Enjoying Poetry with Children – And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.

The little poem will sing to you
The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed.

So – –
Keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.


Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

I can’t say I was a poetry lover as a child. There were some that I loved but mostly my memories of poetry were things like learning the difference between a haiku and a limerick, or having to read in front of the class. Not extremely fun.

I’m pleased to say my kids have had no such experience and they actually really enjoy reading, and sometimes writing, poetry. And through them I have really learnt to enjoy it too!

Some ways we incorporate poetry into our days…

Poetry Teatime

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

My kids love poetry teatime! We went to a homeschool event once, which they really enjoyed, and then they wanted to do the same at home. Now we have it every Friday morning. We make hot chocolates and grab whatever tasty snacks we have in the house, and have a picnic outside while we read some poetry. At first I’m pretty sure they mostly enjoyed the hot chocolate, ha! But as they’ve gotten older they are now the ones doing the reading and they really enjoy it. They never let me forget! On Friday’s I’m constantly asked if I’m ready to do poetry teatime yet! It’s such a lovely tradition and a nice connecting way to end our week.

Daily poetry

A couple of the poetry books we own contain poems for each day of the year and so we try to remember to check them daily. This isn’t always a success, and sometimes we’re reading a week at a time. Oh well! It is really nice though to read seasonal poetry consistently through the year. Reading over breakfast works best here, because we are often out during the day.

Share poetry with friends

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Once a month we have poetry teatime with friends! The kids bring a poem or two each to read, or write one themselves. When we started doing this we kind of just left them to it and they worked out how it would go themselves. Usually they sit in a circle and take in turns reading one each. They really like it!

Combine poetry and art

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Miss 8 has been doing an Outschool class on poetry and art which she loves. They take one poem each week, read it, share their thoughts, and then create a watercolour painting based on their interpretation of the poem. This is her favourite class! I love the idea and she enjoys it so much that we’ve been bringing some art materials outside when we have our poetry teatime too. I think it’s a great way to explore poetry.

Find good poetry books!

If you want to share poetry with your children, you’re going to want some good books! We’ve tried quite a few. Some were well received, some not so much. I’m excited to share with you the kids favourites.

Our Top 5 Poetry Books for Children

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree
Book Depository | Amazon

Top of the list would have to be this BEAUTIFUL book. If I could only pick one to have it would have to be this one. Enjoyed by all four of my girls (aged 3 – 10). Full of nature poems, one for every day of the year.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids
Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

It is SO beautifully illustrated that it captures the attention of them all. The poems are not too long, and not too abstract. It’s a really perfect start!

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Nature poems are always a winner here because it’s something they all love. Most kids are interested in bugs, trees, seasons, the moon, rain, animals, rainbows, and all that cool stuff!

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

I can’t express how much I love this one. It is just gorgeous. I love to read it myself. The only thing is that it’s based on the Northern Hemisphere so the seasons don’t match up if you’re reading each day according to the date. But I love it so much I don’t even care, we just flip to the relevant month.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Winnie-The-Pooh Complete Collection
Book Depository | Amazon

A classic! I remember reading the poems in here myself as a child. A.A. Milne’s poems have captured my children’s hearts as well.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

I just love the ones that illustrate what childhood is like from a child’s perspective. They are often funny too!

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

This is the girls favourite poem and they know it by heart.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Part of my childhood favourite! I adore so many of the poems in here, as well as the ones scattered throughout the story of Winnie the Pooh too. We love looking through to find them all, and laughing a lot!

“Christopher Robin is going.
At least I think he is.
Where?
Nobody knows.
But he is going –
I mean he goes
(To rhyme with “knows”)
Do we care?
(To rhyme with “where”)
We do
Very much.
(I haven’t got a rhyme for that “is” in the second line yet.
Bother).
(Now I haven’t got a rhyme for bother. Bother)
Those two bothers will have to rhyme with each other
Buther.
The fact is this is more difficult
than I thought,
I ought –
(Very good indeed)
I ought
to begin again,
But it is easier
To stop.
Christopher Robin, good-bye,
I
(Good)
I
And all your friends
Sends –
I mean all your friend
Send –
(Very awkward this, it keeps going wrong.)
Well, anyhow, we send
Our love
END.”


― A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

All The Wild Wonders
Book Depository | Amazon

Another book of nature poems. This one has more of a focus on loving our planet, caring for it, and conservation.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Some really important messages conveyed through poetry.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

It also has captivating pictures which the kids enjoy.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids
Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

Some thought provoking poems for kids that have sparked interesting discussions here! Protecting our earth is something they are all passionate about.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

The ABC Book of Australian Poetry
Book Depository | Amazon

One for the Aussie kids! This is one we recently borrowed from the library to see if it was worth buying, and we plan to make it a permanent in our home.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

I really wanted a book with some poetry that talked about Australian wildlife and places that were meaningful to the kids, and this one fits the bill.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

There’s also some classics in here!

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

A few about Australian places that they recognise.

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

A Poem for Every Night of the Year
Book Depository | Amazon

Another one for daily reading! This one doesn’t interest the little kids, but is more for the older ones. There are no colourful pictures and some of the poems can be a little harder to understand. But, what I do love is that above each there is a little written about the author and what the poem is about. That’s super helpful because sometimes I struggle to understand poetry too!

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids
Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

A nice one for nightly reading throughout the year!

Enjoying Poetry with Children - And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

And those are our faves! A special mention to The Lost Words and Wild World too. Both beautiful books that are also loved but I thought I might be overdoing it on the nature poetry, ha!

What are your favourite poetry books for kids?

7 thoughts on “Enjoying Poetry with Children – And The Best Poetry Books for Kids

  1. Thanks for this post! I just started reading poetry with my kiddos and they also enjoy it, will definitely check these out! We recently read Cricket in the Thicket and really enjoyed it. I like that it gives a snippet of info about each bug too.

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  3. I’m very excited to see your comments on “I am the seed that grew the tree” because I’d looked at it, and dismissed it as being too hard to use for the wrong hemisphere. When you say “I love it so much I don’t even care, we just flip to the relevant month” do you mean you read May in May and ignore the seasonal differences, or do you mean you read November in May and ignore the date? And if so, have you run into many Christmas problems?

    • Read November in May! We just skip any ones that still don’t fit. The kids are likely to just pick it up and read from any page anyway. It’s soooo beautiful and not all the poems are seasonal so it totally doesn’t matter.

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