When the weather turns frosty there is nothing more cozy than reading winter poems. Perhaps poetry tea time is a tradition in your house, or maybe you just want to try something new. Put on a pot of hot chocolate, break out the marshmallows and read snowy winter poetry, perfect for sharing with children.
Included below are:
- a curated selection of classic poems, for which you can get a free printable
- fun recommendations for contemporary winter poems for children, with links to read the full poem
- children's book selections of winter poetry collections
If you are brand new to reading poetry with your kids, this introduction to reading poetry will come in handy!
Classic Winter Poems for Children
Sometimes classic poems can be daunting but these poems have been specially selected so that even beginners can revel in their language and imagery. Themes include snow, ice, skating and even the bitter wind. The poems beg to be read aloud again and again and with each new reading, children will discover something new.
And here's a tip–have the child close their eyes when listening and ask them to picture the scene of the poem in their mind.
- "Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind" by William Shakespeare
- "When Icicles Hang By the Wall" by William Shakespeare
- "Winter Trees" By William Carlos Williams
- "January" by Helen Hunt Jackson
- "The Skaters" by John Gould Fletcher
- "Snow-Flakes" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- [‘Tis the first snow—] by Matsuo Basho
- "Winter Leafage" by Edith Matilda Thomas
- "Thaw" by Eunice Tietjens
- "The Snow Fairy" by Claude McKay
- "Dust of Snow" by Robert Frost
- "Winter" by Walter de la Mare
Fill out the form below and get a printable version of the above classic winter poems you and your children can share together. Read them aloud or memorize them as a family. Here are some tips for memorizing poetry with kids.
More family-friendly poems here:
Fun Contemporary Winter Poems
Many children (and even adults) find contemporary poetry more accessible than older poems with their unfamiliar vocabulary and formal language structure. But these modern winter poems will capture their hearts and get them looking at winter in a whole new way!
Because of copyright issues, only the first few lines of the winter poems are included below. These lines will tickle your fancy and tempt you to read the whole poem.
In winter"White-Eyes" by Mary Oliver
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird
The days are short,"January," by John Updike
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between...
Winter is the king of showman,"Winter Morning" by Ogden Nash
Turning tree stumps into snow men...
Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,"Snow Day" by Billy Collins
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
I made myself a snowball"Snowball" by Shel Silverstein
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet...
The snowfall is so silent,"The Snowfall Is So Silent" by Miguel de Unamuno, translated by Robert Bly, original Spanish in the link.
bit by bit, with delicacy
it settles down on the earth...
Good Winter Poetry Books for Children
Sometimes you just want a book of poetry you can hold in your hands, turn the pages of, and marvel at the illustrations. These winter poetry books will delight you.
(Note: book titles are affiliate links that may earn commission.)
It's Snowing! It's Snowing!: Winter Poems by Jack Prelutsky. Prelutsky never fails to give kids poems that make them giggle. As an added benefit, this is a small collection of winter poems in an easy-to-read format, good for read aloud time or independent reading.
Ice! Poems About Polar Life by Douglas Florian. Charming and funny poems that will delight fact loving children. Florian's imaginative poems about polar animals manages to teach scientific concepts as well!
Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian. Florian is a poet every child should know and he has themed poetry collections for everything under the sun. This December, pick up his collection of winter poems and enjoy reading them out loud by the fire or at bedtime.
Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman. Sidman's poetry books are a favorite of mine. In this collection, her poems focus on the secret winter lives of animals.
Iguanas in the Snow: And Other Winter Poems / Iguanas en la Nieve: Y Otros Poemas de Invierno by Francisco X. Alarcon. Each short poem in free verse is in both Spanish and English, presenting snapshots of a diverse group of children enjoying wintery life to the fullest. Be sure to read the poetry collections for every season!