How to write poetry: Haiku

How to write poetry: Haiki

Gather your friends and tell them to bring their imaginations – you are about to have some fun! Kids poetry and learning to write is more fun when it is with a friend or two. Learn how to play haiki with this kids game of poetry and have fun.

What you need:

  • pencils or pen for writing
  • paper or notebook
  • imagination


Number of players:


Unlike similar sounding haiku poetry, which is just three lines long, haiki poetry is a combination of alternating two and three line verses, each with differing syllable lengths. It is a collaborative poetry that combines learning, writing and fun.

For a poem to qualify as haiki, there are a few things you need to remember – here are some tips.

Haiki – verse one.

Traditionally written with references to your environment, but not directly. For example, "Christmas" would indicate summer where as a "skiing holiday" would indicate winter. This is all incorporated into your first verse of three lines and no more than 17 syllables.

Pass your verse along.

Haiki – verse two.

This verse is a two lined verse written by another person. This verse should follow on from the first verse directly, so in the same season but describing the surroundings. For example, if Christmas (summer) was indicated, you could follow on with the hot sun but if skiing holidays (winter) were indicated, you would be describing the wet snow, tall snowman or anything else that winter could bring.

Pass your verse along.

Haiki – verse three. 

This verse is another three lined verse, again with a maximum of 17 syllables but this one has no need to reference the season. Link the verses enough so the finished poem will make sense, however, take it in another direction, leading a character away from the place they are. For instance, if you were in the winter season, take a character to the fireplace for a hot drink or in summer head off to the pool for a dip.

Pass your verse along.

Haiki – Future verses.

Continue to alternate players until you are happy with the finished product. Each verse should link back to the other while heading gently away from the beginning. Go on long enough and you could write all four seasons and take your reader on a journey of the year through you and your friend's eyes. You can change each verse a bit and make it as serious or as humorous as you like.

Below, we have prepared a haiki for you to get an idea of where to being yourself. Good luck!

Verse 1. (Three lines – 17 syllables)

Christmas is here again
the trees are going up
in homes around me

Verse 2. (Two lines – 14 syllables)

heat rising from the midday sun
kids dreaming about Santa

Verse 3. (Three lines – 17 syllables)

the big day comes and presents are torn open
dreams are realised
parents sigh with relief

Verse 4. ( Two lines – 14 syllables)

setting up the new pool
ready for a day with blasting heat

Verse 5. (Three lines – 17 syllables)

kids covered in zinc again
stripy faces splashing about
playing all summer long.

Image from Shutterstock.

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