Poetry is a magical gateway into imaginative worlds and language for children. From the nursery rhymes they hear as babies and toddlers to the GCSE poems they will learn in their teens, poetry is a delightful way to ignite a child’s love for language.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite poems for young readers, each accompanied by an excerpt and brief synopsis. So, come with us to a magical place where cows go bong and chocolate cake is ace.
“The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea,
In a beautiful pea-green boat...”
This charming poem tells the story of an unusual couple, an owl and a pussycat, who sail away together and eventually marry. It's a tale of adventure and love, filled with whimsical imagery.
“Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity...”
Macavity is a mysterious and mischievous cat known for his criminal escapades. Eliot's poem playfully explores the antics of this elusive character.
“Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes...”
This cautionary tale follows young Matilda who lies to get attention, only to find herself in a dire situation where her truth is not believed. It’s a great poem that explores the consequences of stretching the truth.
“On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!”
A fun, nonsensical poem full of playful language, bizarre creatures, and a land where everything is topsy-turvy.
“On the top of the Crumpetty Tree
The Quangle Wangle sat...”
This poem introduces the Quangle Wangle who lives in solitude until various creatures join him, creating a whimsical and joyous community.
“’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe...”
Set in a fantastical world, this poem weaves a tale of a brave child encountering the fearsome Jabberwock, using rich, nonsensical language.
“I love chocolate cake.
And when I was a boy,
I loved it even more…”
A humorous and relatable poem about the irresistible allure of chocolate cake, describing the narrator's childhood memory of sneaking a taste of it. And we couldn’t mention this wonderful poem without also sharing Michael Rosen’s amazing performance!
“Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse...”
The story of a cowardly dragon named Custard who, despite his fears, rises to the occasion to protect his friends when danger strikes.
“They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea...”
This adventurous poem follows the Jumblies, who despite warnings, set sail in a sieve and embark on a fantastical journey.
“Timothy Winters comes to school
With eyes as wide as a football pool...”
This poignant poem tells the story of Timothy Winters, a young boy facing hardships, and reflects on social issues with empathy and insight.
Open a Window on a World of Imagination
Each of these children’s poems offers a unique window into the world of imagination, language, and emotion. They are perfect for igniting a love for words and rhythm in young minds.
At Tutor Doctor, we believe in nurturing a child’s love for literature and poetry from the earliest stages. Our personalised tutoring services can be tailored to include a focus on enjoying and understanding poetry, helping your child discover the beauty and depth of language. If your child needs support in literacy or any subject, reach out to us to find your nearest Tutor Doctor tutor.