N is for . . .

Lu A Z Words Cropped 41

Nonsense. Sometimes the world seems full of it and, honestly, we think it gets a bad rep. Admittedly, it can occasionally sneak into places it shouldn’t be, but more often than not it’s a scapegoat. Don’t like what someone said? It’s nonsense. Don’t like what they did? That’s nonsense too. But don’t you remember the days when nonsense was… fun? When it was allowed, encouraged even, as a way to spark creativity? Well, we’re bringing it back, everybody. Are you ready? Let’s get silly…

My kind of poetry

Kids and parents everywhere, rejoice. We have found something that you’ll both enjoy – it’s silly, its educational – it’s poetry! Nonsense poetry to be exact. These ridiculous poems feature some of the best poets and children’s writers of the last 100 years, from classics like Lewis Carroll to modern masters like Benjamin Zephaniah.

If you’re home-schooling and on the verge of pulling your hair out, pull one of these poems out instead, read it together and have a good old stress-reducing, rib-tickling, belly-shaking laugh.

Take a look at our favourite nonsense poems below…

You can also check out Children's Poetry Archive for other nonsense classic like Spike Milligan’s On the Ning Nang Nong and The Land of Bumbly Boo.

Get wordy


Remember back in G for Generosity when we said you needed to start by being generous with yourself and with your time (yes, we’re going to keep coming back to that because it’s important, ok?). Well, here’s one way you can do that – a good old fashioned word game. Sitting down for 15 minutes a day to complete a crossword puzzle isn’t just good for you’re wellbeing by helping you relax and unwind, it’s also great for stimulating neural pathways in your brain. In short, it can help increase your problem-solving, memory and cognition skills over time.

For a range of weekly crosswords, ranging from quick to cryptic, take a look at The Guardian Crosswords and if you’re not a fan of crosswords, why not try word searches? They’re a little less intense and can be a great way to start kids off with words puzzles. Take a look at Wordsearch.com for a huge range of puzzles – you can even create your own on any topic you like!

A new way to get word of the day

0 Countdown S Susie Dent 807057

If you’re a fan of Count Down (or 8 out of 10 Cats does Count Down for that matter), you’ll have heard of Susie Dent. She’s the familiar witty face of Dictionary Corner and a brilliant wordsmith, plucking seemingly nonsensical words out of the air and educating us all in their little-known meanings.

So, if you’re looking for a ‘word of the day’ with a hilarious topical twist, such as ‘quockerwodger' (19th century: a puppet-like individual whose strings of action are pulled by someone else) or ‘whiffler' (17th-century: a chronically indecisive and evasive person who swings from one course of action to another) then her Twitter account is where you want to be. Follow Susie on Twitter

Let’s play a game

The King of Nonsense

Green Eggs And Ham

When it comes to nonsense, you don’t get much better than Dr Seuss. There’s a reason he’s the world’s best-selling children’s author (over 650 million books sold world-wide). His fantastical and funny topics combined with a limited and repetitive vocabulary make his books ideal for early readers – children learn through repletion, after all! In fact, did you know his classic story ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ has only 50 different early reader words in it?

And on top of this, his stories are full of brilliant messages for children – from learning that you should try something before you say you don’t like it, to being kind to the environment and to each other – after all, a person is a person, no matter how small.

With our lifeline Choose & Collect services now up and running again in most of our libraries, why not explore our catalogue of Dr Seuss classics?

Find them in the Devon Libraries catalogue or the Torbay Libraries catalogue

Full updates on our lifeline services, read our news update on the Libraries Unlimited website.