ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

“Poetry For Children Ages 2 – 5”

Updated on July 23, 2010

From Words to Grow With


“Poetry For Children

Ages 2–5”


© & ® David Russell


I began writing stories and poems for children when my grandson reached age 2. Thinking of what kind of original present to give him, I turned to the skill of writing which had earned me a good living in advertising, corporate and education films for many years. But, this was a different kind of writing. Writing for a 2 year old and for each birthday thereafter with a follow up book till he reached the age of 12, each written, I hoped, in a literary style the equal to what I could buy in a book store. That was the assignment and challenge I gave myself. In the 10 year span, writing each book, I taught myself a lot, mostly the hard way.

At times the words flowed. Other times, they had to be to dragged kicking and screaming onto the page. While I found story writing relatively easy, constructing the poems was a bear. Each poem posed its own struggle, especially the early years ones. Choosing a subject for a 2-year old, then choosing a kid friendly meter and staying precisely within its cadence on subject was at times a torture worse than having a tooth pulled.

Finally, the book for the two year old got done, then came the 3-year old book and all the others up that followed, each in what I hoped was a truly literary style, matching the heroes of the craft, the A.A. Milne’s and Robert Lewis Stevenson’s. That was a big stretch of ego. Just convincing myself that I should try or that I might succeed was a stretch. But, during each year’s struggle slowly the pages filled and by birthday time, I was able to offer a presentation I thought had merit.

At age 2 my grandson and two years later my granddaughter had no way of realizing the sweetest words they could utter were “You read, you read, Pop-Pop”, as they brought me the book I had written. What a reward! Over time the words in the books become familiarly friendly to them. Soon they were pointing out what they liked, saying, “read this one”. That was applause which erased all the creative anguish and which no audience could equal.

One important thing I did learn was that young children were not great fans of word random sophistication, especially with the poems. That came when they were becoming more comfortable with the written word, when they started reading on their own. For their early ages, my sense was they found most comfort with a simple rhyme form such as AABB or ABAB, so that was what I adopted for most of my age 2 to 5 poems.

Now, so many years have passed; he’s 18 and entering college. She’s 16 going on 30 and into her own world. But, the words I read to them still echo at least in my ever-present memory banks where they have recently translated into the thought that those stories and poems might still have value to a world of other children. We’ll soon find out. Two stories, upgraded to commercial book form are about to compete in the library of children’s picture book sales. The first “Pop-Pop’s Magic Chair” should be released into world-wide E-Catalogues in about 6 weeks. “The Loch Lomond Monster”, follows for release before the holiday gift season.

What greatly enhances both books are wonderful illustrations by my long time friend and collaborator, Frank Furlong, who for many years animated for “Sesame Street” and whose work you’ve seen on many Animated TV commercials during the past 25 years.

After those first two story books reach the market, Frank and I hope to turn to poetry, creating books for children ages 2 – 12. Current thought is to split them into two books marketed as a set, with poems for ages 2 – 5 in book # 1 and ages 5 – 8 in Book 2.

Back to the beginning. Earlier, I touched on the challenges of writing poetry for ages two to five. At the earliest age, the first task is to choose a subject with which they are familiar and that you can have fun with while telling in rhyme a story the child will understand. Next, keep the words basic and simple, especially in the younger years. Stealing from the best, they always try to keep their poems light and fun. Here are two attempts to do just that, the subjects picked were the Sun & a Mitten.

“The Sun”

Each morning, when I open my eyes,

I see that the sun’s begun to rise.

And, I watch with my eyes wide open

watchin’ the sun, ‘n’ keep a’hope-n

It stays shining bright up in the sky

Oh, I watch it with a watchful eye.

At night, when I rest my tired head

My friend, the sun, also goes to bed

And, when I awake in the morning

The sun’s also begun its dawning

And (YAWN) excuse me, while we’re both a yawnin’.

“A Mitten” was written for my 3-year old granddaughter. One thing she knew growing up in Glasgow, Scotland was to wear a pair of mittens.

“A Mitten”

A glove with no fingers to fit in, isn’t a glove, it’s a mitten.

So wooly, so soft and so nice-i-ly knit-tin’,

so easy to wear is the wonderful mitten.

Lots of stories you’ll hear about bad little kittens

who always seem to be losing their mittens.

You’ll hear those stories, I’m certain you will ‘til,

by five or six you’ll have had your fill.

And you’ll wonder why so much has been written

about a glove, that is… after all, only a mitten.

That poem attracted many positive comments. But, this next one broke the bank, garnering more than 300 HUB readers to date and counting though it was posted originally March 2. Was it the subject? The fun words? Or this cute picture of child and puppy proving again the adage that there are times when a picture is worth a 1000 words.

“My Puppy”

Daddy bought me a little puppy,

and the name I gave it is Frisky.

‘cause he’s always running around,

just being kind’a, sort’a brisky.

He likes to dash all over the place

And, then he falls down, right on his face.

That’s my brisky little dog Frisky.

Other dogs chase him hither ‘n yon,

So Frisky hides until they’re gone.

We look for him just everywhere

when, suddenly, he’ll just re-appear.

And, one day, when my Frisky is grown

He’ll chase puppies, ‘til he has his own.

That’s my Brisky little dog Frisky.

The next poem was an experiment. My friend, Frank Furlong who illustrated “Pop-Pop’s Magic Chair” and “The Loch Lomond Monster”  lent his quirky mind and skillful hand to “My Own Kind Of Words”. 

When you were growing up, weren’t there words you didn’t know the meaning of? Didn’t you try to figure out what those words meant? I know I did. My game was to try to make up my own words for things I didn’t know. A Bagel was a roll with a hole. Change for a dollar meant you gave me a dollar and I gave you one in return. My dad quit on me early. But, my mom went along in a forgiving way. When she didn’t know what I meant she’d tickle my ribs and we’d collapse into a heap of giggles. I was 67 years old when I composed this poem about thoughts which came into my mind when I was about 5 years old.

My Own Kind of Words

© & ® by David Russell

Illustration – Frank Furlong

I like to use my own special word,

Instead of words for things that I’ve heard.

Because it’s much easier for me,

to make up my own words, don’t you see?

A Squirrel to me would be a scurry

and a rabbit, could be a furry.

I’d give them names for the things they do.

I know I would call a cow, a moo.

Kittens would always be a scratchy.

all of my names would be so catchy.

I would do what ev’ry kid would do,

I’d call ev’ry scary ghost, a BOOOOOO!

A Kangaroo I’d call a Hoppy.

And things that fall, I’d call them floppy.

‘course, it could be hard for you to know

what I’m saying, when I call them so.

But, you use big words I’ve never heard,

Why can’t I use my own special word?

It’s so much fun every time I say,

My own special words, in my own special way.

About the time my grandkids reached their 5th year, I sensed the writing had became easier in one way and more difficult in another. The subject became the challenge. Choosing an apt and fitting subject with so many more subjects they knew as they passed out of their early years and then incorporating the new words they had added to their vocabularies, was a selective process. Each year as they became better readers, there were more worlds to conquer. That’s where we’ll pick up in Chapter II, as we discuss writing for ages 5 – 8.

Call this a postscript. Before we leave the wee ones, one final poem. This I wrote with a bit of sophisticated deception built in just for the fun of doing the exercise. What disguised the sophistication was the picture of the two ants and poem shaped like an ant. No easy task.

       “Two Little Ants”

          Two little ants

     climbed up my plants.

      I watched them so

          A wiggling on

      So slow, slow, slow.

         I wonder why

        those little ants

   climbed up my plants?

    Where the leaf ends,

   you know, know, know

      there’s no place for

        those little ants

         to go, go, go.

         Sad little ants

       here on my plants.

     No place to go, go go.

      All that’s left for them

           Is to grow,

          grow, grow

“Two Little Ants” proved a big hit with my granddaughter when she was three; she liked to giggle a lot. I ate up each and every last one of them.

In Chapter II we move into the later, more challenging years with their task to reach and keep the interest of children whose world had now expanded with the knowledge gained at school and in their now more mature attitude about little things like poems.

Chapter II is writing poetry for children ages of 5 to 8.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • One Ribby Dibby profile image

      Jessica White 

      6 years ago from Decatur, AL

      So so sweet!

    • Russell-D profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Southern Ca.

      Thanks 2uesday. Earlier this year we published two books of poetry "Before 5", poems for ages 2 to 5 and "Not Yet 8" for 5's and up. Recently released was the picture story, "The Cat Who Wanted To Be A Dog". Now I'm writing diligently on books llustrator Frank Furlong will draw next year; I hope we do 4. When you're in your 80's and just getting started in the kids book arena, getting noticed is a challenge. Making money isn't what it's about, it's about writing books kids can enjoy. David

    • 2uesday profile image


      7 years ago

      I can see why these poems work so well for small children, they would also be enjoyable for the adult reading them too. I think reading to kids is so worthwhile and good for the reader and listener too.

    • Russell-D profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Southern Ca.

      At 82, it's difficult to be 3 again. Appreciate your remarks. Have a Guiness for me. David

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      David ~ It takes a special talent to write poems for children. You have to meet them on their ground. Congratulations! Blessings, Debby

    • thedutchman profile image


      8 years ago

      This hub is great. keep it up.

    • Russell-D profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Southern Ca.

      I'm glad to be good for something. If she becomes a Hubber I'd love to read her poems. It;s been a good year, Danielle is the 3rd young poet I've had the privilege "to inspire" thru parents and grandparents. A few poems that might please a 10 year old are "The Town Without Numbers", "Squirmin" Herman" (a rip off of a poem by A.A. Milne.) Others t "Imaginatiion" and "Thinking". Tell her the way to become a good writer is to write, write, write. And I will read, read, read. David

    • cluense profile image

      Katie Luense 

      8 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Thank you Russell! My 10 year old (Danelle) is a budding poet and she really loves your work. You have inspired her to write a book of poems for us. She is calling it "What my elders mean to me"! You are a true inspiration!

      Thank you Cluense

    • Russell-D profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Southern Ca.

      Thanks, Kiki. Didn't you feel the need for your own kind of words when you were 4 or 5? All the poems will eventually wind up in books with Furlong drawings. We plan 2 poetry volumes, ages 2 - 5 and ages 5 - 8. My Own Kind of Words is in 5 - 8. That's for 2011. Now with Book 2 at the printer, we're working hard to interest those who read stories to kids, to take a look at "Pop Pop's Magic Chair", our 1st effort. It can be accessed at Thanks. David Russell

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i love My Own KInd of Words. great poems

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      David your poems make me feel like a kid again.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)