Sometimes kids get discouraged while working on vocalic ‘R’, because it can take days or months for them to get it right. To lighten up the mood and help them feel where their tongue should go, I do the ‘R Warmup Cheer’. The idea is to get them to produce ‘Y’ syllables, because making ‘Y’ moves the back of their tongue to the back of their mouth where it should be for ‘R’. Most kids can say the ‘Y’ sound in ‘yoyo’ fairly easily. So the ‘R’ warmup cheer goes like this (and you can’t be afraid to be silly– you’ve got to own it, and so do they!):
Yo! Yo! (do the hand motions and the voices in the video)
Yee Yeeeerrrrrrrr! And your tongue goes back and up to make the R sound!
(Use your thumbs to represent your tongue going back and up.)
The ‘EEE’ vowel is a good one to practice to try to get an ‘ER’ sound, because your tongue is up and back in the mouth already.