the child’s speech. For example, if you make your child run through the tongue twisters before singing a particularly fast-paced song, it will prepare your child mentally for the twists and turns in the song, thereby reducing the chances of slippage during the rendition of the song.
  • Tongue Twisters are also good for brain-tongue co-ordination: Learning tongue twisters help in refining the tongue’s finer capabilities. In the long run, they help increase the capacity of a child to get a handle on contrasts even in the minutest changes of spellings. There is also lesser wasting of valuable seconds to frame the word right. Basically, tongue twisters teach the brain to connect tongue movements to sounds in a precise manner.
  • Helps control Stuttering and Spoonerisms problems: Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by the repetition of sounds, syllables, or words; prolongation of sounds; and interruptions in the speech known as blocks. A child who stutters knows what he or she wants to say but struggles to produce a normal flow of speech. Stuttering can make it difficult for a child to communicate with other children, which often affects the child’s interpersonal skills development. Stuttering is sometimes referred to as stammering and by a broader technical term, disfluent speech. [2]

Wikipedia definition of Spoonerisms: “an error in speech in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two words in a phrase”[3] For example, a child may want to say “May I show you to another seat?” but end up saying, “May I sew you to another sheet?”.

iraparenting.com is a complete parenting destination site for parents with children in the age group of 2-6 years. At Ira, we believe that informed parenting is the best type there is. To know more about us, click here. Also, please explore our lra Learning products, which have been designed by experts. Our learning methodology will resonate with you.

Tongue twisters are considered a good tool by researchers to control the problem of stuttering and spoonerism in children. The secret to mastering tongue twisters is to switch between two very similar sounding words several times within a sentence while practising them. Practising switching accurately and maintaining concentration may help a child with these problems, to re-train their speech system.

Tongue Twisters for Kids: A Tool to Master the Second / Foreign Language Pronunciation

“All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional and other paralinguistic information and to convey emphasis, contrast, and other such features in what is called Intonation”. However, not all languages use tones to distinguish words or their inflections, analogously to consonants and vowels. Languages that do have this feature are called tonal languages. As many as seventy percents of world languages may be tonal but the rest are not.[4]. For example, in English phonetic system there are twenty vowels and twenty-four consonants, but in Chinese phonetic system, there are only six vowels (or monophthongs), twenty-five consonants and four tones which do not exist in English.

Due to complex differences among languages like the ones mentioned above, we often suffer from what is called as “Mother Tongue Interference”, when we try and learn a second language. The mother tongue of a child may not contain all the sounds of another language. Therefore, the “Mother Tongue Interference” is the unintentional transfer of mother tongue pronunciation onto the new language, when he/she speaks or reads aloud in that language.

Practising the tongue twisters of the new language can help a child sound more like its native speakers. Not necessarily with the same accent but with a lot more clarity!

Conclusion: 5 Key Takeaways

Here are the key takeaways for parents who wish to know more about tongue twisters and child development:

  1. Regular practice of tongue twisters can help children in exercising the muscles in their mouth, enabling clearer pronunciation, produce clearer speech patterns and an easier time pronouncing previously difficult syllables.
  2. They can help in overall language development, possibly overcome speech disorders, better brain-speech organs coordination and may even help in new language acquisition.
  3. However, the parents need to be careful while selecting the tongue twisters for their kids. They should be selected keeping in mind the age of the child as well as the difficulty level of tongue twisters.
  4. Also, make sure the child understands the meaning of every word in the tongue twister as well as what the tongue twister is trying to say.
  5. Finally, never forget tongue twisters are meant to be fun! Try to say aloud the tongue twister as fast as you can along with your child. He or she will be pleased to know that even you can get tongue tied! Or they may be very impressed as you roll one off your tongue perfectly. So, don’t forget to have fun with them!
Toughest Tongue Twister Ever?

Tongue twisters for kids

We are going to end this blog, with the toughest tongue twister of English language, as per Guinness Book of World Records:

The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick”.

In our subsequent blogs, we will be compiling the list of famous tongue twisters for kids in multiple languages and tongue twisters for kids based on “Speech Sounds Development Chart”.

Here is our list of 99 famous English Tongue Twister Phrases and Poems:

Tongue Twister 1:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 2:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 3:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 4:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 5:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 6:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 7:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 8:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 9:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 10:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 11:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 12:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 13:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 14:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 15:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

iraparenting.com is a complete parenting destination site for parents with children in the age group of 2-6 years. At Ira, we believe that informed parenting is the best type there is. To know more about us, click here. Also, please explore our lra Learning products, which have been designed by experts. Our learning methodology will resonate with you.

Tongue Twister 16:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 17:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 18:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 19:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 20:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 21:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 22:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 23:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 24:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 25:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 26:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 27:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 28:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 29:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 30:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 31:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 32:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 33:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 34:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 35:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 36:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 37:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 38:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 39:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 40:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 41:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 42:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 43:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 44:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 45:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 46:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 47:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 48:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 49:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 50:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 51:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 52:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 53:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 54:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 55:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 56:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 57:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 58:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 59:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 60:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 61:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 62:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

 

Tongue Twister 63:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 64:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 65:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 66:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 67:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 68:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 69:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 70:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 71:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 72:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 73:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 74:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 75:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 76:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 77:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 78:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 79:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 80:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 81:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 82:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 83:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 84:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 85:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 86:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 87:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 88:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 89:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 90:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 91:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 92:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 93:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 94:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

 

Tongue Twister 95:
Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 96:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 97:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 98:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

Tongue Twister 99:

Tongue Twisters for Kids

iraparenting.com is a complete parenting destination site for parents with children in the age group of 2-6 years. At Ira, we believe that informed parenting is the best type there is. To know more about us, click here. Also, please explore our lra Learning products, which have been designed by experts. Our learning methodology will resonate with you.

Do you want us to add a specific tongue twister to this list? Have we missed a good one? Kindly add them in our comments section below!
This blog might be useful to someone you know. Share!
  • 160
    Shares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

# Type at least 1 character to search # Hit enter to search or ESC to close