"Red rhinos race rosy rabbits 'round and 'round the radiator." Try saying that sentence three times fast! Making up tongue twisters is one of my family’s favorite road trip activities and the thing I love most about it is that my children are learning all about alliteration without even realizing it! Alliteration occurs when words that start with the same sound are used close together in a phrase or sentence, and it's key to making tongue twisters.
Creating a wacky tongue twister is a fun, simple activity for the whole family.
How to Create Tongue Twisters as a Family
Step 1: Have your child choose a letter or initial sound. It could be the letter "B" or the sound "Sh," for instance.
Step 2: Pick a theme. My family usually starts by agreeing upon a color or an animal, or a color and an animal. For example, blue bats, green gorillas, or even fuchsia frogs. This combination forms the basis of our tongue twister.
Step 3: Then, work together to make a sentence with as many words beginning with the chosen sound as possible. Remember to use the theme, too! Play around with words: describe activities (verbs) and the names of objects (nouns). So "blue bats" grows to become "blue bats bounce balloons."
Extend the length of sentences by adding even more descriptive words (adjectives). For example, "blue bats bounce balloons" becomes "brave blue bats bounce big brown balloons."
Depending on the age of your child, you can take this one step further by adding more words for numbers, times, or places. Continuing the example above, we now have "Brave blue bats bounce big brown balloons before bedtime."
Some more examples:
- Ten timid tigers serve tea to tiny, toy teddies.
- Whitewashed walruses with wonderful, wiry whiskers whistle weirdly.
Of course, the sillier the sentence, the funnier the tongue twister will be! Once you’ve completed the tongue twister together, hold a competition to try saying it three times super quickly without making a mistake — it’s a challenge, that’s for sure!
Once you've created the tongue twister, invite your child to draw a funny picture to bring her favorite DIY tongue twister to life. Imagine seeing blue bats bouncing big balloons across the page. Your child may even be inspired to make a whole book of tricky tongue twisters.
This activity is a fun way to support your child’s at-school learning about alliteration but it’s also a fun way to pass the time as a verbal literacy game. For more fun ways to pass the time when you’re traveling, see these ideas for ways to learn on a road trip.