Introducing Poetry to Children

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Introducing Children to Poetry

Poetry is such a delightful way to introduce children to the beauty that is a collection of words. Poetry in itself is not always about telling a story, but capturing a moment, as a photographer might when seeing an amazing landscape in front of them.


Through exposure to poetry we can then slowly introduce children to writing their own pieces and developing a collection of words which can express what they see with their eyes and feel with their hearts.


I don’t often share poetry with my children, but I am determined to do so.  As part of this new daily provocation I have gathered a few of my favorite poetry anthologies and plan on creating a little space to keep this collection so we can touch on it daily.  My children often enjoy listening to a chapter books in the car as we wait for friends or before school and I may introduce one of these books to our audio book listening adventures.


Below is my small collection so far…


1. If Poems  is available as a book and as an app.  The application is just beautiful as it has the ability to listen to a reading of the poem, as well as recording your own version. With over 200 classic poems at your fingertips, this is the perfect starting point for those who have yet to build their poetry collection.   Helena Bonham Carter is the most perfect voice for this application.

Below is a little link to see Helena discuss the application….


2. When We Were Very Young | A.A. Milne


3. The Puffin Book of Modern Children’s Verse | Edited by Brian Patten


4. A Light in the Attic | Shel Silverstein


5. Falling Up | Shel Silverstein


6. Runny Babbit | Shel Silverstein


7. Random House Book of Poetry


I am also considering the Magnetic Poetry Kit to encourage my eldest son to create a flow of words he likes to look of and the sound of together.


Do you have any books to add to the list?


Rebecca has a love for travel, the outdoors, and picture books, and enjoys spending her time sourcing delightful educational experiences to share with her two sons.With a background in early childhood and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Tasmania, Rebecca teaches at a private all girls school in Australia. Her passion for the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and Maria Montessori lead Rebecca to Playful Learning many years ago when she first enrolled in the online Playful Learning Spaces workshop.  She shortly became a regular contributor, mainly focusing on children’s literature. Rebecca is currently working on a modern day primer for children, called Alphabet Town under the label bec + georg.



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  1. Ooh, I have to check out that app. Great list! I’d also add Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield. One of my childhood favourites, and still one of the first that I share with kids.

  2. Great list Rebecca, I’ll have to look into a few of those books for my kids. We bring out the magnetic poetry words from time to time and the kids have great fun with them. They are perfect for even younger children (4+) as they can participate by making up funny sentences.
    My kids also found limericks to quite fun to compose. “There once was a girl from ………”

  3. Any poems by John Foster have always worked as a great starting point for me with poetry in any class from 3 to 10 year olds. I had great success with I Am poems this year. My 5 year olds drew self portraits, asked at home for words that others would use to describe them – wrote them down as a collection and then wrote a poem in class. I am friendly, I am good to be around etc etc. I then repeated the activities for My House is… Worked a treat. I’ve also used real chocolate cake and still life with flowers and natural materials for list poem making this year. E.g. Chocolate cake …. Strong, brown, crumbly etc.
    I love using poems with children, don’t think I’ve blogged about it, which I must rectify! 🙂

  4. Jack Prelutsky is another fun children’s poet, in the same vein as Shel Silverstein. He wrote the classic “Homework! Oh Homework!” The second line of this illustrious poem being “I hate you! You stink!” This poem never fails to find an audience with my students and perks up my poetry unit no end.

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