Poetry Friday – Child’s Play

Welcome to the Poetry Friday Round-up. This is my first time hosting the Poetry Friday crew – and using a linky widget – so I sure am hoping it’s going to work first go!

Last week I posted some pics and collages from my experiences of Book Week in Australia. I mentioned that I was off to enjoy Boating Under the Bridge on the Saturday, so I’ll kickstart today’s blog with a collage from that day, because it was brilliant! So much free play stemming from a picture book that I’ve loved as both a mum and teacher, ‘Who Sank the Boat?’, by Pamela Allen.

A whole crowd of kids and carers spent a busy morning creating their own fun with simple and effective resources. It was just like #thegoodolddays #wheniwasakid and #kidswerekids. (Actually, it brought back more memories from when my boys were little, and building countless cubby houses, in trees, and from tin – and anything else they could find. And so much play!)

If you are a parent, carer or early-years educator in the Bundaberg region, get involved with the First Five Forever program, link in with Wide Bay Kids, and get yourself into your local library, because these three organisations, with the support of a whole lot of other community groups, are going to make a HUGE difference in the literacy and creativity of our up-and-coming generations! I was super impressed! Play matters – and these groups foster the fun of play-based learning, and recognise the crucial role of parents in that play. You can find more information on the Wide Bay Kids website – or ask at the Bundaberg Library. And get ready to have a whole lot of FUN with your kids!

I’d been planning to share a poem about my little nook of the world, but I’m realising it’s probably the perfect post to follow with a poem about creativity and play…

If I Dress-up.

Pirate02When I let my thoughts go crazy
then I can be anyone!
There’s no need to buy a costume,
just dress-up and have some fun.

With my stripy shirt in tatters
and my faded denim shorts,
I could wear a pirate’s eye patch
as I swish a sword of sorts.


If I stuff Mum’s old brown stockings
and make goggle ping-pong eyes,
I could go and scare Miss Muffet
in my spidery disguise.

With my parka and Dad’s helmet,
winter gloves and sunnies too,
I would safely look quite speedy
just like racing drivers do.IMG_5171

If I use a bit of face paint,
make a wand and glitter wings,
I can flutter as a fairy
as I sprinkle joy on things.

If I grab my board, and swimmers,
and then smear my lips with zinc
I would only need a wave to
be a surfer, don’t you think?IMG_5155

When I let my thoughts go crazy
then I can be anyone!
There’s no need to buy a costume,
just dress-up and have some fun.

© Kathryn Apel
First published in Comet Magazine; Issue 4 2006
All rights reserved.

And I know I’ve shared Soapy Sid before on Poetry Friday, but… #play #creativity #imagination #hereheisagain And there were pirates Boating Under the Bridge.

© Kathryn Apel
First published in Comet Magazine; Issue 3 2006
All rights reserved.

Maybe you, too, have a poem to share about creative play? Or a particular play-based memory from your childhood – or special moments with your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Now, let’s see how I go with creating and inserting this widget (child’s play! 😉 ) so you can share the links to your inspiring poetry posts. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the wordplay!





  1. Wonderful photos…..and hey! Mr. Linky works. Well done. The more I write….the more I really am getting into taking photos. It’s the story telling that I like.
    I love that your play time brought up memories and loosened up a poem in you. It’s wonderful! Reading it, I have memories of my daughter dressing in various princess dresses that just delighted my hubs and I. There was a morning princess, mid-day princess and evening princess outfit. So much fun to watch her play.
    Good job hosting Poetry Friday….I was scared to host too. But, it’s really the best because you get to communicate with everyone. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay for the blue frog! 😛 Actually, both poems were cheats – from a number of years ago. But when I realised that my post was shaping to be about play-based learning and creativity, I started looking for different poems to complete it. So glad it prompted these beautiful memories for you. 🙂


  2. Such a joyful post, Kat! Thanks for jumping in to host with no holding back of fun. (& I love learning new words over here – “sunnies”! (& “swimmers” too)…. Thanks for “sprinkling joy on things.” Love that last line of your pirate poem – Glub!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. So much going on in your post! Fun! We’ve had a copy of Who Sank the Boat on our library shelf for the 31 years I’ve been working there. I’ll have to check to see how it’s holding up. An oldie but a goodie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh. My. Goodness. (!!) I can’t believe 31 years – but you’re right! In fact, it’s older than that!! Wow. Such a great book! Do you have ‘Alexander’s Outing’, too? I love it more than ‘Who Sank the Boat’. The sweetest story – also involving floating. (Not sinking.)


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  6. I love the dress up poem, “There’s no need to buy a costume,/just dress-up and have some fun.” I have a dress up box for my granddaughters, will read this to them! Thanks for all the fun pictures, so cute and clever. And thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kat, thank you for hosting! You did a great job. 🙂 And I am loving the playful themes in your poems. I am the middle of 5 kids, and we moved around a lot, so we were most often our own party. One summer we created a kingdom we called Egypt — we had the Nile and a tree named Queen Nefertiti and on and on! Another summer we hosted our own summer Olympics. My favorite event was the synchronized swimming with my sister. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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  9. Hi Kat. Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday. Always loved dressing up when I was a kid, so your poem evokes strong memories. Promoting the critical importance of play and imagination in the lives of children is an ongoing quest. We must all be vocal advocates for playfulness. As poets, the very notion of word play is something we must retain.Thank you for the ever timely reminder. The kid inside me appreciates it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You’ve become quite the creative play expert when it comes to sharing writing in the classroom, Kat! Your dress up poem reminds me of the kind of songs I wrote for my son and his kindy classmates. Never wrote one about dressing up, but I did write one about running a fish shop and another about the useful box. 🙂 Thanks for hosting… and for the first time! Woohoo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Goodness. I don’t that that cap fits, Michelle – but I sure do hope that passion rubs off onto others. I love the sound of your poems! You might have to pull them out and air them on your blog, one day. 😉


  11. I loved your poems about playing and being creative! One of my favorite things about being a parent is that it gives me an excuse to get down on the floor and just play with my kids. Speaking of creativity and playing, Art Drop Day is coming up and I’m playing around with some paints and what not. It should be lots of fun

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! That’s the best comment you can make, Rebecca. And believe me, when your kids are grown and gaining independence you will be so glad you took these opportunities to play! And you’ll still see the effects of those early years in the adults your kids are shaping into. Enjoy your paint and poetry play. 🙂


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  13. Thanks for hosting, Kat! I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about how much we have removed from children’s lives, e.g. time to play and pretend and create,” in the name of “rigor.” So sad! And so wrong! I love your poems and can’t wait to share your poems with teachers. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this playful post. I was just at a baby shower…a girl is on the way. One of the gifts was an old suitcase that had been spray painted and decorated so it can hold dressup items. A mirror was attached inside the lid so that the child will be able to admire the different characters she will become as she plays. I’ll have to share your poem with her parents-to-be!
    Thanks so much for hosting, Kat!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have memories of one purple nylon long nightgown that I made into a whole cast of characters: witch, princess, sage, rock star, Greek goddess… I didn’t need much, obviously! Thank you for hosting, and sharing your poetry. Play is power!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What fun poems–and a fun invitation to play. They do bring back memories of play as a kid when treks through the woods were filled with adventure. Shoot, even just crossing from one side of the living room to the other was an adventure when the floor turned to molten lava, requiring me and my brother to leap from the sofa to the chair to the next bit of furniture.

    Liked by 1 person

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  18. “Wild winds whip the waves up”
    I think I am going to just repeat this delicious line over and over again!
    Thank you for hosting with such celebration. We raised our children with no TV, and I have such fond memories of games of the imagination! We’re fairies! We made a treehouse! Beautiful memories. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • *Snap!* No TV here, either, Amy. And I grew up without a TV. We hadn’t consciously planned to have no TV – but when it came to the crunch, we just looked at all the rich things that could/would be lost if we got a TV; the conversation, quiet, reading, crafting, creativity… – and we didn’t think it was worth the sacrifice. No regrets. No arguments, either. Just a zillion beautiful memories, photos and mementos.


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  20. Thankfully, my kids loved to be imaginative and creative, whether that was inside or out. They are now 25 and 21, and reading these poems brought back special memories of their childhood. Thanks for hosting today.


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