I was thrilled to discover iF Poems, a poetry app designed with children (and parents) in mind. It is described as 'a poetry app for school-age children and adults of any age', and includes 270 classic poems.
Poems are separated into eleven categories specifically chosen with children in mind. These include Nature, Seasons & Animals, Lessons for Life, Growing Up, and Bedtime. One category, If You Need Help, lists poems that can assist in times of grief, sadness, and doubt. Poems are also grouped by age so you can find selections for ages 0-6, 7-2, and 13+.
You can browse the poems by author as well, and the author biographies are short, and sometimes kind of quirky, which helps to engage the kids.
Here are some of the key features of the app:
- You can search by title, author, first line or by any word
- You can tap on any word for a dictionary definition
- You can save poems to a favourites page
- You can compose and record your own poem
- You can email a poem, or your own recording
The collected poems are a wonderful mix that should appeal to all ages. Poets include Browning, Kipling, Shelley, Yeats, Shakespeare, Poe, Wordsworth, A. A. Milne, and even Tim Burton, among others.
Don't feel like reading? Then have the poems read to you. Certain selections have been recorded by such talent as Helena Bonham-Carter, Bill Nighy, and Tom Hiddleston (you might have better luck with your kids if you say Bellatrix Lastrange, Davey Jones, and Loki). There is a simple sort of delight in listening to Bill Nighy read Annabel Lee. Click below to hear Tom Hiddleston read If Music be the Food of Love from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
Tom Hiddleston - If Music Be The Food of Love by iF Poems
The highlight, at least for the kids, is the option to record your own reading of a poem. This reading can then be saved and emailed to a friend. There is also a section for creating your own poems. Original creations can be written, saved, recorded, and emailed.
One of my favourite parts of the app is the About Poetry section, which explains, with examples, different types and parts of poetry. You child can learn about couplets, prose poetry, haiku, and sonnets with the touch of a finger.
Overall, the app is a fantastic way to get children interested in poetry, and to share favourites that have been passed down for generations. It can be enjoyed by poetry lovers of all ages.
This app is available for iPad ($4.99) and iPhone ($2.99). 10% of sales goes to Save the Children.