Probably the earliest performance a kid puts up is of reciting a rhyme. Children love listening to and reciting rhymes and poems- and as parents, it is our joy and duty to indulge them. Not to mention, learning poems is a part of their schoolwork too. So, it is always good to have a list of short English poems handy- so that you can teach your little one whenever you have time. 

Short rhyming poems are like nuggets of expressive arts. They play a massive role in your child’s growing years. Learning and reciting poems supports cognitive development by encouraging children to understand patterns, enhance their vocabulary, and help them remember information and words.

Poetry gives us a beautiful platform for expressing our creativity and emotions.. Just like us, Children can absorb new pieces of information and learn rapidly from it. As parents, you want to raise kids who are intelligent and focused.

So, let’s look at some popular short rhyming poems which can help your kid get a headstart on expressing herself. Popular short poems for kids

1. Two Little BlackBirds

Two-Little-Black Birds

Two little dicky birds, Sitting on a wall.

One named Peter, The other named Paul.

 Fly away, Peter, Fly away, Paul,

 Come back, Peter, Come back, Paul.

Two little blackbirds, a short poem in English is traditionally a nursery rhyme and finger-play for kids. It is part of a classic collection called “Mother Goose’s Melody” in 1765.

– Mother Goose is an imaginary author of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and short poems for kids. Her character in the books is an older woman with a big hat and shawl who rides a nerdy goose.

2. Monday’s Child By James Orchard Halliwell

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 his living

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe, and sound and gay.

– Do you wish to know your child’s approach towards life? These fortune-telling rhymes predict your child’s personality based on the day they were born. It originated in England in the 1500s, when people believed several superstitions about the days of the week.

3. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

– Besides being one of the most famous poems of all time by Jane and Ann Taylor.  Kids find it very easy to memorize because of the poem’s rhythmic pattern, musical-sounding words, and tone.

– Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was originally a lullaby sung to the tune of a French melody.

Memorable poems for kids in English

4. Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

-Lewis Carroll

5. Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill

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.

– Jack and Jill is another one of the classics from the Mother Goose collection of Nursery Rhymes that dates back to the 18th century, which has numerous versions. Jack and Jill’s poem skit was performed in Shakespeare’s play as a comedy act. 

The poem can be used as a moral tale- that it is ok to fall down. You just need to get right back up, and be careful to not fall again.

6. 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.

Poetry reading is a whole artistic journey. It is a healthy habit that you should teach your child from the early stages by getting them started with fun and short poetry books.

A reader is a leader, and poetry is an excellent genre for reading aloud since it’s rhythmic, fun, and expressive. These books open a new door to the vision in your kid’s mind and enhance creativity.

Remember! One poem at a time, let their imagination run wild.

7. Baa baa black sheep By Rudyard Kipling.

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,

One for the dame,

And one for the little boy

Who lives down the lane

– Like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa baa black sheep is one of the  small kids poems that people sing to the tune of the French nursery rhyme – ‘Ah, vous direz-je, maman’

Kids can learn about countryside life in this poem and learn about the sound of sheep.

8. 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!

9. Mary had a little lamb By Sarah Josepha Hale.

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 ev’ry where that Mary went,

Mary went, Mary went.

Everywhere that Mary went,

The lamb was sure to go

– A poem that tells a story about a little girl and her adorable clingy lamb portrays the purest form of true friendship. Rhyming expressions of the poetry, the simple melody and repetitive words make it easy for young talkers to remember. They can develop verbal skills and sing-along to it..

10. 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!

11. Bed In Summer By Robert Louis Stevenson

Bed In Summer By Robert Louis Stevenson

In winter, I get up at night

And dress by yellow candlelight.

In summer, quite the other way, 

I have to go to bed by day. 

I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hopping on the tree,

Or hear the grown-up people’s feet 

Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you, 

When all the sky is clear and blue, 

And I should like so much to play, 

To have to go to bed by day?

– Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson reminds kids of the summer. When the changing seasons of nature become hard for kids as they get up at sunrise and go to bed before sunset, 

After summer ends, it is back to school for children. The changing seasons also means there is less time to play outside. The narrator is a young boy who feels like he is missing out on playing games and having fun during summer days. This is something every kid can relate to!  

12. There Was A Young Lady Whose Eyes

There was a young lady whose eyes,

Were unique as to color and size,

When she opened them wide,

People all turned aside,

And then ran away in surprise.

– Edward Lear

13. My Cat Is Fat By James Mcdonald

My Cat Is Fat By James Mcdonald

I have 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.

– My cat is fat by James Mcdonald narrates a tale of his fat cat, who’s lazy and likes to eat all day.

– Reading well-constructed nonsense funny poems will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Besides reading poems, sometimes your kid also needs a chuckle.

14. Hey Diddle Diddle

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.

15. Snowball By Shel Silverstein

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.

– A delightful read with perfectly rhymed words for you and your little one. The narrator is a small girl who makes herself a snowball, thinking it’s her pet.

Alas, over the night it melts away. But the little girl thinks it escaped- but only after wetting the bed.  

16. Old Mother Hubbard

Old Mother Hubbard

Went to the cupboard,

To give the poor dog a bone;

When she came there

The cupboard was bare,

And so the poor dog had none.

17. Fishing with Grandpa By Dawneisha Washington

Fishing with Grandpa By Dawneisha Washington

My Grandpa and I do a lot of things together,

But fishing with my Grandpa is the best.

I love going to the lake when the sky is all blue.

I love riding in my Grandpa’s boat, too.

The next trip to the lake I don’t want to miss.

Just being with my Grandpa is better than catching fish.

– There is no doubt that the bond a grandpa and their grandchild share is an extraordinary one.  Your child can celebrate and honour their grandpa by reading him this beautiful poem. It’s the perfect way to shower their grandparents with love. 

18. When I Was One

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 and forever.

-A.A. Milne

19. Our Kittens By Evaleen Stein

Our Kittens By Evaleen Stein

Our kittens have the softest fur,

And the sweetest little purr,

And such little velvet paws

With such cunning little claws,

And blue eyes, just like the sky!

(Must they turn green, by and by?)

Two are striped like tigers, three

Are as black as black can be,

And they run so fast and play

With their tails, and are so gay,

Is it not a pity that

Each must grow into a cat?

– A quirky and funny poem about a boy wishing to be a cat. Haven’t we all thought the same at some point in our lives?

– Kids and pets are a natural match.  There are several poems about cats and children’s love for their furry friends. These poems resonate with animal lovers, and they teach us the most valuable lessons of love, patience, and compassion.

20. What is Pink?

What is pink? A rose is pink

By the fountain’s brink.

What is red? A poppy’s red

In its barley bed.

What is blue? The sky is blue

Where the clouds float through.

What is white? A swan is white

Sailing in the light.

What is yellow? Pears are yellow,

Rich and ripe and mellow.

What is green? The grass is green,

With small flowers between.

What is violet? Clouds are violet

In the summer twilight.

What is orange? Why, an orange,

Just an orange!

– Christina Rossetti

21. The Caterpillar By Christina Rossetti

The Caterpillar By Christina Rossetti

Brown and furry

Caterpillar in a hurry,

Take your walk

To the shady leaf, or stalk,

Or what not,

Which may be the chosen spot.

No toad spy you,

Hovering bird of prey pass by you;

Spin and die,

To live a butterfly again.

– The Caterpillar By Christina Rossetti is an excellent classic for kids to study and memorize.

– This simple yet effective poem teaches kids about creativity, Nature, empathy, and believing in the power of growth.

22. Robin Redbreast

Goodbye, goodbye to Summer!

For Summer’s nearly done;

The garden smiling faintly,

Cool breezes in the sun;

Our Thrushes now are silent,

Our Swallows flown away –

But Robin’s here, in coat of brown,

With ruddy breast-knot gay.

Robin, Robin Redbreast,

O Robin dear!

Robin singing sweetly

In the falling of the year.

-William Allingham

23. Trees By Joyce Kilmer

 Trees By Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem is lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

– Joyce Kilmer beautifully expresses his love for mother nature in this one. If you are looking for something to inspire your children to go outside and appreciate nature more, poems and books about nature would be a great start to teach them young.

Studies show that outdoor time helps in children’s psychological and physical well-being.

24. The Forest

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.

– by Annette Wynne

25. My Kite

My Kite

My kite flies high,

I wonder how and why.

With a long tail and wings,

See how my kite swings!

Holding its thread in my hand,

I feel so happy and grand.

– An engaging short poem about kites in English for your little one.

– The narrator in the poem is a small boy expressing his love for a flying kite. It fascinates young kids about the beauty of a kite flying high in the sky.

26. The Picture-Book Giant by Evaleen Stein

Once there was a fierce, defiant,

Greedy, grumpy, grizzly giant

In the pages of a picture-book, and he

Sometimes screamed, in sudden rages,

“I must jump out from these pages,

For this life’s a much too humdrum one for me!


Yes, this life’s a quite too quiet one for me!”

So one rainy day he did it,

Took the picture-book and hid it,

Stamped his foot, and shouting loudly,

“Now I’m free!”

Boldly started out, forgetting

That he could not stand a wetting!

He was just a paper giant, don’t you see?

Dearie me!

Just a gaudy, picture giant, don’t you see?

27. At The Zoo By William Makepeace Thackeray

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!

– William Makepeace Thackeray

28. By the Stream by Paul Laurence Dunbar

By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass,

How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed maidens pass,

And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads,

Like a host of armored knights with silver helmets on their heads.

And I deem the stream an emblem fit of human life may go,

For I find a mind may sparkle much and yet but shallows show,

And a soul may glow with myriad lights and wondrous mysteries,

When it only lies a dormant thing and mirrors what it sees.

29. The Labrador Puppies

The Labrador Puppies

I see them now,

They neither moo nor meow.

Hands are small, oh that’s the paw!

Will you look at that tiny little claw.

Now I plod to match the pace,

But they pounce to lick my face,

Oh so adorable, cute, and fluffy,

My dearest buddies, the Labrador puppies!

30. First Grade by William Stafford

In the play Amy didn’t want to be

anybody; so she managed the curtain.

Sharon wanted to be Amy. But Sam

wouldn’t let anybody be anybody else.

He said it was wrong. “All right,” Steve said,

“I’ll be me but I don’t like it.”

So Amy was Amy, and we didn’t have the play.

And Sharon cried.


What are the benefits of poetry for kids?

Short poems for kids can be like quick vitamins for their brains. When they read, a lot of focus and concentration is on the words, vision, and imagination. This mental stimulation can improve their memory, develop thinking skills and improve vocabulary. Short rhyming poems can teach children about positive emotions like compassion, sympathy and kindness.

What kind of poem should I read to my child?

Poetry has a delightful effect on children, and the key is to read with them.  Many poems are written from children’s perspectives and feature things that fascinate them, something they can relate to. 

If you find a word in a book in multiple contexts across different phrases, it makes it easier for your brain to store that word as a memory, and you automatically memorize a new word! Rhymic poems are a great way to develop memories.

No matter what type of poem you read to your child, it will always be special because it will be a bonding time for you both.

What’s the best way to get kids interested in poetry?

Sometimes it is hard to get children’s attention while reading. Start with storytelling; make this a bedtime routine.

Read them stories about Friendship, Family, love, Forgiveness, Fairies, Monsters, Castles, Aliens, Dragons, etc., that will get them interested.

Ask open-ended questions about the plots, characters, and ask for their opinions.
Get interesting books! A series will keep them engaged for an extended period, and you can never go wrong with funny stories.

Lastly, let your kid choose their book.

Besides wealth and health, learning, teaching, and cooking are my interests in life. I have a bachelors in engineering and an unbeatable streak of optimism, come what may! I love to learn new things! Hope you do too.

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