English Poems for Kids

Poetry surrounds us daily without realising it, from nursery rhymes to song lyrics. On top of this, more than being a medium for fun, poetry is also an excellent tool for cognitive development in kids. How is that possible? If you select the right set of poems, poetry can aid your child’s development.

How to select poems for kids?

Before introducing your kid to poetry, you need to consider a few points. The aim of teaching poetry to your child is to cultivate admiration in them towards words, sounds, and the meaning of the poems. So, selecting poems that will nurture this trait is essential.

Select poems that are lively, exciting, and appeal to young kids. While looking for the rhythms and exciting meter in a poem, note that poems should emphasise language sounds and stimulate wordplay.

Poetry isn’t scary, and you should teach that to your child by rendering a positive approach towards it. You can develop one by selecting a poem that is easy to remember and understand.

We have compiled different poems for your child to make your job easy. These are fun and of great instructional value.

Short poems for kids

Easy to memorise and enjoyable to read, short poems are the perfect literacy advantage your child needs. Short poems help your child understand pitch, tone, volume and voice modulation, building their phonemic skills.

Here are some famous short poems for kids -

1. Snowball By Shel Silverstein

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first it wet the bed.

2. 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!

3. 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)

Funny poems for kids

Funny poems are all about exciting wordplay meant to tickle your child’s funny bone. There are no moral lessons behind these, as they are only meant to spread happiness. Whether it is a school project or a reading session held at school, a burst of good laughter is contagious and necessary.

Here are some famous funny poems for kids -

1. 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!)

2. 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!

3. 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!

Rhyming poems for kids

Rhyming poems have a rhythmic pattern, similar sounding words, and repetition, making them easier to remember. The rhyming aspect also makes it easier for kids to learn new words. It diminishes the pressure of learning off your child’s shoulders and allows them to enjoy the process without realising they are learning something new.

Here are some famous Rhyming Poems for kids -

1. Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

2. A Million Little Diamonds by Mary Frances Butts

A million little diamonds
Twinkled on the trees;
And all the little children cried,
“A jewel, if you please!”
But while they held their hands outstretched
To catch the diamonds gay,
A million little sunbeams came
And stole them all away.

3. 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.

Animal poems for kids

Animals are an integral part of the environment, and kids are fond of them and love to watch them and play with animal toys. So, animal poems are a perfect way to introduce your child to the world of poetry.

Here are some Animal poems for kids -

1. Rabbits by Shannon W.

Nobody knows the rabbit's nose,
the way it twitches,
the way it goes.
Nobody knows the rabbit's ears,
the way it listens,
the way it hears.
Nobody knows the rabbit's toes,
the way they hop the highs,
the way they bounce the lows.
I know the rabbit's eyes,
the way they look,
the way they despise.

2. The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

3. The Cow by Robert Louis Stevenson

The friendly cow, all red and white,
I love with all my heart:
She gives me cream with all her might,
To eat with apple tart
She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
All in the pleasant open-air,
The pleasant light of day
And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers

8 reasons poetry is great for your child

Poetry is great for engaging children from the start. Here are eight brilliant reasons poetry is great for your child:

1. Improves literacy skills

Kids with good rhyme and rhyming skills become better readers and spellers because focusing on rhymes helps them look at the patterns formed and used within words. This supports their word recognition and spelling skills.

2. Memory and brain power

According to different studies, poetry triggers brain development in children as it often sticks with the readers, making them re-read and memorise the words.

It is also said that poetic words are easier to memorise than non-poetic ones, improving a person’s memory and making it more receptive towards retaining other information in life.

3. Development of speech

The wordplay in poetry supports the development of the vocal apparatus in your mouth, pharynx and nose, triggering speech and language development. It articulates phonemes which will encourage your child to tackle phonetics.

4. Improvement of reading skills

Your child could be an emerging reader but fails to find the motivation to pick up a book and start reading. In such cases, poetry can be of great help.

As poetry contains only a few lines, it makes reading a less daunting experience for your child, and the more they read, the more they will develop their reading skills.

5. Helps in developing their own opinions

There is no right or wrong answer when your child will share their opinions on poems. This boosts their confidence in expressing their views.

Also, forming opinions about things and expressing them is crucial for developing personality. Hence, poetry can aid in personality development for kids.

6. Vocabulary and grammar improvement

Poetry creatively plays with language. Poets make a deliberate choice in the way words and punctuations are used to add a lasting effect on the readers.

Hence, reading well-written poems will allow your child to study different ideas to use a language effectively. This will ultimately improve vocabulary and enhance your kid’s knowledge of English grammar.

7. Inspiring creativity

Introducing your child to well-written poems will inspire the amateur writer in them. They understand writing styles, voice, language, and grammar. Writing poems also encourages them to reflect on their experience and recreate it creatively.

8. Escapism from reality

In this changing world in which local and global events leave a lasting impact on your child, poetry seems to be necessary to help them navigate and make sense of their experiences while also providing them with much-needed entertainment and escapism.

9 great tips to teach poems to your kids

1. Make it fun

Don’t let poetry learning be another boring class for your child. Introduce them to poetry casually and make it fun.

2. Read it aloud

Reading a poem aloud will help your child appreciate the art of poetry and even improve their speaking skills. Once they read poems aloud, their awkwardness will also disappear.

3. Modulate your voice

Voice modulation is necessary for poetry as it will pique your child’s interest and effectively help them in remembering poems.

4. Enact the characters

If the poem you are reading has several characters, enact them. This will enhance your child’s memorising ability.

5. Erase the words

Once your child has recited a poem several times, you can give them a fun activity to test their memory. You can write the entire poem and erase words in between. Tell them to fill in the empty blanks and complete the poem.

6. Break it into chunks

If your child is having difficulty memorising an entire poem in one go, try breaking it into small paragraphs, and if there are no paragraphs, try breaking it sentence by sentence. This will ease their memorising process.

7. Repeat, repeat, repeat!

There is nothing better than repeating when you are trying to memorise something. So, keep repeating poems to your child until they memorise them by heart.

8. Explain the meaning

Giving logical explanations to your child will help them understand a poem quickly. Once they understand it, they are more likely to remember it.

9. Age-appropriate

Make the process of poem learning age-appropriate. For toddlers, stick to poems with four to six lines and increase the number of lines with age.

Conclusion

Sharing poems is a great way to spend time with your child, add fun and even aid their language and speaking skills. So, what are you waiting for? Encourage poetry reading in your child and add fun to their learning today!