Tag Archives: children

My review of Poem Reader, an Alexa skill

This review is of Poem Reader, an Alexa skill which can be accessed using the Amazon Echo.

Amazon’s website describes Poem Reader as:
“Poem Reader is a random collection of poems for the whole family. Enable the skill to ask for today’s poem or the daily rhyme. Alexa will say the poem, not sing it. This skill is meant to help teach you the words to some popular poems and rhymes.”

Having used Poem Reader, it is, in my view more of a vehicle for having nursery rhymes recited than a means of accessing poetry more generally. Each time I asked Poem Reader for a poem and/or rhyme, it produced a rhyme more suited to young children than the family as a whole.

Amongst the rhymes voiced by Alexa was Hickory Dickory Dock, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Little miss Muffet and Goosey Goosey Gander.

This skill does, perhaps possess the potential to amuse young children and those with an interest in nursery rhymes. However, from my use of Poem Reader, I believe that the description is somewhat misleading in that it implies a broad selection of rhymes/poems, when what is in fact included is largely (perhaps exclusively) a collection of nursery rhymes.

For anyone interested in checking out Poem Reader, it can be found here, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poem-Reader-Poems-for-Everyone/dp/B01LFXD2LY/.

Rain And Sky

I remember well
The hut.
The rain fell
I swear
That I was content there.

Alone I was
I wished it to be so.
I know
The rain and sky
For it is I.

A strange boy was I.
My heart
Given to rain and sky,
Standing aloof from the loud
In my hut.
Half wishing to be part
Of those who were children as I
Yet knew not of rain and sky.

The Magic Order

Once grown
We are thrown
Out of that magic place
Where the fairy’s face
Is by children seen.

The fairy queen
We may perceive
From afar,
Yet we must remember who we are
As it does grieve
Her when an adult crosses the border,
And disturbs the sacred order

Children should be allowed to be children, and not forced to grow up before their time.

3 Ways the Kids Can Help Train Your New Dog

Getting a new dog is exciting for everyone in the family (unless you have a cat), and your kids may be eager to help get your new pet acclimated to your home and family. Depending on the age of your children, it might be difficult for you to find a way to make them feel like a big a part of your new pup’s life.

Getting your dog properly trained is step number one for a new dog owner, and to kids, this prospect is very exciting. They want the dog to learn all sorts of crazy tricks with little to no knowledge as to how to properly train this behavior. While including the kids in the training process may be challenging, it is always a possibility. Here are a few ways your kids can help train your new pup.

1. Give Your Kids the Treat Bag

Your kids may not be able to get the new dog to obey them just yet, but your kids can be your helper during training sessions by doling out treats. Have your kids hold the treat bag and offer a treat each time the dog performs the correct action. If you have a new puppy, be sure your kids know to keep their fingers clear of those sharp milk teeth. It may be best to have them drop the treat in front of the pup.


Image via Pixabay by 825545

2. Let Your Kids Pick the Parlor Tricks

Teaching your dog the basics is crucial. However, which silly tricks you teach him matter a little less. Since it doesn’t matter if your dog learns to shake or high five, let your kids decide which frivolous tricks your new furry friend will learn. If they are old enough, you may let each child take charge of one parlor trick and teach it to the dog themselves. However, if they are young, let them help out by offering treats while you focus on the commands.

3. Have Them Help with Dog-Proofing

Your kids want their new four-legged friend to be safe in your home. To include them in the preparations for a new dog, you might want to have them help you clean and dog-proof the home. Teach them to close the doors to their bedrooms so that their toys don’t become an unintended chew toy, and make sure they know where the pup is and is not allowed to go. This way they can help with minor disciplining and correction if the pup wanders off or is found chewing something he shouldn’t.

Regardless of how you decide to let your kids help with your new family dog, you should always first teach them how to interact with a dog. Never let your kids hit a dog or pull its ears and tail. They should know how to use positive reinforcement and avoid frightening the dog with excessively harsh discipline.

If your dog learns to either ignore or fear your kids, they may never have a successful relationship with him. Once they know the basics of canine interaction, you might find that your kids play an important role in socializing and training their new family member.

Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast, avid cyclist, and loves exploring hiking trails with her dogs. She enjoys writing about health and fitness for LearnFit.org.



As inconsequencial as a child who did say
As she walked past the aquarium yesterday,
“I have fish like that”.

Me, on my way from my flat
To the pub, thought of France
And innocent children who can no longer dance.

There is a shop selling tropical fish, reptiles etc some 10 minutes walk from my home. While strolling along to the pub yesterday evening (Sunday 17 July),I overheard the above snatch of conversation.

School Days

I recall The library’s high shelves
Where I would delve
For books.
Often I forsook
My peers
To read
And on solitude feed.

All those years
Gone by.
I sigh
And wonder why
The past holds such sway.
And we humans lose ourselves in yesterday.
Oh how easy it is to perspective lack
As we gaze back
Down childhood’s track.

I remember the schoolyard’s din
And the wanting to join in.
Sometimes I ran with the crowd
Yet my nature proud
Held me apart
And I solace found in art.

I see the library now
And wonder how
The school goes on
Now that I am gone
An whether books still stand
Waiting to command
The future poet’s hand.


I was feeling overwrought
And somewhat out of sorts,
When my heart was caught
By a little girl who sang.
Joy into my soul sprang
And her father gave me a strawberry juicy and red.

Few words where said,
Yet my heart was fed
By fruit and a child
Who did beguile
Me to smile
On a crowded train,
Soothing my racing brain.

Thank you to the man, his wife and their little girl who touched my heart on the way home from the office last week.


The school grounds I pass.
A ball flies through the grass.
The sound of children playing.
I wish you could be staying.
But you went away
Many a day
Do you remember the snow?

I recall
Frost hung on the wall.
Delicate and white
In the sun’s light.
Your passing smile
The ice shimmered on the tree.
Watched by you and me.

The frost did not stay
And melted away
Leaving a blank wall
Yet the icicles I recall
And still the water doth fall
On a winter’s day
Far away.

Monster – My Guest Post On “Behind The White Coat”

Thank you to Victo Dolore from Behind The White Coat for publishing my poem, “Monster” which can be found by following this link, https://doctorly.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/from-the-guest-room/. Please do check out Victo’s blog.