Haiku, a three-liner poetic output, originated from Japan. It has set records in popularity due to its conciseness, precision, and directness, and that too in all three lines. It could have three phrases or three clauses and even sometimes sentences. Interestingly, it has 17 syllables having 5, 7, and 5 arrangements in all three lines. Some of the best haiku for kids are as given below.
Joy of spring by Kaitlyn Guenther
Spring is in the air
Flowers are blooming sky high
Children are laughing
Although this simple poem just tells how spring is, the real meaning of the poem opens up when the last word is read. The poem starts with the season of the spring but the line tells a lot that it has not arrived and has not come but its rumors are in the air that it is coming. However, the flowers are blossoming and children are laughing with them. Both are signs of the arrival of the spring that is still in the air. In all three lines, the ratio of syllables is perfect.
Family love is by Michele Meleen
Like the sun rises
Each morning and sets each night,
Family love is.
This short haiku revolves around the topic of familial love and family. Written by Michele Meleen, an amateur writer, this poem shows the art of the writer. Rarely does somebody start a poem with a simile and this poem starts with it. Written in reverse, Meleen is of the view that family love sees ups and downs like a sun but she starts from the sun and comes down to the family love. The three lines have a total of 17 syllables in the same order. It shows that family love also sees morning and night. The text of this haiku stands as one of the best haiku for children.
Fishing with grandpa by Shawn Sackman
I feel it tugging
Hanging on – It must be huge!
Bluegill, smiles, grandpa
This short haiku by Shawn Sackman stands third in our order of ranking due to the task that a person performs with his grandpa. It is certain the speaker is a child, the reason that this haiku seems to have been written for children. The speaker states that he feels the jerking of the cord and then he hangs on but it seems something very big. The last line predicts what it could be with smiles and his grandpa standing with him. The five-seven-five ratio of syllables has made it possible for the writer to convey the mischievous smile of the grandpa when his grandson catches his first mackerel. The beauty of the poem lies in its feel and its realization.
A morning by Arun Bahadur Gurung
Bees nudged the flowers
Babies peeped out of the nest
One fine crisp morning.
This beautiful haiku by Arun Bahadur Gurung presents one of the best haiku poems if selected for kids. It presents the scene of a morning as mentioned in the title. The bees are shown through an image as if they are nudging flowers and babies looking out of houses. The poet calls this a crispy morning. The beauty of the poem lies in the metaphors of bees and babies which also rhyme with each other. This makes up for the crispy morning that is not food; rather, it is good and pleasant weather or time.
The Old Pond by Matsuo Bashō
An old silent pond
A frog jumps into the pond—
Splash! Silence again.
Although this is counted as one of the best haikus written in English, the depth of its meanings and the activity of the animal world shows rather deeper meanings. The thing that is of interest to the children is not only the pond but also the frog. That is why it has been ranked fifth in our ranking of the best haiku for children in the English language. The beauty of the haiku lies in the thematic strand that starts with the first line which is silence but breaks in the last which is splash. However, it is interesting that silence dominates all three lines from the first to the last.
A Freezing morning by Richard Wright
A freezing morning:
I left a bit of my skin
on the broomstick
This beautiful haiku of Richard Wright is one of the best as it describes the beauty of nature and the action of the poet. The first one is that it shows the severe cold morning that is freezing. The poet enjoys it but the meanings are suspended when he leaves the broomstick and thinks that it has taken away a part of his skin due to frostbite. The last line that the hand is on the broomstick and the speaker is about to leave the skin shows that the lady is hardworking and that she is a woman involved in domestic chores.
Suicide’s Note by Langston Hughes
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.
This beautiful haiku by Langston Hughes is phenomenal. It is famous for the theme of suppression and anti-suppression strains of the African American community. The poet presents a river as if it is a child. He goes on to say that its face is very innocent and cool and he has asked the poet to kiss him. This shows how the children like this poem due to the cool river and the desire of the river to kiss the poet.
The Spring by Richard Wright
The Spring lingers on
In the scent of a damp log
Rotting in the sun.
This beautiful haiku is written for children, it is merely a metaphorical representation of a season, the mention of the spring, and its staying behind in the sun show that spring is not just a season. It is rather a condition that continues with the people. The beauty of the haiku lies in this presentation of a good season that stays and shows its presence in the scent of the damp things. This presence continues even if the season changes.
Wearily she waves by Tracy Davidson
wearily she waves
the white flag of surrender
This short haiku is the best haikus for children. The haiku does not follow any punctuation rules. Its three phrases present the full picture of a butterfly though from the first phrase it seems that it could be some lady. However, in the last phrase, it shows that it is a butterfly having cobwebbed feet and that she is tired of flying all day. Therefore, it shows signs that it is going to surrender when the weather is right and this tiredness oozes out of its movements.
The lamp by Natsume Soseki
The lamp once out
Cool stars enter
The window frame.
This short haiku stands as one of the best haikus translated into English. This haiku presents a lamp that waits for the cool stars to enter the world. This world is, of course, of the children where they see the stars from their windows. The interesting thing is the presentation of stars and the windows which are in stark contrast to the lamp. It also shows the requirement of light when artificiality gives way to natural objects.
Hundreds of faces by Lisa White
Hundreds of faces
Turning to sun and to seed
This haiku written in English by Lisa White shows that it could be interpreted at many levels. A typical haiku of 17 syllables with 5-7-5 order, this haiku shows that the poet wants to state that the sun, a heavenly body, is the source of life on this earth but his face is clouded in everyday activities in that nobody turns to it. For example, the sun is the source of light and the farmers keep an eye on it for their activities of harvesting and seeding.
Cold night by John Stevenson
the dashboard lights
of another car
Despite defying the traditional structure of syllables and their division into three phrases, it is still one of the best haiku poems. The circumstances that Stevenson puts before his readers are of interest in that it is the time of night that is cold. The dashboard lights of another car glitter. The poem becomes interesting for the children due to the presence of night, light, and car in the same phrase.
Blue sky by Colin Stewart Jones
Although this haiku, too, defies general rules that haikuists follow even in English, it has an interesting topic. The poem presents a very interesting idea liked even by kids if it is present in an image. This imagist haiku shows that everything even if it is a sky, has limits, but for the kids, it shows limitations on certain things. This natural body seems to have a physical shape. The color of the sky and its limits have made this haiku not only interesting for the children but also for the adults.
Light by Yosa Buson
Light of the moon
Moves west, flowers’ shadows
This haiku presents natural objects and natural phenomena to show that these objects also have life and emotions of their own. The haiku opens with the moon that is emitting its moonlight and moving west. On the other hand, flowers are moving to the east in the morning when there is sunlight. The interesting thing about this haiku is that the poet has highlighted the first movement and not highlighted the second one to show the contrast.
After killing by Masaoka Shiki
A spider, how lonely I feel
in the cold of night.
The last one but not the least is certainly one of the best haikus written for children. The idea that it presents is about the childlike act to kill a spider. The child also goes through the same emotions and thinks that he has done something wrong. It seems that the person has been playing with the spider and is feeling how he would play after the spider has lost its life in his stupid action. That is why it is appropriate for children.