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Explore Poetry with Onomatopoeia Activities

Okay, stop. On a Monday morning I’m throwing out words like Onomatopoeia? Oh yeah, because today, we’re going to get your kids exploring poetry with onomatopoeia! Say it with me: ON-oh-MAH-no-PEE-ah! (yes, the “t” is pronounced very much in the back of the throat so it sounds more like a muted “n” sound)

poetry onomatopoeia activities

Exploring poetry with Onomatopoeia!

Onomatopoeia is a huge – and often unpronouncible – word that means: words that imitate or suggest the source of the sound being described.

For example:

  • Choo-choo imitates the sound of a train.
  • Beep imitates the sound of a car horn.
  • Moo imitates the sound a cow makes.
  • Whirr suggests the sound of a fan.

And so on. Although it can be a fine line, try not to confuse Onomatopoeia words with a word that just states the fact a sound was made. As in, “laugh” – sure, a laugh IS a sound, but the words that imitate the SOUND of laughing are, “ha ha ha!

Many times onomatopoeia words are completely made up, like spelling out a scraping noise as “sccrrettt.” 

Other times people have used the sound word so much, it’s become an “actual word,” as in the case of animal noises like “cluck,” “peep,” and “meow.”

Cartoons and comics are a great place to find examples of onomatopoeia with words like “Kaboom, Blam, Boom!

I love sound-play with my toddler because it’s so easy for kids, you can do it anywhere, and kids loooooove to make up silly sounds.

Onomatopoeia Activities

Try these onomatopoeia activities with your child to get them excited about playing around with words and the sounds they make.

Bring illustrations in picture books to life:

As you look at picture book, take advantage of the photos / illustrations to ask your child what sound each object makes:

guitars strum

drums parum-parum or dum-DUM

a toaster dings

an alarm clock brrrrrrings!

Play sound games in the car!

As you drive, make the sound of something you drive by, and see if your child can find the object: 

beep, honk, vroom, vroom!

Listen for nature sounds

Take a nature walk, specifically listening for things that make sounds – once you get into the woods a bit, do a “quick quiet” – 30 seconds of stillness so the sounds of the forest really stand out:

rustle, shhh, crack, sccrrrch

Make your own sounds with household objects

Play with kitchen tools that make different kinds of sounds – clink, bang, ding, bam

Create a sound poem

Create a spontaneous silly sound poem. Try a farm poem, a construction site poem, or a sitting by a stream poem – all these locations are full of sounds.

Older children may be able to rhyme sounds as well, which adds another layer to their poem.

Sind children’s songs!

So many kids songs make use of onomatopoeia for humorous effect! “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” is a classic! “Wheels on the Bus” has a few examples as well.

Make a visual of their sound creations!

onomatopoeia poetry

Create a word cloud like the one above to print or share using Word It Out! This could be a “published” piece for their writing portolfio, or maybe frame and hang it up as wall art!

Poetry is highly auditory. Its musical language is intended for reading out loud and listening to! Playing with sounds teaches children to use one of their five senses to explore and understand the world!

Celebrate poetry and onomatopoeia this week, by trying one or more of these onomatopoeia activities with your kids!

poetry onomatopoeiaHow else would you use sounds in word-play games for children?

Shop for onomatopoeia books & gear!

Tap Tap Boom BoomTap Tap Boom BoomTap Tap Boom BoomSqueak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic AdventureSqueak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic AdventureSqueak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic AdventureIf You Were Onomatopoeia (Word Fun)If You Were Onomatopoeia (Word Fun)If You Were Onomatopoeia (Word Fun)KA-BOOM!: A Dictionary of Comic Book Words, Symbols & OnomatopoeiaKA-BOOM!: A Dictionary of Comic Book Words, Symbols & OnomatopoeiaKA-BOOM!: A Dictionary of Comic Book Words, Symbols & OnomatopoeiaA Mouthful of Onomatopoeia (Words I Know)A Mouthful of Onomatopoeia (Words I Know)A Mouthful of Onomatopoeia (Words I Know)Noisy NightNoisy NightNoisy NightBarnyard BanterBarnyard BanterBarnyard BanterSnow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic StorySnow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic StorySnow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic StoryThe UmbrellaThe UmbrellaThe UmbrellaBoing!: A Very Noisy ABCBoing!: A Very Noisy ABCBoing!: A Very Noisy ABC4 Comic Book Saying Words Pillow Covers4 Comic Book Saying Words Pillow Covers4 Comic Book Saying Words Pillow CoversPow! Bam! Kapow! Comic Book Sound Effect T-ShirtPow! Bam! Kapow! Comic Book Sound Effect T-ShirtPow! Bam! Kapow! Comic Book Sound Effect T-ShirtOnomatopoeias: Difficult to Say. Fun to Read!Onomatopoeias: Difficult to Say. Fun to Read!Onomatopoeias: Difficult to Say. Fun to Read!Funny Onomatopoeia T-ShirtFunny Onomatopoeia T-ShirtFunny Onomatopoeia T-ShirtPOW Comic book onomatopoeia BookmarkPOW Comic book onomatopoeia BookmarkPOW Comic book onomatopoeia Bookmark

 

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T Rex Mom

Monday 23rd of April 2012

Check out In the Rain with Baby Duck - "Pit-pat-pita-pat-pita-pita-pat..." My kids do enjoy this one. Or Penguin and Little Blue with the "hoot, hoot, hoot".

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