Teach Your Bilingual Kids To Roll Their R's

A while back I wrote about my daughter Vanessa having a hard time pronouncing the letter R. She’s gotten better at it, but now it’s her 4-year-old brother’s turn to learn how to roll his R’s and she’s doing a great job teaching him. He still has ways to go, but as with my daughter, I’m not really worried about it because typically Spanish speaking children don’t learn to do it until they’re between 5 and 7 years old.

I helped Vanessa learn how to roll her R’s using rhymes and tongue twisters, and a few days ago I promised her I would look for more so that we could use them with her little brother. Check out some of the news I found…

But first, let me share some advice from one of our very own experts, Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D, CCS-LLP, a bilingual speech language professional, who suggested the following to one of our readers a few years back 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:


Here are the new rhymes and tongue twisters I found that are perfect to teach kids to roll their R’s.


  • Por la calle de Carretas
    pasaba un perrito;
    pasó una carreta y
    le pisó el rabito.
    ¡Pobre perrito,
    cómo lloraba
    por su rabito!


  • El burrito barrigón
    ayer se dio un resbalón
    por andar detrás de un carro
    se cayó dentro del barro
    ¡Qué burrito picarón
    el burrito barrigón!


  • Corre que te corre,
    corre sin parar.
    Corre, corre, corre,
    que si tú no corres
    ¡seguro te atraparán!


TRABALENGUAS (or Tongue Twisters)

  • El perro de San Roque no tiene rabo
    porque Ramón Rodríguez se lo ha robado
  • Un burro comía berros
    y el perro se los robó,
    el burro lanzó un rebuzno
    y el perro al barro cayó.


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