17 Tricky Tongue Twisters for Kids

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This list of tongue twisters for kids makes for great literacy activities and line practice. Short tongue Twisters are not only for linguistic fun and games; they serve a practical purpose in practicing pronunciation.

Story Tongue Twisters

The most memorable tongue twisters generally involve some kind of story or description. The following have been circulating for many years:

1. Swan Swam Tongue Twister

This is one of those tough S tongue twisters for kids.

A picture of swans with the swan swam tongue twister written on it.

Swan swam over the sea,

Swim, swan, swim!

Swan swam back again

Well swum, swan!

2. Peter Piper

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 Peter Piper picked?

3. Ned Nott

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.

4. Tree Toad Loved a She-Toad

A picture of frogs on a lily pad with the tree toad loved a she-toad written on it.

A tree toad loved a she-toad

Who lived up in a tree.

He was a two-toed tree toad

But a three-toed toad was she.

The two-toed tree toad tried to win

The three-toed she-toad’s heart,

For the two-toed tree toad loved the ground

That the three-toed tree toad trod.

But the two-toed tree toad tried in vain.

He couldn’t please her whim.

From her tree toad bower

With her three-toed power

The she-toad vetoed him.

5. Mr. See Owned a Saw

Mr. See owned a saw

And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw.

Now See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw

Before Soar saw See,

Which made Soar sore.

Had Soar seen See’s saw

Before See sawed Soar’s seesaw,

See’s saw would not have sawed

Soar’s seesaw.

So See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw.

But it was sad to see Soar so sore

Just because See’s saw sawed

Soar’s seesaw!

6. Susan Shineth Shoes

Susan shineth shoes and socks;

socks and shoes shines Susan.

She ceased shining shoes and socks,

for shoes and socks shock Susan.

7. Doctor Doctors Another

A picture of a doctor with the tongue twister doctor doctors another written on it.

If one doctor doctors another 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?

8. Hottentot

If a Hottentot taught a Hottentot tot

To talk ere the tot could totter,

Ought the Hottenton tot

Be taught to say aught, or naught,

Or what ought to be taught her?

If to hoot and to toot a Hottentot tot

Be taught by her Hottentot tutor,

Ought the tutor get hot

If the Hottentot tot

Hoot and toot at her Hottentot tutor?

9. Silly Sally Tongue Twister

Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep

The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed

shilly-shallied south.

These sheep shouldn’t sleep in a shack;

sheep should sleep in a shed.

10. No Need to Light a Night-Light

A picture of the moon at night with the tongue twister no need to light a night-light written on it.

You’ve no need to light a night-light

On a light night like tonight,

For a night-light’s light’s a slight light,

And tonight’s a night that’s light.

When a night’s light, like tonight’s light,

It is really not quite right

To light night-lights with their slight lights

On a light night like tonight.

11. Betty Botter

Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said “This butter’s bitter!

But a bit of better butter will but make my batter better.”

So she bought some better butter, better than the bitter butter,

and it made her batter better so ’twas better Betty

Botter bought a bit of better butter!

12. She Sells Sea Shells

She sells sea shells by the seashore.

The shells she sells are surely seashells.

So if she sells shells on the seashore,

I’m sure she sells seashore shells.

13. Woodchuck Chuck

A picture of a squirrel with the tongue twister how much could a woodchuck chuck written on it.

“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.”

14. Moses Supposes

Moses supposes his toeses are roses but Moses supposes erroneously;

for nobody’s toeses are posies of roses,

as Moses supposes his toeses to be.

15. Proper Cup of Coffee

All I want is a proper cup of coffee, 

Made in a proper copper coffee pot. 

You can believe it or not, 

But I just want a cup of coffee, 

In a proper coffee pot! 

Tin coffee pots 

Or iron coffee pots 

Are of no use to me! 

If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee 

In a proper copper coffee pot, 

I’ll have a cup of tea!

16. Witches Watches

If two witches were watching two watches which witch would watch which watch?

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17. The “Sixth Sick Sheik’s”

Ever wondered what the hardest tongue twister in the world is? The Sixth sick sheik’s is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language!

Try saying it, “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”

  • Can your kids say it?
  • Have a contest and some fun with it.
  • Who can say it clearly the most times???

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The following is from Doreen Zmijski of Mi. and Florida

PROBLEM BARB… “I did the tongue twisters with the kids. We laughed so hard, nobody could do it… I wish all days were like this. EVERYBODY TRY IT! ACT SILLY… IT’S A RIOT! “

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18. Kitten in the kitchen

Kitty caught the kitten in the kitchen.

19. Whether the weather

Whether the weather is warm, 

Whether the weather is hot, 

We have to put up with the weather, 

Whether we like it or not.

20. Big black bug

A big black bug bit a big black dog on his big black nose.

21. I scream, you scream

I scream, 

You scream, 

We all scream for ice cream.

22. Fuzzy Wuzzy

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. 

Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. 

Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?

23. I thought a 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.

24. What noise annoys

What noise annoys an oyster?

The noise that annoys an oyster

Is a noise that knows no oyster.

25. A big black bear

A big black bear bit a big black bug

And the big black bug bled black blood.

26. Imagine an imaginary 

Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager

imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.

27. If you notice this notice

 If you notice this notice, 

You will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

28. Scary Berry 

How many berries could a bare berry carry, 

If a bare berry could carry berries? 

Well, they can’t carry berries (which could make you very wary) 

But a bare berry carried is more scary!

29. Susie works in a shoeshine shop

Susie works in a shoeshine shop. 

Where she shines, she sits, 

And where she sits, she shines.

30. Denise Sees

Denise sees the fleece,

Denise sees the fleas.

At least Denise could sneeze

And feed and freeze the fleas.

31. Butter And Jelly

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.

Spread it thick, say it quick!

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread,

Spread it thicker, say it quicker!

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.

Don’t eat until you are spreading it like a spread!

32. Pick six beaks

Pick six beaks, seek big peaks.

33. Scissors sizzle

Scissors sizzle, thistles sizzle.

34. The happy hippo

A happy hippo hopped and hiccupped.

35. A sailor went to sea

A sailor went to sea

To see, what he could see.

And all he could see

Was sea, sea, sea.

10 Short and easy tongue twisters for kids

36. Chop shops sell chops.

37. Red lorry, yellow lorry. 

38. Annie ate eight Arctic apples.

39. Six sticky skeletons.

40. He threw three balls.

41. Cooks cook cupcakes quickly.

42. Divers dive deep.

43. Follow the fellow.

44. She sees cheese.

45. Zebras zig and zebras zag.

BONUS: Tough Tongue Twisters

46. Brave brigadiers

Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons—balancing them badly.

47. Wish of wishes

I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish, but if you wish the wish the witch wishes, I won’t wish the wish you wish to wish.

48. Canned can

Can you can a canned can into an un-canned can like a canner can can a canned can into an un-canned can?

49. Slit sheet

I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.

50. Six sleek swans

Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards.

51. SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

52. A skunk sat on a stump

A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk,

but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.

53. Gobbling gargoyles

Gobbling gargoyles gobbled gobbling goblins.

54. Five frantic frogs

Five frantic frogs fled from fifty fierce fishes.

55. Fisherman Fisher

 There was a fisherman named Fisher who fished for some fish in a fissure. 

‘Til a fish with a grin pulled the fisherman in. 

Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fisher.

Fun Tongue Twister Activities for the Kids in the Classroom

The following games are fun and the twisters themselves are great to use for Drama Club exercises and as an activity for waiting in line! Try some with your kids…

What can you do with tongue twister beside say them???

  • Illustrate various tongue twisters
  • Write a book of tongue twisters…
  • Have a tongue twister contest between groups in your program…
  • Have youth write twisters that will stump other groups

1. Tongue Twister Bee:

Get twisted without getting tongue-tied.

  • Think of a tongue twister, like “Unique New York,” “Don’t Drop Double Drum Sticks,” or “Sally Sells Seashells by the Seashore”.
  • The first person says the tongue twister once. The next person has to say it twice, the third person three times and so on.
  • Keep going until someone’s tongue gets twisted.
  • Think of another twister and start again.
  • Source: Ivy of Boothbay Harbor, ME

***IDEA: Try to say the tongue twisters with tongues stuck under the lower lip, or stuck out!!!

2. Take Turns Saying Each of These 3 Times

  1. Mae-me-mi-mo-moo
  2. Red leather yellow leather
  3. Momma made me mash my m-n -m’s…
  4. Selfish shellfish
  5. Rubber baby buggy bumpers
  6. Knapsack straps
  7. Specific Pacific
  8. Unique New York
  9. Burgess’s fish shop sauce
  10. Men munch much mush
  11. Black bugs blood
  12. Rush the washing, Russell
  13. Good blood, bad blood
  14. Toy boat
  15. Fruit float
  16. Fresh fried fish
  17. Pre-shrunk shirts
  18. Purple Paper People, Purple Paper People, Purple Paper People
  19. Red Bulb Blue Bulb -Red Bulb Blue Bulb- Red Bulb Blue Bulb
  20. Freshly-fried fat flying fish
  21. Bubble bobble, bubble bobble, bubble bobble
  22. Greek grapes

3. TONGUE TWISTER ‘FIRST LETTER OF YOUR NAME’ GAME…

This activity is a variation of the famous ‘Consequences’ game. Write the following questions on a board or chart paper:

1. Write your first name

2. What did she/he do?

3. Where?

4. When?

5. Why?

6. Because…

Now give kids the following instructions:

1. Get into teams of about 5 people

2. On a piece of blank paper write your answer to question #1.

3. Pass the paper to the person on your right.

4. Write an answer to question #2 on the paper you have just received. Your answer must begin with the first sound in the person’s name (Example: Bob – bought a bike)

5. Pass the paper on again and write an answer to question 3 again using the sound at the beginning of the name.

6. Continue until all the questions have been answered.

Pass the paper back to the person who started with it. Read all of the tongue twisters aloud.

It might help if you give the kids some examples before they begin the exercise:

  • Bob bought a bike in Bali on his birthday because he was bored.
  • Susan sang a song at the seaside on the 6th of September because she saw some sunshine. Laura laughed in the launderette at lunchtime because she lost her laundry.

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Check out our Christmas tongue twisters as well. 

Two pictures. One of a young boy and girl reading a book and another of a mom reading a daughter a book and the daughter is giggling. The text on the image reads  17 tricky tongue twisters for kids.

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