Wanting to add some fun summer poems for kids into your summer routine? This post has all the summer poetry you will need to get your family reading and enjoying poetry this season. Here I share why you should add summer poems into your routine and 40 poems to get you started!
Why summer is a great time to read children’s poems
It’s that time of year again…summer!! And I’m so excited to be sharing a fun way to incorporate some added beauty into our days! I have a kid in first grade, Pre-k and Preschool and I wanted to get some summer poetry for them…and while I’m at it, for you! But all these poems are great for all ages! In another post I talked about why poetry is so important in the lives of children. But today I want to specifically talk about incorporating poetry into your summer routine. So here are a few reasons why you should
- Reading poetry is such an excellent way to get learning into your summer break. Or if you school year round, it would be a fun way to add summer fun into your school day!
- Reading poetry in the summer will help your kids notice more in nature while they are out. Maybe they will remember a poem you read and it will make them pay closer attention to what they are looking at?
- It will help your kids focus on goodness, positivity and beauty. It will give them a taste of beautiful words and help them expand their vocabulary to further express themselves. Maybe they will even want to write their own poems!
So here are my favorite summer poems for either relaxing summer mornings or maybe an afternoon poetry tea time!
A List of the Best Summer Poems for Kids
Summer by Christina Rossetti Winter is cold-hearted, Spring is yea and nay, Autumn is a weathercock Blown every way: Summer days for me When every leaf is on its tree; When Robin's not a beggar, And Jenny Wren's a bride, And larks hang singing, singing, singing, Over the wheat-fields wide, And anchored lilies ride, And the pendulum spider Swings from side to side, And blue-black beetles transact business, And gnats fly in a host, And furry caterpillars hasten That no time be lost, And moths grow fat and thrive, And ladybirds arrive. Before green apples blush, Before green nuts embrown, Why, one day in the country Is worth a month in town; Is worth a day and a year Of the dusty, musty, lag-last fashion That days drone elsewhere.
Summer's Melody by Edel T. Copeland * Rippling crystal waters shine like silver to reflect summer's glow. Soothing and calming in rhythm, echoing its lyrical flow. Magical music of nature, a symphony of splendid delight. Skies like blue oceans in paradise, birds soaring to grasp full flight. Gentle swans glide gracefully, elegant yet proud and strong, Birds and bees in unison, the joyful hum of nature's song. Rolling summer meadows shimmer, like jewels in Mother Nature's crown. Embellishing fields of emerald green draped in its golden gown. Light sweet air blows softly, scented by sweet cherry blossom in bloom. Delicate, pretty petals lifting to dance in harmony with summer's tune. The sounds and scents of summer, its melody light and free. Sands of gold that glisten, embracing waves of a warm and whispering sea. Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/summers-melody
In Summer by Paul Laurence Dunbar Oh, summer has clothed the earth In a cloak from the loom of the sun! And a mantle, too, of the skies’ soft blue, And a belt where the rivers run. And now for the kiss of the wind, And the touch of the air’s soft hands, With the rest from strife and the heat of life, With the freedom of lakes and lands. I envy the farmer’s boy Who sings as he follows the plow; While the shining green of the young blades lean To the breezes that cool his brow. He sings to the dewy morn, No thought of another’s ear; But the song he sings is a chant for kings And the whole wide world to hear. He sings of the joys of life, Of the pleasures of work and rest, From an o’erfull heart, without aim or art; ‘T is a song of the merriest. O ye who toil in the town, And ye who moil in the mart, Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong Shall renew your joy of heart. Oh, poor were the worth of the world If never a song were heard,— If the sting of grief had no relief, And never a heart were stirred. So, long as the streams run down, And as long as the robins trill, Let us taunt old Care with a merry air, And sing in the face of ill.
Here Comes by Shel Silverstein Here comes summer, Here comes summer, Chirping robin, budding rose. Here comes summer, Here comes summer, Gentle showers, summer clothes. Here comes summer, Here comes summer— Whoosh—shiver—there it goes.
Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, And here on earth come emulating flies, That though they never equal stars in size, (And they were never really stars at heart) Achieve at times a very star-like start. Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.
Firefly by Elizabeth Madox Roberts A little light is going by; Is going up to see the sky, A little light with wings. I never could have thought of it, To have a little bug all lit And made to go on wings.
Color of Summer
Primrose by William Carlos Williams Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow! It is not a color. It is summer! It is the wind on a willow, the lap of waves, the shadow under a bush, a bird, a bluebird, three herons, a dead hawk rotting on a pole-- Clear yellow! It is a piece of blue paper in the grass or a threecluster of green walnuts swaying, children playing croquet or one boy fishing, a man swinging his pink fists as he walks-- It is ladysthumb, forget-me-nots in the ditch, moss under the flange of the carrail, the wavy lines in split rock, a great oaktree-- It is a disinclination to be five red petals or a rose, it is a cluster of birdsbreast flowers on a red stem six feet high, four open yellow petals above sepals curled backward into reverse spikes-- Tufts of purple grass spot the green meadow and clouds the sky.
What is Yellow by Mary O’Neill What is Yellow? Yellow is the color of the sun The feeling of fun The yolk of an egg A duck’s bill A canary bird And a daffodil. Yellow’s sweet corn Ripe oats Hummingbird’s little throats Summer squash and Chinese silk The cream on top of Jersey milk Dandelions and daisy hearts Custard pies and Lemon tarts. Yellow blinks On summer nights In the off-and-on of Firefly lights. Yellow’s a topaz A candle flame. Felicity’s a Yellow name. Yellow’s mimosa, And I guess, Yellow’s the color of Happiness
Thank You for Summer by Unknown Thank you, God, for summer With all its flowers gay, And birds that sing, and green grass, And butterflies that play At hide and seek with clover, And blossoms on the trees, And sunshine bright, and showers, And every cooling breeze. Yes, thank you, God, for summer; And always at my play Help me, Thy child, remember These gifts of Thine, I pray.
A Calendar (excerpt) by Sara Coleridge June brings tulips, lilies, roses, Fills the children’s hands with posies. Hot July brings cooling showers, Apricots, and gillyflowers. August brings the sheaves of corn, Then the harvest home is borne.
July by cristin o’keefe aptowicz The figs we ate wrapped in bacon. The gelato we consumed greedily: coconut milk, clove, fresh pear. How we’d dump hot espresso on it just to watch it melt, licking our spoons clean. The potatoes fried in duck fat, the salt we’d suck off our fingers, the eggs we’d watch get beaten ’til they were a dizzying bright yellow, how their edges crisped in the pan. The pink salt blossom of prosciutto we pulled apart with our hands, melted on our eager tongues. The green herbs with goat cheese, the aged brie paired with a small pot of strawberry jam, the final sour cherry we kept politely pushing onto each other’s plate, saying, No, you. But it’s so good. No, it’s yours. How I finally put an end to it, plucked it from the plate, and stuck it in my mouth. How good it tasted: so sweet and so tart. How good it felt: to want something and pretend you don’t, and to get it anyway.
Insects of Summer
On the Grasshopper and Cricket by John Keats The Poetry of earth is never dead: When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead In summer luxury,—he has never done With his delights; for when tired out with fun He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. The poetry of earth is ceasing never: On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever, And seems to one in drowsiness half lost, The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
Where the Bee Sucks by William Shakespeare (excerpt from A Tempest) Where the bee sucks, there suck I: In a cowslip’s bell I lie; There I couch when owls do cry. On the bat’s back I do fly After summer merrily. Merrily, merrily shall I live now Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
The Bee is Not Afraid of Me by Emily Dickinson The Bee is not afraid of me. I know the Butterfly. The pretty people in the Woods Receive me cordially— The Brooks laugh louder when I come— The Breezes madder play; Wherefore mine eye thy silver mists, Wherefore, Oh Summer's Day?
Mister Fly by Thomas Miller What a sharp little fellow is Mister Fly, He goes where he pleases, low or high, And can walk just as well with his feet to the sky As I can on the floor. At the window he comes, With a buzz and a roar, And o'er the smooth glass, Can easily pass, Or through the key-hole of the door. He eats the sugar, and goes away, Nor ever once asks what there is to pay; And sometimes he crosses the teapot's steam, And comes and plunges his head in the cream; Then on the edge of the jug he stands, And cleans his wings with his feet and hands. This done, through the window he hurries away, And gives a buzz as if to say, "At present I haven't a minute to stay, But I'll peep in again in the course of the day." Then again he'll fly Where the sunbeams lie, And neither stop to shake hands, Nor bid one good-bye: Such a strange little fellow is Mister Fly, Who goes where he pleases, low or high, And can walk on the ceiling Without ever feeling A fear of tumbling down “sky-high."
Playgrounds by Laurence In summer I am very glad We children are so small, For we can see a thousand things That men can't see at all. They don't know much about the moss And all the stones they pass: They never lie and play among The forests in the grass: They walk about a long way off; And, when we're at the sea, Let father stoop as best he can He can't find things like me. But, when the snow is on the ground And all the puddles freeze, I wish that I were very tall, High up above the trees.
Swimming by Clinton Scollard When all the days are hot and long And robin bird has ceased his song, I go swimming every day And have the finest kind of play. I’ve learned to dive and I can float As easily as does a boat; I splash and plunge and laugh and shout Till Daddy tells me to come out. It’s much too soon; I’d like to cry For I can see the ducks go by, And Daddy Duck - how I love him - He lets his children swim and swim! I feel that I would be in luck If I could only be a duck!
One Summer Night by Arnold Lobel One summer night In early June, A frog looked upward at the moon. He said, “I’ll jump Right on that thing Without the use Of jet or spring.” He counted three, Then jumped quite high And hit the moon In late July
Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day. I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people's feet Still going past me in the street. And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day?
Goodnight by Carl Sandburg Many ways to say good night. Fireworks at a pier on the Fourth of July spell it with red wheels and yellow spokes. They fizz in the air, touch the water and quit. Rockets make a trajectory of gold-and-blue and then go out. Railroad trains at night spell with a smokestack mushrooming a white pillar. Steamboats turn a curve in the Mississippi crying a baritone that crosses lowland cottonfields to razorback hill. It is easy to spell good night. Many ways to spell good night.
Summer Nights by Langston Hughes The sounds Of the Harlem night Drop one by one into stillness. The last player-piano is closed. The last victrola ceases with the “Jazz Boy Blues.” The last crying baby sleeps And the night becomes Still as a whispering heartbeat. I toss Without rest in the darkness, Weary as the tired night, My soul Empty as the silence, Empty with a vague, Aching emptiness, Desiring, Needing someone, Something. I toss without rest In the darkness Until the new dawn, Wan and pale, Descends like a white mist Into the court-yard.
Summer Haibun by aimee nezhukumatathil * To everything, there is a season of parrots. Instead of feathers, we searched the sky for meteors on our last night. Salamanders use the stars to find their way home. Who knew they could see that far, fix the tiny beads of their eyes on distant arrangements of lights so as to return to wet and wild nests? Our heads tilt up and up and we are careful to never look at each other. You were born on a day of peaches splitting from so much rain and the slick smell of fresh tar and asphalt pushed over a cracked parking lot. You were strong enough—even as a baby—to clutch a fistful of thistle and the sun himself was proud to light up your teeth when they first swelled and pushed up from your gums. And this is how I will always remember you when we are covered up again: by the pale mica flecks on your shoulders. Some thrown there from your own smile. Some from my own teeth. There are not enough jam jars to can this summer sky at night. I want to spread those little meteors on a hunk of still-warm bread this winter. Any trace left on the knife will make a kitchen sink like that evening air the cool night before star showers: so sticky so warm so full of light
Summer Stars by Carl Sandburg Bend low again, night of summer stars. So near you are, sky of summer stars, So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars, Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl, So near you are, summer stars, So near, strumming, strumming, So lazy and hum-strumming.
Summer Song by William Carlos Williams Wanderer moon smiling a faintly ironical smile at this brilliant, dew-moistened summer morning,— a detached sleepily indifferent smile, a wanderer's smile,— if I should buy a shirt your color and put on a necktie sky-blue where would they carry me?
Trees, Grass and Flowers
Trees by Joyce Kilmer I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.
Grass by Kathleen Fraser Grass! That’s my grass, Green, poking, cool in hot summer And yellow under the washtub. From there I’ve seen stars falling. The grass is my second skin. Drawers opening, spilling with green. Or doors. Each blade the entrance to the grass city. Lie in it it. Open slowly to it. The creatures moving there are among the endless waving forests of green. The names of grasses have their own smell: Beach grass, beard grass, bengal grass, bent, bent grass, running barefoot grass Bermuda, blue joint, and bog grass Bristly foxtail Bunch grass in bunches Canary grass singing China grass, ping! (And tiny figures floating in it)
The Oak by Mary Elliot Observe, dear George, this nut is small; The Acorn is its name; Would you suppose yon tree so tall From such a trifle came? The Acorn, buried in the earth, When many years are past Becomes the oak of matchless worth, Whose strength will ages last. In Summer, pleasant is its shade, But greater far its use; The wood which forms our ships for trade Its body can produce. And many other things beside, I cannot now explain; For where its merits have been tried, They were not tried in vain. Dandelion by Unknown There was a pretty dandelion With lovely, fluffy hair, That glistened in the sunshine And in the summer air. But oh! this pretty dandelion Soon grew old and grey; And, sad to tell! her charming hair Blew many miles away.
Summer Grass by Carl Sandburg Summer grass aches and whispers It wants something; it calls and it sings; it pours Out wishes to the overhead stars. The rain hears; the rain answers; the rain is slow Coming; the rain wets the face of the grass.
To make a Prairie by Emily Dickinson To make a Prairie it takes a clover and one bee, — One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do If bees are few.
For a Bird by Myra Cohn Livingston I found him lying near the tree; I folded up his wings. Oh, little bird, You never heard The song the summer sings. I wrapped him in a shirt I wore in winter; it was blue. Oh, little bird, You never heard The song I sang to you.
To hear an Oriole Sings by Emily Dickinson To hear an Oriole sing May be a common thing— Or only a divine. It is not of the Bird Who sings the same, unheard, As unto Crowd— The Fashion of the Ear Attireth that it hear In Dun, or fair— So whether it be Rune, Or whether it be none Is of within. The "Tune is in the Tree—" The Skeptic—showeth me— "No Sir! In Thee!"
More Summer Nature
The Waking by Theodore Roethke I strolled across An open field; The sun was out; Heat was happy. This way! This way! The wren’s throat shimmered, Either to other, The blossoms sang. The stones sang, The little ones did, And the flowers jumped Like small goats. A ragged fringe Of daisys waved; I wasn’t alone In a grove of apples. Far in the wood A nestling sighed; The dew loosened Its morning smells. I came where the river Ran over stones: My ears knew An early joy. And all the waters Of all the streams Sang in my veins That summer day
In the Mountains on a Summer Day by Li Po Gently I stir a white feather fan, With open shirt sitting in a green wood. I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone; A wind from the pine-trees trickles on my bare head
IT’S HOT by Shel Silverstein It’s hot! I can’t get cool, I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade. I think I’ll take my shoes off And sit around in the shade. It’s hot! My back is sticky. The sweat rolls down my chin. I think I’ll take my clothes off And sit around in my skin. It’s hot! I’ve tried with ’lectric fans, And pools and ice cream cones. I think I’ll take my skin off And sit around in my bones. It’s still hot!
Summer Sun by Robert Louis Stevenson Great is the sun, and wide he goes Through empty heaven without repose; And in the blue and glowing days More thick than rain he showers his rays. Though closer still the blinds we pull To keep the shady parlour cool, Yet he will find a chink or two To slip his golden fingers through. The dusty attic spider-clad, He, through the keyhole, maketh glad; And through the broken edge of tiles, Into the laddered hay-loft smiles. Meantime his golden face around He bares to all the garden ground, And sheds a warm and glittering look Among the ivy's inmost nook. Above the hills, along the blue, Round the bright air with footing true, To please the child, to paint the rose, The gardener of the World, he goes. The Breeze (author unknown) Summer breeze so softly blowing, In my garden pinks are growing; If you’ll go and send the showers, You may come and smell my flowers.
Rain in Summer by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow How beautiful is the rain! After the dust and heat, In the broad and fiery street, In the narrow lane, How beautiful is the rain! How it clatters along the roofs, Like the tramp of hoofs! How it gushes and struggles out From the throat of the over-flowing spout! Across the window pane It pours and pours; And swift and side, With a muddy tide, Like a river down the gutter roars The rain, the welcome rain!
End of Summer
A Boat Beneath the Sunny Sky by Lewis Carrol A boat beneath a sunny sky, Lingering onward dreamily In an evening of July — Children three that nestle near, Eager eye and willing ear, Pleased a simple tale to hear — Long has paled that sunny sky: Echoes fade and memories die: Autumn frosts have slain July. Still she haunts me, phantomwise, Alice moving under skies Never seen by waking eyes. Children yet, the tale to hear, Eager eye and willing ear, Lovingly shall nestle near. In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream — Lingering in the golden gleam — Life, what is it but a dream?
Sonnett 18 by William Shakespeare Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date; Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st; Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
August by helen hunt jackson Silence again. The glorious symphony Hath need of pause and interval of peace. Some subtle signal bids all sweet sounds cease, Save hum of insects’ aimless industry. Pathetic summer seeks by blazonry Of color to conceal her swift decrease. Weak subterfuge! Each mocking day doth fleece A blossom, and lay bare her poverty. Poor middle-agèd summer! Vain this show! Whole fields of golden-rod cannot offset One meadow with a single violet; And well the singing thrush and lily know, Spite of all artifice which her regret Can deck in splendid guise, their time to go!
Poems with an * are contemporary poems.
Poetry and Summer Activities for Kids to do alongside your summer Poetry reading
Summer Acrostic Poetry – Write a Summer Acrostic Poem! – Children will love making their own original poems!
Easy and Fun Bee Activities for Kids – My friend Julie from Nature Inspired Learning created these great summer crafts and activities for kids. These Bee activities would be great to do after reading some summer poetry! Check our her website for even more summer crafts!
21 Amazing Summer Picture Books for Kids – Adding some picture books to your summer poetry reading would be a fun way to round out the learning! These books picked out from my friend Deirdre are the perfect compliment to these poems.
Love these! I’ll have to print them out and take them with us when we play outside. I love the idea of having a picnic while reading them together.
Oh good! And yes, we love doing picnics for our summer poetry tea time! I’m sure you guys will too.
Will definitely be using these ideas in our homeschool! Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad, you’re so welcome!!