30+ Short Child Poem to Memorize

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Rhyming poems are fun to teach young kids! Plus, they can be educational, too, teaching kids pronunciation, vocabulary, and about the world around them.

These famous short children’s poems are perfect for getting them started!

30+ Famous, Short Children’s Poems

Here are some lovely, famous short children’s poems to teach young kids!

1. 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!

2. I’m a Little Teapot

by George Harold Sanders

I’m a little teapot,
Short and stout,
Here is my handle,
Here is my spout,

When I get all steamed up,
Hear me shout,
“Tip me over,
and pour me out!”

I’m a clever teapot,
Yes, it’s true,
Here let me show you,
What I can do,

I can change my handle,
And my spout,
Just tip me over and pour me out!

3. 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.

4. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

by Jane Taylor

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

5. Friends

by Abbie Farwell Brown

How good to lie a little while,
And look up through the tree!
The sky is like a kind big smile,
Bent sweetly over me.

The sunshine flickers through the lace,
Of leaves above my head,
And kisses me upon the face,
Like mother, before bed.

The wind comes stealing o’er the grass,
To whisper pretty things;
And though I cannot see him pass,
I feel his careful wings.

So many gentle Friends are near,
Whom one can scarcely see,
A child should never feel a fear,
Wherever he may be.

6. 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?

7. A Riddle

by Christina Rossetti

There is one that has a head without an eye,
And there’s one that has an eye without a head.
You may find the answer if you try;
And when all is said,
Half the answer hangs upon a thread.

8. If I Were King

by A. A. Milne

I often wish I were a King,
And then I could do anything.

If only I were King of Spain,
I’d take my hat off in the rain.

If only I were King of France,
I wouldn’t brush my hair for aunts.

I think if I were King of Greece,
I’d push things off the mantelpiece.

If I were King of Norroway,
I’d ask an elephant to stay.

If I were King of Babylon,
I’d leave my button gloves undone.

If I were King of Timbuctoo,
I’d think of lovely things to do.

If I were King of anything,
I’d tell the soldiers, “I’m the King!”

9. There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

by Mother Goose

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread,
I kissed them all soundly and sent them to bed.

10. The Fisherman

by Abbie Farwell Brown

The fisherman goes out at dawn,
When everyone’s abed,
And from the bottom of the sea,
Draws up his daily bread.

His life is strange; half on the shore,
And half upon the sea,
Not quite a fish, and yet not quite,
The same as you and me.

The fisherman has curious eyes ;
They make you feel so queer,
As if they had seen many things,
Of wonder and of fear.

They’re like the sea on foggy days,
Not gray, nor yet quite blue;
They’re like the wondrous tales he tells,
Not quite, yet maybe, true.

He knows so much of boats and tides,
Of winds and clouds and sky!
But when I tell of city things,
He sniffs and shuts one eye!

11. 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.

12. 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,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy,
Who lives down the lane.

13. The Land Of Nod

by Robert Louis Stevenson

From breakfast on through all the day,
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad,
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself, I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do,
All alone beside the streams,
And up the mountainsides of dreams.

The strangest things are these for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad,
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear,
The curious music that I hear.

14. Eletelephony

by Laura Elizabeth Richard

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant.
No! No! I mean an elephone,
Who tried to use the telephone.

Dear me! I am not certain quite,
That even now, I’ve got it right.
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk,
Entangled in the telephunk;

The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee,
I fear I’d better drop the song,
Of elephop and telephong!

15. As I Was Going To St. Ives

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats,
Every cat had seven kits,
Kits, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

16. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

by Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall,
Noises down the hall,
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Bad dogs barking loud,
Big ghosts in a cloud,
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Mean old Mother Goose,
Lions on the loose,
They don’t frighten me at all.

Dragons breathing flame.
On my counterpane.
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo.
Make them shoo.
I make fun.
Way they run.
I won’t cry.
So they fly.
I just smile.
They go wild.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight,
All alone at night,
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park,
Strangers in the dark,
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where,
Boys all pull my hair,
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes,
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all,
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm,
That I keep up my sleeve,
I can walk the ocean floor,
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all,
Not at all,
Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

17. 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?

18. Star Light, Star Bright

Starlight, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I ma; I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

19. Robin Redbreast

by William Allingham

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.

20. The Rainbow

by Christina Rossetti

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;
But clouds that sail across the sky,
Are prettier far than these.

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky,
Is prettier far than these

21. The Owl And The Pussy-Cat

by Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea,
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O, let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows,
And there, in a wood, a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling,
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away and were married the next day,
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

22. 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!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

23. As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed

by Jack Prelutsky

As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
his underwear goes on his head.
His mother laughs, “Don’t put it there;
a head’s no place for underwear!”
But near his ears, above his brains,
is where Fred’s underwear remains.

At night when Fred goes back to bed,
he deftly plucks it off his head.
His mother switches off the light
and softly croons, “Good night! Good night!”
And then, for reasons no one knows,
Fred’s underwear goes on his toes.

24. When I Was One

by A.A. Milne

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.

25. Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One ha’penny, two ha’penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons,
One ha’penny,
Two ha’penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

26. Wind On The Hill

by A. A. Milne

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It’s flying from somewhere,
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding,
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind,
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind,
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them,
Where the wind goes…
But where the wind comes from,
Nobody knows.

27. The Moon

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbor quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day,
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes,
Till up in the morning, the sun shall arise.

28. My Shadow

by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me when I jump into my bed.

The funniest things about him are the way he likes to grow,
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me; he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

29. 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.

30. Wynken, Blynken, And Nod

by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,”
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long,
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish,
That lived in the beautiful sea.
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish,
Never afraid are we!”
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
And Nod.

All night long, their nets they threw,
To the stars in the twinkling foam,
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed,
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies,
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while mother sings,
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things,
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
And Nod.

31. Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.

32. Sick

by Shel Silverstein

“I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet; my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox,
And there’s one more–that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be Instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke,
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.

My nose is cold; my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff; my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.

My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is–what?
What’s that? What’s that, you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

33. 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.


Poetry is an excellent way to teach kids more words and about the world around them. Be it a nursery classic or a poem with a modern twist, these short children’s poems are so much fun to learn!

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