Children's Poetry

Original children's poetry and artwork, and tips for writing poetry.


These are the cute little cotton Dozy Poem tee-shirts for toddlers and young children. 

They are printed with the Cat Nap poem and Maris' illustration. Adorable! 

Contact me if you want one.


Get the children involved in brainstorming, inspiration and poetry writing by starting with watercolors! Sometimes, depending on the age group, kids hear "poetry" and groan, thinking "Roses are red, violets are blue..." This poetry project is fun and very conducive to working together as a class community, or if doing it with your children at home, working together with family members or friends. It's based on the watercolor/poetry combination of Dozy Poems, Cozy Days.

First, pass out your supplies of watercolors, brushes and paper. Have the students choose just 2 or 3 colors. Ask them to use their non-dominant hand to paint a picture or image. For example, if the child is right-handed, have them use their left to paint.

At this point, Maris has a couple of pointers:

It's wise to have the students test their colors out on another piece of scrap paper before painting. It's hard to tell the exact color of paint by just seeing it on the palette because it will dry lighter on paper than it appears when wet. Having an extra piece of paper handy to test colors on before applying them helps with the exact color shade.

Another tip: Tell the students not to worry about making mistakes!  Most of them believe that you can't fix mistakes in watercolor, but that's not so. There are many ways - in class, just have them try blotting off watercolor with a damp tissue, sponge, or clean damp brush, or simply incorporate the "mistake" into the painting. 

Back to the project...
After the pictures are painted and dried, have the children pass it on to the person next to them. When they receive their 'neighbor's' picture, have them title it. They can use a whole phrase, "Sun shining through the Trees", or just a word, like "Happiness". Depending on the class size, or who you are working with, you can have the students pass it on again, further to the next person, to write a poem about their classmate's painting and the title given it. You can also just have them pass it on once, and request title and poem from the same child.

I've found students become very focused and thoughtful while involved in this class. If there's a certain type of poetry you are studying, have them try writing in that form. I like to give the kids the freedom to choose whatever form of poetry they wish. They are always surprised, curious and excited to see what another has written about their artwork!

Here's an example from a 4th grade class:

One student titled the watercolor "Pink Sea".

The next student wrote:

"The sun rises,

The waves look pink.

The sky is yellow

In nature's ink."