Poetry can be fun for people of all ages. When you introduce different types of art, sports, and creative outlets to children when they are young, you nurture their personal growth. There are many different ways children can express their emotions through poetry in a healthy, constructive outlet—including poetry for kids. Who knows, maybe one day yours may be the next Poet Laureate!
One great way to learn about poetry for kids is to read (or listen to!) poetry. Hearing the rhythm and sounds words can make together is a big learning experience. Words are not limited to phrases such as: “I’m hungry” or “Can we please go to the park?” We can convey feelings, moods, experiences, and thoughts to others through powerful phrasing. Some great starting out poets might be Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and A. A. Milne (the author of Winnie the Pooh). Here is a poem by A. A. Milne to try with your child:
“We are Six”
When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.
Another great way to dip your toe into poetry for kids is by writing in a journal each day. Sometimes when you write, the ideas just flow out of you. This is a great way for children to get emotions out on the page when they are frustrated or upset. Not all poems need to rhyme and should follow any pattern they prefer
If poems do not seem to be your child’s interest, you can always try introducing song lyric writing. So many children are singing the songs they hear on the radio and don’t think that one day they could write the next big hit!
Here are some fun activities to try with your child:
- Family haiku night! Teach your child (or have a refresher) about syllables. Clap out the syllables as you say words out loud. Haikus are formatted in 3 lines (nice and short!) with the first line having 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables, and the third 5 syllables again. If it’s easier for your child depending on age, you can just have the lines be 5 words, 7 words, and 5 words.
- Buy a rhyming dictionary to teach your child about rhyming words.
- Introduce your child to a thesaurus and help them use it when they need it!
- Go on an adventure one weekend to write a poem. You could go to the beach, the zoo, the movies, and write a poem about your experience after.
- Describe an object through poetry. Some examples are the sky, their favorite shoes, their favorite food, or their favorite person.