Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

What are the best ways to introduce children to poetry?  We know poetry is important and very beneficial for children, but how can we expose them to poetry?  Although there are a variety of ideas out there, I’m really excited to be sharing some of my personal favorites with you.  As I continue raising my children to be poetry-lovers, I have found six simple ways to introduce children to poetry.  We’re going to look at each one and understand why these methods are so effective, and how you can implement them in your own life.  Are you ready?  Then let’s get started!

1. Reading Poetry to Children

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

There is no better way to expose your child to poetry, than by reading it to them.  Reading kids poetry is at the very top of our list.  If you do nothing else, read your children poetry.  There are so many great poetry books that you can enjoy along with your child.  We already know that reading to our children is important, and when you read them poetry books, it’s an additional benefit.  Hearing the rhythm of the words and seeing the patterns within the text help children to recognize meter and rhyme.

A great habit to establish is  reading your kids poetry every day.  Whether it’s a short poem, a rhyming storybook, or simply a nursery rhyme, fit in whatever you can.  Incorporating poetry books in your story time is a great way to begin introducing your child to poetry.  Next week I’ll be sharing a list of my favorite poetry books for children.  Be sure to check back for that post, I am sharing the best of the best.  Remember, reading kids poetry is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

2. Memorizing Poems

(This is my daughter reading one of the first poems she learned.  It’s so precious to see children enjoying poetry and she was so cute reading this to me.  I hope you enjoy it!)

I love having my kids memorize poems as part of their schooling.  It’s a great way to promote their memory skills, and they get to have fun learning a poem they enjoy.  As you continue reading your child poetry, you may want to advance to this next level.  Once they are continuously reading poetry, they’ll naturally begin to memorize it.  Start with short, simple poems, and grow from their.  Perhaps you can begin my having your child recite poems.  Let them read the poems to you.  Eventually, they will actually memorize the poems.  Poetry is so easy to memorize, and it’s all about finding poems that you love.

3. Writing Poems

As you continue filling yourself with poetry through reading and memorization, it will naturally begin to come out of you.  Fill your child with great poems and fun rhyming storybooks, and watch as they make up silly rhymes of their own.  You could have your child write a poem and draw a picture to go along with it.  Encourage him to write a poem for a  poetry contest.  In the beginning, maybe you start by copying poems you know and love.  Eventually, your child will progress to creating his own.  Either way, this is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

4. Listening to Poetry Songs

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

This one method of introducing kids to poetry is often overlooked.  Listening to nursery rhyme songs, is great way to introduce kids to poetry, especially for younger children.  Babies and toddlers love listening to silly music, and if you can find some nursery rhyme songs, or any songs of poetry for your children to enjoy, that’s a great way to expose them to poetry.  Here are a couple links to my favorite CDs for kids:

5. Playing Rhyming Games

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

One of the best ways to introduce children to poetry, is by playing rhyming games with them.  If you make poetry fun by incorporating it in games, children will quickly embrace it and begin developing an appreciation for poetry.  Poetry is meant to be fun, so playing poetry games is a great way to show your kids how great poetry can be.  I’m sharing a couple links to give you some ideas of poetry games and activities you can do with your child.

6. Watching MonkiSee Videos

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

Another great way to expose your child to poetry is with the MonkiSee videos.  Since I am such a poetry-lover, it has definitely trickled into my business.  I love writing poems for kids, and try to fill the videos I create with great poetry.  I feel that poetry adds a unique element to the MonkiSee DVDs.  I believe that the poetry we include in the MonkiSee videos is one of the main reasons why our videos have helped so many children build their vocabulary.  If you read my post on the benefits of poetry for children, then you know that this is one of the greatest benefits of poetry.  Having your child watch the MonkiSee videos is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

Depending on the age of your child, I would recommend having them watch one of the MonkiSee videos each day.  If you are introducing your baby to poetry, then the MonkiSee videos are perfect.  They will not only be exposed to poetry, they will learn the alphabet, colors, shapes, familiar first words, body parts, farm animals, and so much more!  If your child is a bit older, perhaps they would enjoy watching MonkiSee “Animals Under the Sea,” or “How God Made Everything.”

Overall, you can use any method you like.  The idea is to continue exposing our children to poetry.  I hope that these ideas were helpful to you.  If you have any ideas on what are the best ways to introduce children to poetry, I would love to hear your thoughts!  Please be sure to comment below and share with us your favorite methods.  Thank you so much!


Benefits of Poetry for Children

The benefits of poetry for children are incredible and many.  As we discussed in Part #1 of the series, poetry plays a huge role in your child’s development.  Have you ever wondered how you could help your child in their language development, memory skills, vocabulary, or relationships?  Well, keep on reading, because we are going to touch on each one of those topics.

Discussing the importance of poetry and how it applies to your children was great, but I am super excited to share with you some of the amazing benefits of poetry for children.  Because poetry is so enjoyable, I really don’t even think about the benefits of poetry for children.  It’s not that I don’t care about them, but I am not consciously reading poems because I’m want my kids to be smarter.  If the only reason you read poetry is because it is fun, then that is awesome. Good for you!

However, if you’re interested in knowing some additional reasons why poetry is so amazing, then read on.

Language Development

If you are seeking to encourage your child’s language development, look no further.  Of all the benefits of poetry for children, this may be the most basic.

Poetry is a wonderful tool to use in promoting a child’s language development.  With rhymes, children can easily learn new words. Furthermore, having children read poems aloud helps them practice pitch, voice inflection, and volume.  While all of these may seem relatively simple, they are definitely necessary skills for language development. It really is quite a seamless flow that occurs naturally as we read poetry aloud.

Cognitive Development

Reading Poetry

Besides encouraging a child’s language development, poetry is great for a child’s cognitive development as well.  When we read poems to our children, they begin to understand that words may sound similar but have different meanings.  Depending on the poem you are reading, children may be exposed to word families and begin to understand more about phonetic patterns.

Due to the repetitive nature of poems – whether in word or meter – poetry definitely encourages children to recognize patterns.  Furthermore, poetry is an excellent way to strengthen a child’s memory.  These skills will be extremely helpful for future learning in math, new languages, and much more.  As you are beginning to see, the benefits of poetry for children are extensive and those I’ve included are only some of the wonderful ways poetry benefits your child.

Vocabulary Expansion

Although we briefly mentioned vocabulary when we discussed language development. This third benefit of poetry deserves to be examined more in depth.  A good understanding of language and a comprehensive vocabulary is a quality much respected in individuals.  Whether in school or later on in their careers, your children will need to have a good vocabulary to be successful in life.

While reading in general is a great way to build vocabulary, I can guarantee that with poetry you can practically double or maybe even triple your child’s exposure to new words.  The very nature of poetry demands for precise vocabulary to match the rhythm and rhyme of the poem. I can testify to this by my own experience.

As I wrote many poems for the learning videos I create, I found myself discovering all sorts of new words.

For a poem to be just right, it must have the perfect words, and as a poet, it is your responsibility to find them. In MonkiSee “ABC RoundUp” I wrote a poem for each letter of the alphabet.  As you can imagine, I learned quite a few new words when I was writing those poems.  Since building a child’s vocabulary seems to be a high priority for parents, I believe this may be the best of all the benefits of poetry for children.

Relational Development

Poetry for Children

In addition to vocabulary expansion and language and cognitive development, relational development is another amazing benefit of reading poetry to children.

By reading poetry to your child, you are strengthening your relationship together and bonding in such a unique and special way.  It is so precious to be able to share a common interest and passion for poetry.

How special it is to be have fun with your kids by reading silly poems together, discussing what poems are about, and even writing your own poems.

However, this is not the only form of relational development. Besides strengthening your relationship with your child, reading poetry to children allows them to grow in their relationships with others.  By reading poems, children are given various perspectives of the world we live in.  They can see different points of view and understand variations in cultures and beliefs. They may learn right from wrong, develop an appreciation for good literature, and even grow in empathy for others. It’s amazing how simple poems can help us relate to others, and how we may establish friendships through poetry.

My children have loved learning poems for school and reciting them for me and others.  It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they have mastered a lengthy poem.  We love reading and laughing at the silly poems of Jack Prelutsky and that Silly Old Bear.

I hope that you are encouraged to begin reading poems with you children.  I promise you, you will not regret it. If poetry has always been a bit daunting to you, start small.  Read short silly poems together and grow from there.  Nowadays there’s a decent selection of rhyming kids’ books you can read together.  As your love and understanding of poetry progresses, you might surprise yourself and start writing your own little poems.

If you fill yourself with poetry, don’t be surprised when it starts coming out of you too!

And although there are many more benefits I could speak of, such as improvement in spelling, responsibility, public speaking, and so forth, I will conclude with this thought.

“One of the best benefits of poetry for children is simply the joy of reading it.”

I would love to hear your thoughts about poetry.  Are you a poetry-lover? Did you know that poetry could be so beneficial?  Do you need some book recommendations or ideas for incorporating poetry into your every day life?

Check back next week for Part 3 of the series.  We’ll be discussing the best poetry books for kids and how to include poetry in your child’s daily life. It’s going to be amazing, so don’t miss it.


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