Getting kids into poetry
Posted on March 11 2022
It’s World Poetry day on the 21st March, which is a wonderful opportunity to encourage your little one to be inspired by this imaginative use of language. Poetry can be enjoyed by everyone and can be a really fun, creative activity to explore with your children - you could start nurturing a passion that endures their whole life!
The benefits of introducing poetry to your child
Poetry is recognised for aiding memory and language development - rhyming words can make it easier for your child to learn letters and sounds through hearing and seeing them.
Reading poetry aloud helps your child practice the way they pronounce words and how they can create emotion through pitch and volume. This all helps to improve phonological and phonemic awareness (the ability to focus on individual sounds in spoken words) which will help your little one become a more confident reader and helps aid their speech.
Literature has always been an essential part of a child's development. Poetry in its soothing, sing-songy rhythmic nature can help your child with self-expression and the understanding of emotion. It’s a healthy way for them to express themselves and build valuable qualities like compassion and empathy, whilst developing creative language skills and becoming sophisticated thinkers.
Your child will learn that there are words that sound alike but mean different things. The use of recognisable pattern and sequence in poetry can help with their maths and numeracy skills. Reading poetry and interpreting it encourages analysing and critical thinking skills, which are super important for growing minds!
You’re probably already singing your little ones nursery rhymes or reading books out loud to them. In honour of World Poetry Day why not introduce them to the artistic expression and imaginative language that poetry has to offer?
How to nurture the little poet in your life
With younger children it’s an idea to start reading poetry to them so they can start to enjoy listening and learning new words in this creative style. Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”, a classic, playful poem or Mary Howitt’s “ The Spider and the Fly”, which is a beautifully written poetic fable, are great ones to start with.
When it comes to encouraging your budding poets, inspiring their wonderful imagination is a great way to bring out their creative side. Here's some fun tips on how to incorporate poetry into everyday learning...
- Start to incorporate rhyme practice, maybe when walking to school or driving to the supermarket. Can your child think of rhymes for objects you see on your journey? The sillier the better - make poetry fun!
- Get some magnetic words for your fridge or magnetic poetry strips and play around creating free verse poems. Get the whole family to join in and take it in turns to pick a word to add to the poem.
- Help your child memorise a short poem, practice it daily and help them build up their memory skills which will also boost their self-confidence.
- Play word association games that help children create similes, metaphors and analogies. A simple game of cutting out words from a magazine and playing around with their order can help their creativity with words.
- Try writing a poem together, maybe for a special occasion such as a relative’s birthday or Christmas celebration.
- Introduce your child to the different types of poetry, for example, a haiku (consisting of three lines with 5-7-5 syllables) is a great style to sound out long words and clap along to break them down. Or try acrostic poems, where the first letter of each line spells out a word or message - come up with a theme and get them to explore the words that they associate with it.
- Stock up on a collection of children’s poem books - Michael Rosen, Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein are all great child-friendly poets to start with. A visit to the library can also give you lots of ideas and make a fun day out finding some poetry inspiration with your little one.
- Make poetry as portable as possible. On top of purchasing some poetry puzzle games, download digital library apps like Epic! on a tablet, this will make it easy to access a range of resources on poetry and are great for long road trips! The Children’s Poetry Archive lets you listen to famous poets reading their own work out loud for free!
We hope we’ve inspired you to help ignite the poet within your child and encourage this fun, creative way of your child expressing themselves. Here at MyTwirl we are passionate about letting your child express themselves in as many ways as they can. Creativity is the most precious thing in the world for our little ones and poetry is a great place to start their creative journey.