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40 Best Short Poems To Share With Kids


Most adults probably remember reading Shel Silverstein and the joy his book A Light in the Attic brought us. Reading poetry with children fosters creativity and important literacy skills like rhyming. Short poems for kids can also help develop memory skills because students usually can’t wait to share what they learned with family and friends. Since long poems may seem intimidating to younger readers or even those who are just new to poetry, we gathered some of the best short poems for kids. While some are silly and include nonsense words and funny names, others are more serious and tackle important social issues. Check out our complete list of short poems for kids below.

Short poems for kids include The Homework Machine by Shel Silverstein.

“Just put in your homework, then drop in a dime.”

“I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox”

“When she found she was tired, she abruptly expired,

That unfortunate Lady of Clare.”

4. Happy Thought 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.”

“The stars are blinking in the skies;

They see some sights that hurt their eyes.”

“Robed so white and spotless,

Flying like a dove.”

Short poems for kids include The Crocodile by Lewis Carroll.

“How cheerfully he seems to grin …”

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

“The cry of the cicada

Gives us no sign

That presently it will die.”

“I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you – Nobody – too?”

11. Sonnet by James Weldon Johnson

Sonnet by James Weldon Johnson

“Tho’ thick the battle and tho’ fierce the fight,

There is a power making for the right.”

“My mother is calling me, and I’m calling you,

Where have you gone, my missing shoe?”

“I ate a chili pepper

On a lunch-time dare …”

“My long-eared dog is very sweet.

He loves to lick my stinky feet.”

Short poems for kids include Poetry Is My Underwear by April Halprin Wayland.

“Doesn’t she know

she’s waving my underwear?”

“I might even

hear

his heart beat—

but never

his quiet

feet.”

17. My Rock by Pat Mora

“I sit on my desert rock, listen

to the world’s hum.”

18. Cat by Marilyn Singer

“No cat I remember

dislikes December

inside.”

A Blank White Page by Francisco Alarcón.

“is a meadow

after a snowfall”

20. The Promise by Jane Hirshfield

“Stay, I said to my loves.

Each answered,

Always.”

“Refer to me by my proper name,

Which is Mr. Hullibajiss.”

22. Dust by P.A. Ropes

“The grey dust runs on the ground like a mouse …”

23. My Griffin by Laura E. Richards

“I keep my Griffin in the barn;

I keep him busy winding yarn.”

24. Fun by Leroy F. Jackson

Fun by Leroy F. Jackson.

“I love to hear a lobster laugh,

Or see a turtle wiggle …”

“’Oh come, come, come,’

Said the sardine’s mum.

‘It’s only a tin full of people.’”

26. Oh, Fly by Jane Yolen

“For oh, you are

a lovely fly.

Just

do not go

and multiply.”

“more women in the arena means

more room for all of us to rise.”

Humming Birds by Betty Sage.

“I think it is a funny thing

That some birds whistle, others sing.”

“A wee little worm in a hickory-nut

Sang, happy as he could be …”

30. Snowball by Shel Silverstein

“I made myself a snowball

As perfect as could be.”

“I never saw a purple cow.

I never hope to see one.”

32. At the Zoo by William Makepeace Thackeray

“Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;

Then I saw the monkeys—mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!”

Jack and Jill by Mother Goose

“Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water …”

“Star light, star bright,

First star I see tonight,

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have this wish I wish tonight.”

“I’ve a cat named Vesters,

And he eats all day.

He always lays around,

And never wants to play.”

“There was an Old Person whose habits,

Induced him to feed upon rabbits;

When he’d eaten eighteen,

He turned perfectly green,

Upon which he relinquished those habits.”

“What are heavy? sea-sand and sorrow:

What are brief? today and tomorrow:

What are frail? spring blossoms and youth:

What are deep? the ocean and truth.”

38. Tommy by Gwendolyn Brooks

Tommy by Gwendolyn Brooks

“I put my seed into the ground

And said, ‘I’ll watch it grow.’

I watered it and cared for it

As well as I could know.”

“Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore,

And that’s what parents were created for.”

“Way down South where bananas grow,

A grasshopper stepped on an elephant’s toe.”

If you liked these short poems for kids, check out these poems about teaching.

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