Children's metaphor poems are less complex than their adult counterparts, as children generally do not have the same level of reading comprehension as adults and hence may not be able to so easily grasp the symbolic nature of this style of poetry. Typically, the entire poem is shaped around one large, over-arching metaphor.
When teaching poetry to children, it is usually best to start small. While adult readers are more familiar with metaphoric language and can understand metaphors on a larger scale, children are typically best introduced to metaphor through simplistic poems they can relate to on a personal level. They can easily begin to understand a single metaphor when it helps shape the entire poem because it is easier to follow intellectually.
For example, "A Broken Family Tree" by Lori McBride is a popular kids' metaphor poem that is highly recommended for young students. The poem uses the continuous metaphor of branches on a literal tree to illustrate the importance of family. A child familiar with the term "family tree" finds it easy to follow such a poem.
Historically, metaphor poems have served various purposes in adult society, so it is important to introduce children to metaphoric language early on.