Preschool Poems to Read Aloud and Recite

When choosing poems for preschool children to read aloud or recite, two words spring to mind; short and simple. Young minds will grasp certain poems and hold them dear, while utterly rejecting others which seem equally appealing to a parent or carer. So be prepared to try a few (and perhaps quite a few more) before you discover the poems that your child really enjoys. I'm much less confident of my recommendation for the preschool age group than for older children, but experience shows there are certain types and styles of poem that appeal particularly to young readers:

This is my selection of the best poems for preschool children to read aloud or recite. The poems are short, easy to learn and, if not classically funny, feature the absurdity and scatological humour beloved by preschoolers.

A Farmyard Animal Poem

A very simple poem which can be learnt in minutes and isn't easily forgotten.

Is that you?

A horse goes neigh
A cow goes moo
A sheep goes baa
A pig goes poo…
…what's that smell?
I think it's you!

A grimace and pinching of the nose at the What's that smell? line and pointing to a potentially smelly member of the audience at the end add enormously to the poems comic impact.

A Nursery Rhyme Parody With Actions

Based on the popular nursery rhyme, Humpty is an action rhyme with an explosive ending.

Humpty

Humpty Dumpty
Sat on a wall
But Humpty Dumpty
Felt too tall

Next Humpty Dumpty
Sat on the floor
But Humpty Dumpty
Felt too small

So Humpty Dumpty
Sat on the fence
…Ouch

Aware of the dire Health and Safety warnings accompanying the Humpty poem, I'd suggest that a chair is used to represent the wall in the first verse, that the child sits on the floor in the second verse and then positions themselves delicately on an imaginary mid-height fence to finish, accompanied by the loudest ouch imaginable.

An All Action Poem

The next poem is short, action packed and very easy for young children to learn.

Running, Jumping

Running, Jumping,
Hopping, Tripping
Into puddles
Come out dripping

Accompany the recitation with appropriate action for running, jumping, hopping and then follow it with an exaggerated trip into a puddle and crawl back out, shaking off all the water, to conclude. If you're planning to use this piece in a formalised nursery or preschool setting, I'd love to see the risk assessment for it!

More Poems for Preschool Kids

The collection includes quite a few more poems which are suitable for children aged 3 to 5. These are some of my favourites:

  • A Knotty Problem
    A poem about a giraffe, a scarf and how the two don't really mix
  • Bar Humbug
    The tale of a disastrous shopping trip accompanied by a pet zebra
  • Dinosaur School Days
    Kate is a dinosaur who always arrives at school at least a bit late
  • Batman Comes Undone
    Even superheroes have days when things don't go quite as planned
  • Muse to a Mermaid
    Meet a mischievious, misbehaving mermaid from the depths
  • Magic or Tragic?
    A fairy princess suffers an embarrassing sartorial accident
  • Hello!
    A completely bonkers poem, in every sense of the word
  • Little Miss
    An updated version of the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme

And don't forget to vist the cute and cuddly Christmas poems, which offers a feast of festive poems for the under fives.

Why not start with a few cuddly, cute animal poems?
Copyright © Funny Poems for Kids / Patrick Winstanley 2002-2017 All Rights Reserved.
Individual poems are copyright of the stated authors and used with permission