3 Fun Craft Ideas to Celebrate Poetry with Your Kids

poetry craft ideas and activities for kids

Poetry is a wonderful way to get young children enthusiastic about books and reading. Not only is it fun to read, it’s also a great way to boost essential literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness and fluency, while building your child’s vocabulary.

Here are three fun craft ideas to help build your child’s literacy skills and creativity, while fuelling their interest in reading and poetry.

1. Make a ‘Poetree’

This is a lovely craft idea to celebrate poetry in your home. Type up short poems on a computer or typewriter (choose poems that your family loves or collect ones that your child has written) and print them onto white sheets of paper.

Prepare your ‘Poetree’ by using small tree limbs tied together with twine and secured in a sand-filled pot, or use an actual tree in your backyard. You could even help your child cut out tree limbs using a large sheet of construction paper, and hang it on a wall.

To make the leaves, gather blank stationary cards, glue, safety scissors, a hole-punch, and ribbon. Help your child to cut out each poem and glue it onto a stationary card. Then help them to draw and decorate a leaf on the back of each card using pencils, crayons, paints, or scrapbook paper.

Punch a hole at the top of each card and secure the poems onto the branches using pieces of ribbon. Over time, your child can continue reading and adding new poetry leaves onto their tree.

 2. Make a shape poem

Shape poems are a fun and creative way to help your child write their first poems. These poems describe a particular object, and are written in the shape of that object (e.g. a poem about the moon may be shaped as a crescent or a circle).

To create a shape poem, you need to prepare a pen or pencil, safety scissors, markers or crayons (for decorating), and some construction paper or card stock.

To begin the poem, help your child think of a shape. Some good options include a heart, a football, a rainbow, a caterpillar, a star, a raindrop, or a kite or balloon with string. Good suggestions for beginners could also include animals, types of food, or musical instruments.

Next, encourage your child think of five to ten ways to describe their shape using words, phrases, or things that remind them of the shape. Outline the shape on a piece of construction paper or card stock and begin writing those words into the shape. Then help your child cut around the shape and decorate it.

3. Poem Petals

This is a great activity which is ideal for beginners, and helps young children to build early writing skills. All you need for this activity is an assortment of pencils or paints and a white sheet of paper. Help your child draw a flower (fill up the entire space of your page), and include five large petals, large enough to write two to three words into.

Help your child brainstorm words or phrases which describe flowers, springtime, gardens, or nature. You can even sit outside with a notebook and pencil and scribble down things you see for inspiration. Experiment with a range of literary devices, such as alliteration (e.g. red roses, green grass, purple pansies), similes (e.g. hot like the sun, sweet like ice cream, pink as candy), and sound words, or onomatopoeias (e.g. buzzing bees, gurgling water, swooshing leaves, chirping birds).

Once you’re finished, help your child write the descriptive words or phrases into each petal and then decorate their flower.

Reading Eggs teaches early literacy skills for children aged 3 to 13 using interactive games, bright animations and one-on-one lessons that they complete at their own pace. Your child can write their own stories and read over 2000 online books, including poetry and classic children’s titles. Register today for your FREE trial of Reading Eggs here.

5 Ways to Introduce Your Child to Poetry

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Poetry and children fit exceptionally well together. The natural rhythm and rhyme of children’s poems make them highly enjoyable to read and listen to.   Children’s poetry also offers wonderful opportunities for reading, writing, speaking and listening practise.

For young children, reading poetry aloud nurtures their enthusiasm for words and gives them the tools they need to become avid readers. By emphasising the sounds and rhythms of language, poetry strengthens children’s phonemic awareness, which lays the foundation for early reading. The often creative and abstract use of language in poems can also introduce children to new words and literary concepts. Read 5 Reasons Why Nursery Rhymes Help Young Readers.

For older children, poetry is a wonderful way to learn how complex thoughts, emotions, ideas and narratives can be expressed with the help of a few skilfully chosen words.

Here are 6 ways to introduce your child to reading, writing and enjoying poetry.

1. Read poetry aloud

Reading aloud to your child,  no matter how young they are, is a great way to introduce them to poetry.  By placing emphasis on the rhymes and  sounds of the words you are allowing them to experience the rhythm and  tones of the language. If your child is old enough, you can encourage them to read aloud to you, which helps them to develop their pronunciation and reading fluency.

2. Choose the right poems

For younger children , choose playful, rhyming poetry about topics that are familiar and of interest to them. Some great examples for younger children are Dr Seuss and Shel Silverstein, who often combine poetry with silly sounds and concepts that are hugely entertaining and relatable to young children. For older children who already have a strong grasp on phonemic awareness, you can  explain that poetry doesn’t always have to rhyme. There are many poems written especially for children, such as the works of Jack Prelutsky and Nikki Giovanni.

3. Encourage metaphors and similes

Metaphors and similes are powerful literary techniques used in a great majority  of poetry. By encouraging metaphorical thinking in your child, you can help them build new connections between objects, concepts and ideas, and help them think more creatively when it comes to writing their own poems. When your child is telling you a story about their day, encourage them to think metaphorically by asking questions like, “as beautiful as what?” and leading questions like, “as beautiful as sunshine?” or “as beautiful as a butterfly fluttering its wings?” If they’re old enough, have them point out the metaphors and similes in a poem and encourage them to include some when writing their own poems.

4. ‘I Am’ Poem

The ‘I Am’ poem is a fun and simple way to introduce children to writing poetry, because it allows them to focus on their own attributes. The ‘I Am’ poem is made up of three stanzas that include six lines each. The beginning of each line is already written, and the writer fills in the end by inserting specific words. Begin the first line for your child with ‘I am’ and have them write two special characteristics about themselves. Then begin the remaining lines with prompts such as ‘I see’, ‘I feel’, ‘I pretend’, ‘I wonder’, ‘I understand’, , ‘I try’ and so on.   Close the poem by repeating the first line in the last.

5. Acrostic poem

An acrostic poem is another type of poem ideal for introducing young children to writing poetry. Acrostic poems are very easy to write and can be about any subject. The simplest form is to put the letters that spell your subject down the side of the page. When this is done, go back to each letter and think of a word, phrase or sentence that begins with that letter and describes your subject. You can encourage your child to write about themselves, their favourite sport or things they see around the house.

Reading Eggspress provides a comprehensive guide to different types of texts, including poetry, narrative and discussion. The program includes detailed descriptions, examples and tips to teach children how to compose them. New customers can sign up for their free trial of Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress here