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Articulation exercises for young children

Open mouth with tongueArticulation

This improves the children’s fluency with language. It helps improve clarity of speech sounds and helps with vocal projection.

Game: Voices

Difficulty rating: **

Minimum number of participants: 1

Resources needed: Clear space, index cards with emotions on them

Instructions: Choose a simple sentence such as “I want a can of Coke.”  Write the following feelings out on cards. Have the children choose a card and say the sentence with whichever emotion they have chosen. The rest of the class has to guess what emotion they are trying to portray.

Examples of emotions that can be used:

  • Calm
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Stubborn
  • Surprised
  • Excited
  • Mean
  • Worried
  • Brave
  • Lonely

At the end, have the children to repeat the sentence together using their different emotions.

Game: Tongue twisters

Difficulty rating: * to *****

Minimum number of participants: 1

Resources needed: Handouts with tongue twisters on them

Instructions: The children must start slowly and articulate each word clearly. They can go faster and faster as they feel more confident with the tongue twisters. If you have a large class, divide them into groups of four or five.

  •  A skunk sat on a stump. The stump thought the skunk stunk. The skunk thought the stump stunk. What stunk? The skunk or the stump?
  • A tutor who tooted the flute, tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor, “Is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?”
  • If Freaky Fred found fifty feet of fruit and fed forty feet to his friend Frank, how many  feet of fruit did Freaky Fred find?
  • Pepperoni pizza on a pink-patterned plate with parsley on the side to your pleasure.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
  • where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  • Red Leather Yellow Leather Red Leather Yellow Leather Red Leather Yellow Leather….
  • She shut the shop shutters so the shopping shoppers can’t shop.
  • Unique New York….Unique New York…..Unique New York
  • Which wristwatch is a Swiss wristwatch?
  • I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York.
  • Peggy Babcock loves Tubby Gigwhip.
  • Two toads totally tired tried to trot to Tewkesbury.
  • She stood upon the balcony, inimitably mimicking him hiccupping and amicably welcoming him in.
  • The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.
  • Betty Botter bought some butter

But she said, “This butter’s bitter.

But a bit of better butter

Better than the bitter butter,

That would 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.

Game: Broken telephone

Difficulty rating: 9+

Minimum number of participants: 5

Resources needed: Clear space

Instructions: This is a classic game. With the class sitting in a circle, the leader whispers a simple message to one of the children. They must pass the message on to the child next to them, but they must follow a few rules. They must whisper but speak clearly. They can say the message only once. When everyone in the circle has passed the message to the child next to them, the last child stands up and repeats what message they heard. The message usually changes, and the leader tries to locate the broken telephones. The telephone may be broken in more than one place. Tongues twisters can be very effective here as they help children be mindful of their articulation.

Some examples to help you get started:

  • She sells sea shells at the seashore.
  • Four fat frogs fanning fainting flies.
  • Run the rock the ragged rascal ran.

For more ideas for development articulation  buy Drama Start Two Drama Activities and Plays for Children  at or or if you can buy the kindle version from or


This is a resource site for early education and primary school educators. The blog shares ideas for teaching creative drama/ drama in education to children.

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