Poetry has a certain magic to it. The play of words, the images, and the emotions it expresses all come together to create a magic that defines life. April is National Poetry Month and the perfect opportunity to introduce our young children to poetry with two fun poems they’ll love to recite.
Recitation is the best way to memorize the poems. Simply repeat the poem several times every day with your children, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you and your children memorize the poems.
2 Poems to Memorize for National Poetry Month
My two favorite poems to start memorization with are The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsey and The Swing by Richard Louis Stevenson. Children relate easily to both poems and can understand the play of words, images, and emotions the poems express.
The Little Turtle shows a little turtle swimming in puddles, climbing on rocks, and snapping at the world as it passes by. My children often playfully make snapping motions, pretending to snap and catch mosquitos, fleas, and minnows.
The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsey
* From The Golden Whales of California by Vachel Lindsey published 1920
There was a little turtle
Who lived in a box.
He swam in the puddles.
He climbed on the rocks.
He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.
He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea
He caught the minnow.
But he didn’t catch me!
The next poem, The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson, speaks to my children’s experience on the swing and shows how poetry expresses life. My children adore swinging. They love flying to the sky, seeing the world below, and swinging down to the ground. The wind in their hair and the sun in their eyes just heighten the glorious experience.
Reciting The Swing while pushing kids on the swing helps them share the magic of poetry and see how the poem relates to what they’re doing.
The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh I think it the pleasantest thing,
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all,
Over the countryside –
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown –
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Remember to copy the poems onto index cards, post the cards in the kitchen, and have fun memorizing these two poems with your children.
How do you share poetry with your preschool and elementary children?
More poetry fun: