Tips to Help your child roll his r's

Vanessa has always had a hard time pronouncing the letter R. Lately, though, she’s become keenly aware that she can’t roll her Rs. Out of the blue, she’ll repeat words like perro and carro and rápido and ask me if she’s saying them right. Unfortunately, she’s not. But I’m not freaking out just yet because I’ve read this is normal since Spanish speaking children typically don’t learn to roll their R’s until they’re between 5 and 7 years old. This means Vanessa still has a little over a year!

In all seriousness though, she’s not happy that she can’t do it and so I’ve been wanting to help her practice how to roll her R’s the last few days. Yesterday, I decided to do some research and now I have a few exercises to use with her that I want to share with you.

For starters, here’s the advice one of our very own experta, Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D, CCS-LLP, a bilingual speech language professional, told one of our readers about three years ago regarding her daughter’s trouble rolling her R’s:

The trilled R is a D sound with the tip of the tongue moving. Try these drills:

The syllable level:



The word level:


I also found these rhymes and tongue twisters recommended for learning how to roll Rs. Check them out:


  • El cielo está enladrillado
    El cielo está enladrillado,
    quién lo desenladrillará.
    El desenladrillador que lo desenladrille,
    buen desenladrillador será.


  • El otro día me caí
    del ferrocarril
    al lado de un barril.
    El barril tenia ruedas
    ¡Qué raro barril!
    Y con las ruedas
    caí en el barro marrón!
    Fui a mi casa, me bañé rápido
    y dije todo otra vez


  • Erre con erre, guitarra,
    erre con erre, barril.
    ¡Mira que rápido ruedan
    las ruedas redondas
    del ferrocarril!


TRABALENGUAS (or Tongue Twisters)

  • Borracho un ratón robó
    un ramo de rosas rojas.
    El rabo se le enredó
    y rodó de rosa en rosa.

  • El ratón se come un bombón.
    Se viene un gato marrón a comer el ratón.
    Pero el bombón reventó, ¡BOM!

So I’m going to go ahead and practice these with Vanessa. We’ll see how it goes. Promise to keep you posted.

Got any rhymes or tongue twisters of your own? Please share!

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