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    BlogParenting Resources30 Best Kids' Poems to Entice a Love for Reading & Poetry

    30 Best Kids’ Poems to Entice a Love for Reading & Poetry

    ​​Writing a poem for kids is a fun and easy way to get their creative juices flowing. Not only can you teach them how to make up poetry, but you can also use the poems to teach them about life lessons and values. This article will give you the best kids’ poems of all time, along with giving you some great tips on how to help your child through the process of writing a poem. 

    Best kids’ poems 

    Short Poems for Kids 

    Image of a poem - short kids' poems

    Related: 20 best children’s books to stimulate imagination and creativity

    1. The Purple Cow
    By Gelett Burgess

    I never saw a purple cow,
    I never hope to see one,
    But I can tell you, anyhow,
    I’d rather see than be one!

    2. The Forest
    By Annette Wynne

    The forest is the town of trees
    Where they live quite at their ease,
    With their neighbors at their side
    Just as we in cities wide.

    3. Hey Diddle Diddle
    Author Unknown

    Hey diddle diddle,
    The Cat and the fiddle,
    The Cow jumped over the moon,
    The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
    And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

    4. There Was an Old Man with a Beard
    By Edward Lear

    There was an Old Man with a beard,
    Who said “It is just how I feared—
    Two Owls and a hen,
    For Larks and a wren,
    Have all built their nests in my beard!”

    5. The Days of the Month
    Author Unknown

    Thirty days hath September,
    April, June, and November,
    February has twenty-eight alone.
    All the rest have thirty-one,
    Excepting leap-year—that’s the time
    When February’s days are twenty-nine.

    6. The Porcupine
    By Ogden Nash

    Any hound a porcupine nudges
    Can’t be blamed for harboring grudges,
    I know one hound that laughed all winter
    At a porcupine that sat on a splinter.

    7. At the Zoo
    By William Makepeace Thackeray

    First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;
    Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;
    Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw;
    Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw;
    Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;
    Then I saw the monkeys – mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!

    8. Down They Go…
    By Roald Dahl

    Down they go!
    Hail and snow!
    Freezes and sneezes and noses will blow!

    9. Happy Thoughts
    By Robert Louis Stevenson

    The world is so full
    of a number of things,
    I’m sure we should all
    be as happy as kings.

    10. There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
    By Mother Goose

    There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
    She had so many children she didn’t know what to do;
    She gave them some broth without any bread,
    Kissed them all soundly and sent them to bed.

    Funny Poems for Kids

    Image of little kids laughing

    Related: 10 best classic fairy tales for your kids’ early development

    11. I’m a Little Teapot
    By George Harold Sanders

    I’m a little teapot
    Short and stout
    Here is my handle (one hand on hip)
    Here is my spout (other arm out straight)

    When I get all steamed up
    Hear me shout
    “Tip me over
    and pour me out!” (lean over toward spout)

    I’m a clever teapot,
    Yes, it’s true
    Here let me show you
    What I can do

    I can change my handle
    And my spout (switch arm positions)
    Just tip me over and pour me out! (lean over toward spout)

    12. My Cat is Fat
    By James Mcdonald

    I’ve a cat named Vesters,
    And he eats all day.
    He always lays around,
    And never wants to play.

    Not even with a squeaky toy,
    Nor anything that moves.
    When I have him exercise,
    He always disapproves.

    So we’ve put him on a diet,
    But now he yells all day.
    And even though he’s thinner,
    He still won’t come and play.

    13. How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes
    By Shel Silverstein

    If you have to dry the dishes
    (Such an awful, boring chore)
    If you have to dry the dishes
    (‘ Stead of going to the store)
    If you have to dry the dishes
    And you drop one on the floor—
    Maybe they won’t let you
    Dry the dishes anymore.

    14. McGallimagoo
    By James McDonald

    My name is not McGallimagoo,
    Although some would have you think.
    All day long they call me this,
    And I really think it stinks.

    McGallimagoo come here to me
    Mcgllimagoo sit down.
    McGallimagoo is such a funny name,
    But it always makes me frown.

    So if you see me on the street,
    Please don’t call me this.
    Refer to me by my proper name,
    Which is Mr. Hullibajiss.

    15. As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed
    By Jack Prelutsky

    As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
    his underwear goes on his head.
    His mother laughs, “Don’t put it there,
    a head’s no place for underwear!”
    But near his ears, above his brains,
    is where Fred’s underwear remains.

    At night when Fred goes back to bed,
    he deftly plucks it off his head.
    His mother switches off the light
    and softly croons, “Good night! Good night!”
    And then, for reasons no one knows,
    Fred’s underwear goes on his toes.

    16. Learning
    By Judith Viorst

    I’m learning to say thank you.
    And I’m learning to say please.
    And I’m learning to use Kleenex,
    Not my sweater, when I sneeze.
    And I’m learning not to dribble.
    And I’m learning not to slurp.
    And I’m learning (though it sometimes really hurts me)
    Not to burp.
    And I’m learning to chew softer
    When I eat corn on the cob.
    And I’m learning that it’s much
    Much easier to be a slob.

    Poem for Kids about School 

    Image of kids studying in school

    Related: 30 classic storybooks online for kids that are free

    17. The Children of Beslan (To My Children)
    By Irakli Kakabadze

    Today is the First of September and

    As natural,

    As the sun’s setting and rising,

    The flowers’ budding and wilting, 

    The healing of open wounds,

    And death. 

    This isn’t a school bell ringing, 

    It’s the bells of a church.

    The mothers woke us up from our summer games,

    But the fathers took our hands more sternly and

    more proudly than never before. 

    The fathers left work for the market,

    Carrying heavy bags and

    All kinds of thoughts and rubbish  

    in their heads.

    We left toys with wilted smiles on the beds,

    Little sisters and brothers in the windows,

    Grandmothers who had combed our hair and

    Crossed us as we were leaving home,

    To meet with God, or our first teachers.  

    Here, our empty, silent notebooks,

    Here, our unopened books and flat, inanimate illustrations,

    The red pens, which retain their strictness, but can’t express it,

    A roster, read from the grade book with no answers,

    Desks without purpose and

    The boards, painted black,

    On which is written our first, short history.

    Here, our flowers for you, who

    Were supposed to open the door of life’s wisdom for us,

    But the flowers have chosen a better fate. 

    Again, light backpacks

    Are hanging like crosses upon our weak shoulders and

    White shirts—

    Like sacrificial lambs, we make our way to the last class.

    Don’t look at the road so often,

    We won’t return from here,

    We continued our summer games and

    We are hiding behind September first.

    18. The High-School Lawn
    By Thomas Hardy  

    Gray prinked with rose,

    White tipped with blue,

    Shoes with gay hose,

    Sleeves of chrome hue;

    Fluffed frills of white,

    Dark bordered light;

    Such shimmerings through

    Trees of emerald green are eyed

    This afternoon, from the road outside.

    They whirl around:

    Many laughters run

    With a cascade’s sound;

    Then a mere one.

    A bell: they flee:

    Silence then: —

    So it will be

    Some day again

    With them, — with me.

    19. Moonlily
    By Marilyn Nelso

    When we play horses at recess, my name

    is Moonlily and I’m a yearling mare.

    We gallop circles around the playground,

    whinnying, neighing, and shaking our manes.

    We scrape the ground with scuffed saddle oxfords,

    thunder around the little kids on swings

    and seesaws, and around the boys’ ball games.

    We’re sorrel, chestnut, buckskin, pinto, gray,

    a herd in pastel dresses and white socks.

    We’re self-named, untamed, untouched, unridden.

    Our plains know no fences. We can smell spring.

    The bell produces metamorphosis.

    Still hot and flushed, we file back to our desks,

    one bay in a room of palominos.

    20. Making History
    By Marilyn Nelson

    Somebody took a picture of a class
    standing in line to get polio shots,
    and published it in the Weekly Reader.
    We stood like that today. And it did hurt.

    Mrs. Liebel said we were Making History,
    but all I did was sqwunch up my eyes and wince.
    Making History takes more than standing in line
    believing little white lies about pain.

    Mama says First Negroes are History:
    First Negro Telephone Operator,
    First Negro Opera Singer At The Met,
    First Negro Pilots, First Supreme Court Judge.

    That lady in Montgomery just became a First
    by sqwunching up her eyes and sitting there.

    Poems for Kids that Rhyme 

    Image of a rhyming poem

    21. Eletelephony
    By Laura Elizabeth Richard

    Once there was an elephant,
    Who tried to use the telephant—
    No! No! I mean an elephone
    Who tried to use the telephone—

    (Dear me! I am not certain quite
    That even now I’ve got it right.)
    Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
    Entangled in the telephunk;

    The more he tried to get it free,
    The louder buzzed the telephee—
    (I fear I’d better drop the song
    Of elephop and telephong!)

    22. Two Little Dicky Birds
    By Mother Goose

    Two Little Dicky Birds,
    Sat upon a wall.
    One named Peter,
    The other named Paul,
    Fly away Peter.
    Fly away Paul.
    Come back Peter!
    Come back Paul!! 

    23. Jack and Jill
    By Mother Goose

    Jack and Jill
    Went up the hill
    To fetch a pail of water,
    Jack fell down
    And broke his crown
    And Jill came tumbling after.
    Up Jack got
    And home did trot
    As fast as he could caper,
    Went to bed
    To mend his head
    With vinegar and brown paper.

    24. The Crocodile
    By Lewis Carroll

    How doth the little crocodile
    Improve his shining tail,
    And pour the waters of the Nile
    On every golden scale!

    How cheerfully he seems to grin,
    How neatly spreads his claws,
    And welcomes little fishes in,
    With gently smiling jaws!

    25. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
    By Jane Taylor 

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    How I wonder what you are.
    Up above the world so high,
    Like a diamond in the sky.
    Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    How I wonder what you are!

    26. Star Light, Star Bright
    Author Unknown

    Star light, start bright,
    The first star I see tonight;
    I wish I may, I wish I might,
    Have the wish I wish tonight.

    27. Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
    By Rudyard Kipling

    Baa, baa, black sheep,
    Have you any wool?
    Yes sir, yes sir,
    Three bags full;
    One for the master,
    And one for the dame,
    And one for the little boy
    Who lives down the lane.

    28. Rhyme
    By Elizabeth Coatsworth

    I like to see a thunderstorm,
    A dunder storm,
    A blunder storm,
    I like to see it, black and slow,
    Come stumbling down the hill.
    I like to hear a thunderstorm,
    A plunder storm,
    A wonder storm,
    Roar loudly at our little house
    And shake the window sills!

    29. Mary Had a Little Lamb
    By Sarah Josepha Hale

    Mary had a little lamb,

    Little lamb, little lamb,
    Mary had a little lamb,
    Its fleece was white as snow,
    And every where that Mary went,
    Mary went, Mary went,
    Everywhere that Mary went,
    The lamb was sure to go;
    He followed her to school one day,
    School one day, school one day,
    He followed her to school one day,
    Which was against the rule;
    It made the children laugh and play,
    Laugh and play, laugh and play,
    It made the children laugh and play,
    To see a lamb at school,
    And so the teacher turned him out,
    Turned him out, turned him out,
    So the teacher turned him out,
    But still he lingered near,
    And waited patiently about,
    Patiently about, patiently about,
    Waited patiently about,
    Till Mary did appear;
    “Why does the lamb love Mary so?
    Mary so, Mary so,
    Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
    The eager children cried;
    “Why Mary loves the lamb, you know,
    Lamb you know, lamb you know,
    Why Mary loves the lamb, you know”
    The teacher did reply;
    Mary had a little lamb,
    Little lamb, little lamb,
    Mary had a little lamb,
    Its fleece was white as snow.

    30. Monday’s Child
    By A.E Bray

    Monday’s child is fair of face,
    Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
    Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
    Thursday’s child has far to go.
    Friday’s child is loving and giving,
    Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
    And the child that is born on the Sabbath Day,
    Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

    How to Select the Best Poem for Kids? 

    Image on importance of poetry

    Selecting a poem for children can be difficult. There are so many rhyming poems out there that it can feel overwhelming.

    The key is to find one that is both age-appropriate and exciting. You want to find something that will keep your little one entertained and teach them something new. Make sure to find a poem that is short and easy to understand.

    If you have older children and you want to read it with them, make sure you know the words ahead of time and can read all the way through without stumbling. If a poem is too long, it can become monotonous and no longer enjoyable to read.

    Children will enjoy a humorous poem or a poem with an element of surprise. If possible, get your child involved in picking the poem. They will be more likely to get excited and interested if they are part of the decision-making process.

    Creative Ways to Teach Your Kid How to Write a Poem

    Image of a girl writing a poem

    There are many different ways to help your child learn how to write a poem. 

    1. One way is by giving them prompts or topics that they can use as inspiration. 
    2. Another idea is to have them list five words and create a poem from those words. 
    3. You can also do a rhyming exercise with your child where you pick two words and they come up with a word that rhymes with both of them. 
    4. Another fun way to teach kids about poetry is by having them make a poem using their own name in it. 
    5. A great exercise for them to do at home is to take a walk outside and look for 10 things that rhyme. When they find ten things, have them write a poem about those ten things and illustrate it. The next step is to have them share their poem with their classmates.
    6. Make up silly words and make the kids write a poem using them (must be funny of course!)

    Read to your child each night before bed as it will help them fall asleep better and help them understand that reading is fun. Also, it will help to improve their vocabulary. Make a word of the day calendar and have your child check off each word they know when they hear it. Teaching your children how to write poems is a beautiful way to foster their creativity and imagination. 

    We hope you like the poems mentioned above, and we’re looking forward to reading some of the poems written by your children. Please share them with us at help@splashlearn.com

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    AUTHOR
    Shreya Saluja
    Shreya is currently working with SplashLearn in the Brand & Communications team. Apart from refining content and marketing strategies, she loves to read, write & binge watch in her leisure time. She loves to debate about anything & everything and trust dogs a lot more than humans.

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