Poems for kids in their free times are a good way of engagement just like short stories. There are lots of interesting poems written specifically suitable for kids.

Most of them come with beautiful messages for life and goals to cultivate valuable qualities such as empathy and compassion.

Poems can also be a good platform to help them to learn how to deal with emotionally challenging situations and enable them to express their emotions.

Here is a list of some of the must share poems for kids that can make a positive impact in the way they grow up and face society.

1. “A Light Exists in Spring” by Emily Dickinson

This is one of the best poems from this great American poet which talks mainly about nature which invokes a love for nature among kids. She refers to darkness as troubles and ‘light’ as the presence of God in our life. She also tries to explain how the human heart and mind can understand the feelings in life beyond science.

2. “Adventures Of Isabel” by Ogden Nash”

This amazing poem from Nash relates to the life incidents of a brave girl named Isabel. Kids would be eager to learn how the girl faces the challenges in her life and it would amaze everyone. The poet is trying to help kids to learn how to tackle fears and challenges in life.

3. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson

This interesting poem is from an African-American poet who was a civil rights activist. It was written to celebrate the birthday of Lincoln who was the pillar behind the nation in accomplishing freedom from slavery. It is often referred to as “Black National Anthem”.

4. “Aim High to the Sky” by James McDonald

This short but amazing poem from the poet inspires every kid to aim to the sky in whatever they do in their life. He also advises kids to be strong and brave while facing life but not forgetting the value of kindness. He also checks with kids if they are using their mind before going out for any goals.

5. “Every Time I Climb a Tree” by David McCord

This amazing poem from the award-winning poet is a gift for all people who love language, especially for kids. This is fun to read out loud and moreover, it is written from a child’s perspective making it favorite for kids.

6. “First Grade” by William Stafford

Kids have often very little patience for anything and that is why short poems like this can be a good choice for them. This cute poem from the master is from his collection of poems “The Darkness around Us Is Deep”. This revolves around a group of friends who decided to have a play and the fun incidents that follow.

7. “Fairy Town” by Carolyn Wells

This is one among the best fairy poems for kids from this great American writer and poet. Kids would love to read this poem and get fascinated by the parallel world. They can slowly go to their favorite dream of land while they catch their sleep.

8. “The Quarrel” by Maxine Kumin

This is a cool poem by Maxine, the winner of Pulitzer Prize for Poetry who always amazed us with her beautiful works. This poem revolves around a cute conversation or ‘quarrel’ that took place between a lightning bug and a firefly. A glow worm that passed through the way stopped to opine that all are just worms.

9. “The Light of Other Days” by Thomas Moore

The poet has tried to portray the beauty of friendship for kids and inspires them to value such relations while they grow up. The beautiful memories of love, good times and amazing experiences will keep you live even when life looks hard on you once you grow up.

10. “Friends” by Abbie Farwell Brown

The poet inspires kids to see friends in the nature that they see around them. Immersing oneself in the beauty and comfort of nature gives kids a really good feeling. The poet has discussed some of such natural friends from the eyes of a child.

11. “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

This awesome poem from the American writer Edgar Allan Poe is known for its stylized language, musicality, and supernatural atmosphere. This poem gives a message that you should learn to let go of things in life and don’t try to hold on everything you love forever and end up in pain.

12. “The Mountain and the Squirrel” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The poet tries to discuss the problem of complexes in human beings through a fun tale through this poem. He portrays the irony of how a mountain and a squirrel can have importance when the situation changes. A mountain cannot crack a nut but carry forests on its back while a squirrel cannot carry forests but crack a nut.

13. “Reading” by Jacqueline Woodson

This is another cool poem for kids from the author who is well known for his works exclusive for kids. This is a short poem from his “Brown Girl Dreaming”. This depicts a funny tale of how the girl reads a story in class and the way the teacher encourages her to do so to remember it for long.

14. “The Corn-Stalk Fiddle” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The poet who is one of the most influential Black poets in American literature has always come up with some amazing poems for kids. This interesting poem from him describes how the fiddle is constructed and later played at a square dance.

15. “The Rainbow” by Christina Rossetti

The poetess admires the beauty of nature through this poem. She just compares how the beauty of flying clouds looked awesome than moving ships and seas. She also depicts how the natural beauty of the rainbow connecting heaven and earth outsmart the beauty of bridges constructed across rivers.

16. “Drum Dream Girl” by Margarita Engle

The poet tells about the story of a girl who overcame Cuba’s conventional taboo, not in favor of female drummers. This cute poem simply emphasizes the importance of dreaming in life and working towards achieving it despite the obstacles. Despite the strong message from her society that girls cannot be drummers, she lived her dream of becoming a drummer.

17. “The Shepherd-Boy and the Wolf” by William Ellery Leonard

This poem revolves around the story of a boy who called ‘wolf’ to fool the people who came for his help. The people fell two times for his lies but when the wolf actually came, nobody believed him and offered any help.

This gives a simple but important message to kids that liars won’t be believed even when they speak the truth. The poet urges kids to keep up moral values like honesty in life and to respect others’ efforts for you.

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18. “Sick” by Shel Silverstein

This is a fun poem that talks about the excuses told by kids to not to do something they don’t like. This poem is about a kid that came up with excuses of all possible illness in the morning to avoid going to school. The reader is sure to get a good laugh when the kid later realized that it was not a school day.

19. “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou

This poem depicts the story of a bird with clipped wings. Angelou tries to convey the importance of freedom in everyone’s life. Even when being tied up, the caged bird sings out for freedom continuously. The poet talks about freedom of expression and the reasons to substantiate it.

20. “The Spider and the Fly” by Mary Howitt

This is a cute but alarming poem of a spider who flatters the fly with the intention of trapping her into his parlor. As expected, the fly was never seen again. Even when the fly first objected to spider’s trap of food and comfort, she fell for flattery. The poet advice kids to never fall for flattery and invite trouble.

21. “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams

The poet tries to beautifully portray the relationship between imagination and reality. This is one of the shortest poems ever that is published by an American poet that comprises four miniature stanzas of just four words each and three images. This is more about how human imagination interprets the way senses relate reality.

22. “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

This is an awesome poem from Henley that focuses mainly on the significance of human spirit and its gift to overcome adversity. This poem was written when he was hospitalized for the treatment for tuberculosis. He also relates the level of personal courage and faith in a higher power.

23. “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson

The poet is known for his amazing imaginative type poems and this poem is on top of the list. The poem discusses how a childish mind can swing at their wish. Life is too busy to fulfill every wish but he inspires kids to make their wish despite if it can be achieved or not.

24. “Halfway Down” by A.A. Milne

This is a wonderful poem framed on a child’s perspective regarding the special spot in the center of the staircase. The spot is special because it is not on top or bottom but on a place on its own. The poet was trying to relate the unique way in which a child looks at the world.

25. “The Purple Cow” by Gelett Burgess

This is a short nonsense poem from the author which is one of his most widely known works. In fact, it is the most quoted poem in 20th century America. This comes with a lot of fun stories and illustrations for kids and some of them make kids to scratch the head also.

26. “Snowball” by Shel Silverstein

This poem is full of humor and innocence at its best. The poet talks about the vivid imagination of a kid while seeing a snowball in his short and fun poem. If you think deeper, the poet tries to explain how you are not interpreting your experiences properly just because you don’t understand its nature.

27. “How to Paint a Donkey” by Naomi Shihab Nye

This is an interesting poem regarding a sweet girl who tried to draw and paint a donkey but failed to complete a ‘perfect’ one. The poet is indirectly advising kids not to compare their work with others and never try to prove your worth. Enjoy what you do without thinking about its perfection.

28. “Since Hanna Moved Away” by Judith Viorst

This is one of the best expressive and lyrical poems from Judith. This great thoughtful poem is full of emotions that give a great nostalgic feel. This is from the perspective of a kid regarding the life that changed for her when her best friend moved away.

29. “Rathers” by Mary Hunter Austin

This is a cute and interesting poem in which the poet discusses which animal she would rather be. She imagines about becoming an owl, an antelope, a woodpecker, a chipmunk, and a pump. She concludes the poem by imagining that she would rather be a red Indian hunter who hunts a puma.

30. “Unexpected Holiday” by Alma Flor Ada

This beautiful poem depicts the story of a kid who complained about nothing to do on a holiday. The kid explained how boring the day was despite having TV and homework to do. However, when she started reading a book, she went to her world of imagination and exclaimed how fantastic the holiday was within the covers of a book.

31. “To Catch a Fish” by Eloise Greenfield

The poet inspires kids to not just sit and wish but do whatever they can to get things done. The poem greatly encourages kids to step out of their comfort zone and invest in positive thinking and constructive action and let the world know about your capabilities.

32. “Fishmonger” by Marsden Hartley

This is a unique and expressive piece of work framed in a playful free verse portrayed through rhyme schemes. His imaginative use of language is the highlight attraction of this poem. Kids can get to know about the natural prototypes and lively colors of life.

33. “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” by John Ciardi

This is a clever collection of poems for kids and adults to read aloud together. The idea of the poet is that an adult reads out a poem followed by a kid and then adult and so on. The themes are more about silly ways of incorporating life into a kid’s poem.

34. “Then Laugh” by Bertha Adams Backus

This is a motivational poem from the poetess. She relates a tough wooden box to our mental strength where we can lock our troubles. She inspires kids to cover up sorrows through optimism and laugh on failures and move forward happily.

35. “After the Winter” by Claude McKay

The tone of most of his poems is hopefulness and this one is no different. He inspires kids to be hopeful in life despite what all problems come their way. He portrays that there is a light at the end of every tunnel. So he advises everyone to hope for good in life and stay happy.

36. “We Are Seven” by William Wordsworth

The poem revolves around an interesting conversation happening place between a kid and a man. The man asked about her siblings while she answered about them saying ‘we are seven’. However, the man later realized that two of them are dead but she still insisted that they are seven.

She refuses to mourn over grief but accepts that things changes in life and tries to live happily as she could.

37. “Daddy Fell Into the Pond” by Alfred Noyes

This is a sweet and simple poem that is enjoyable for both adults and kids. It depicts the innocence of kids, love of the father and his deeds just to see that his kids are happy. The reader is sure to have a smile on the lips throughout the poem.

38. “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein

The poet suggests that there is a magical place in the world which is only aware of the kids. Through this ‘place’, the poet portrays about childhood and its innocence and their peculiar way of seeing the world around unlike adults.

39. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

This is a feel-good poem which is simple but interesting. The poet stopped by some woods on a snowy evening to enjoy the lovely scene in near silence. Even when he wanted to stay longer, the obligations and the distance to be traveled before he can take rest forced him to move on.

40. “The Dentist and the Crocodile” by Roald Dahl

This is a hilarious poem from the author and the language is truly captivating for kids and adults. It depicts a fun incident of crocodile approaching a dentist to get his teeth repaired. The poem is full of amazing imagery and the children could have a good laugh from the moment the crocodile meets the dentist.

41. “My Best Friend” by Abby Jenkins

This is a dog poem for kids which talks about the joy of a kid when having a dog as their best friend. Even when animals can’t talk back, they have the awesome power of listening to kid’s silly talks and responding in their own style. The poem is all about the unconditional love of dogs and the greatest joy of kids when they are with them.

42. “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

This poem is all about the story of an interesting baseball game and the poetic situation is when the game reaches the final half-inning. This interesting piece of work is full of suspense until Casey; the valiant megastar baseball hitter reaches the plate and swings at the ball.

43. “Heart’s Needle” by W. D. Snodgrass

This awesome poem from the Pulitzer Prize winner is one of the finest single-volume poems. It is a loose narrative and the incidents are highly personal but have a good universal appeal. It talks about a father’s struggle to remain a ‘father’ to his daughter after her parents got separated too early.

44. “The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves” by Gwendolyn Brooks

This poem tells the story of a tiger who thinks that tigers are not stylish enough. He wore white gloves to look better but later realized that all these were not needed to prove his worth. Through this poem, the poet inspires kids to be yourself and not to care about what others think about you.

45. “Bed in Summer” by Robert Louis Stevenson

This poem is all about the different times of the month. He describes the change of events that happen with a boy with the change of season. While the kids have to go to bed by day in summer, they have to wake up at night and dress by candlelight during winter.

46. “Going Down Hill on a Bicycle” by Henry Charles Beeching

The poet tells about how he waited at a hilltop anticipated about an exhilarating ride and later started off slowly down the hill. He compares the happiness of his speeding ride in the wind to the freedom of a flying bird. As the ride ended, he exclaimed about how a person will be rewarded a joyous flight if he has the determination to climb up again.

47. “The Tyger” by William Blake

The poem is all about the poet’s personal philosophy of intellectual and spiritual revolution by people.

In the context of the poem, the poet got puzzled when seeing a tiger at night.

He keeps on asking a number of questions to tiger regarding his fierce appearance and the creator behind it.

Hope parents can choose a few poems from the list to share with your kids during free time and teachers can pick a few to start good discussions in the classroom.

This is a great way for kids to develop self-expression and they can learn how to creatively convey a message to the audience right from their early days. Poetry and rhymes are also designed to help kids to develop rhythm and phonemic awareness.

Moreover, the wise use of poems by teachers and parents can enable kids to develop memorization skills and physical awareness while they grow up.