On this page you'll find a selection of gorgeous short rhyming poems for children.
Many of them are the traditional nursery rhymes you probably remember from your own childhood. Others may be new to you. All of them are great favourites of mine.
Most of them are poems my mother read to my sisters and I when we were young and then I in turn also read them to my three children.
You may be wondering why we should bother sharing these sorts of rhymes with our tech-savvy children today.
After all, nursery songs and rhymes are a bit old-fashioned, aren't they?
I thought the same thing until I started doing some research.
We now know that reading to children is really important for their development but did you know that poems and nursery rhymes are especially important?
In fact, teachers, speech-language therapists and other experts now say it's vital for babies and young children to hear the kind of language used in poems and rhymes.
That's because the sometimes-unusual words and speech patterns found in poems written for children help enrich your child's vocabulary.
The rhythm, repetition and rhyme also help develop the phonological awareness skills she'll need to learn to read easily later on.
If you'd like to start reading poems and rhymes with your child, the short rhyming poems for kids on this page are a great place to begin.
You might also like to get hold of a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson's brilliant book of poems for children A Child's Garden of Verses.
The short rhyming poems in this book are lovely to read to babies and young children and there are quite a few collections to choose from, including a board book and an audio-book. You can see some of them on the right.
If your kids are older, have some fun together reading limericks and nonsense rhymes.
The American poet Ogden Nash wrote lots of very funny nonsense rhymes, some of which I've included here.
I hope you and your little one enjoy these short rhyming poems!
The world is so full
Thirty Days Hath September
Thirty days hath September,
Two Little Dicky Birds
Two little dicky birds
Time to Rise
A birdie with a yellow bill
Jack Sprat would eat no fat,
Peas and Honey
I eat my peas with honey,
At the Seaside
When I was down beside the sea
Goldy Locks, goldy locks,
The rain is raining all around,
It is very nice to think
Halfway down the stairs
Jack Be Nimble
Jack be nimble,
When I am grown to man's estate
As I Was Going to St Ives
As I was going to St Ives I met a man with seven wives.
Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits: kits, cats, sacks and wives,
How many were going to St Ives?
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 good and gay.
There Was A Little Girl
There was a little girl, and she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead;
When she was good she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
The Wise Old Owl
There was an old owl who lived in an oak;
The more he heard, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?
There Was A Crooked Man
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
Wee Willie Winkie
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs, in his night-gown,
Rapping at the window, crying through the lock:
'Are the children in their beds, for it's past eight o'clock.'
Doctor Foster went to Glo'ster,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle right up to his middle,
And never went there again.
Whole Duty of Children
A child should always say what's true
And speak when he is spoken to,
And behave mannerly at table;
At least as far as he is able.
~ by Robert Louis Stevenson
Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire, your children all gone,
All but one, and her name is Ann,
And she crept under the pudding pan.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper,
A peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper,
Where's the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?
The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
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,
Kissed them all soundly and sent them to bed.
Little Jack Horner
Little Jack Horner sat in a corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb, and pulled out a plum,
And said, 'What a good boy am I!'
If you'd like to buy a book of poems to share with your child, here are a few to have a look at.