The Importance of Poetry for Children

Do you know the importance of poetry for children?

How does Shakespeare compare to A.A. Milne? Or William Butler Yeats to Jack Prelutsky?  Seeing their names coupled together might seem ill-placed, but these writers share a common passion – poetry.

The Importance of Poetry for Children

When you think of poetry, what comes to mind?  Do you envision long poems by renowned poets such as Keats, Longfellow, Wordsworth, and the like?  Or do you remember the silly nursery rhymes of your childhood?  What emotions arise when you hear the word “poetry?”

Are you filled with happy memories or a sense of dread? I believe that many times we develop either a fondness or aversion to poetry.  Some may feel it is too complicated to understand or too dull to bother reading.  Or perhaps, poetry is exciting and delightful to you.  You love the rhythmic sound of the words and the precise vocabulary so expertly placed.

As a lover of words, poetry is one of my greatest passions.  Reading, writing, and hearing beautiful poetry is a sweet pleasure to me.  There is nothing like the rhythm of words flowing together to form a story in such rich language. Poetry is such a happy thing.

As my love for poetry has prompted me to read more about poetry and even write poems myself, I have learned much about the importance of poetry for children.

Whether you’re a poet at heart, a curious onlooker, or simply a skeptic, I believe you will be amazed by the wondrous effects of poetry upon children.  In celebration of National Poetry Month, I will be sharing my Poetry for Children Series.  In this series we will look at the importance of poetry for children, the benefits of poetry for children, and how you can include poetry in your child’s daily life.

Let’s get started!

What Is Poetry & Why Is It Important?

Poetry for Children

Throughout time poetry has been a medium for expressing ideas, emotions, and beliefs.  History has been told, legends passed down, and faith strengthened by simple poems written by passionate people.

Poems such as “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” or  “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” bring history to life and truly connect us to the past. Tennyson shares with us the ancient legends of King Arthur in beautiful poetic form and King David strengthens our faith with this powerful psalms.  These are just a few examples of poetry that has had a profound affect upon civilization.

But “What is poetry,” you ask?  Besides rhyming words being strung together to form some sort of story, what is poetry?  In my own words, poetry is the expression of a heart filled passion and love. Whether that be a passion for for justice, or faith; or a love of nature or family. Poetry is our means of expressing our hopes and dreams, emotions and beliefs. It is an intentional expression of the heart. It is the language of the soul.

A literal definition of poetry is “the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.”

Isn’t that lovely?  Poetry is intended to excite our pleasure. It is beautiful and imaginative.  I believe that conveying the beauty and joy of poetry to our children is truly important. This is what we want them to know. Poetry is fun and exciting and beautiful. From a young age we should be exposing our children to poems so that they can develop an appreciation for it. If we wait for schools to introduce our children to poetry, we allow the possibility of confusion or disinterest.

Why not begin now while they are young? Why withhold such a precious gift from your child? As a parent you have the capability to open the door to an incredible world for your child. You have the sole pleasure of sharing the beauty and wonder of poetry with them.

I myself have experienced so much joy in reading and writing poetry with my own children, and I desire the same for you. It is so special to be able to share an appreciation for good rhyme and meter, to get excited together about our favorite poets, and to work together writing our own little poems.

In fact, my love for poetry has even trickled into my business. As I create fun learning products for babies and young children, I can’t help including some form of poetry. All of the MonkiSee videos are filled with rich narration and many little poems are spoken  throughout the videos. I love writing poems for children, and knowing how beneficial poetry is for children, I love filling the MonkiSee videos with lots of poetry. In MonkiSee “ABC RoundUp” I had so much fun writing a poem for each letter of the alphabet.

Perhaps this may sound foreign to you and it remains unclear how poetry applies to you. Are you still wondering why you should bother reading poetry at all? If so, keep reading as we shall explore how poetry affects your children.

How Poetry Applies to Your Children

Reading Poetry to Baby

In this day and age, poetry is not something we give much attention to.  Sadly, it seems as though this special branch of literature is being overlooked and forgotten.  Although we may be exposed to poetry occasionally, it is certainly not anything we are overly concerned about. We expect our children to be introduced to it in school, but beyond that brief period, we have no dealings with it.

However, it is so important that we raise our children to know and love poetry.  As I mentioned earlier, poetry has been a powerful tool used throughout time for extraordinary purposes. It is a form of art that has continued for centuries. There is so much we can learn from poetry and so much we can teach with poetry. It is highly effective for conveying information in a memorable and intimate way.

Raising children to know and love poetry will benefit them  not only in school, but also in their careers, relationships, and day to day life. Poetry will open so many doors for your children throughout their life. As I mentioned earlier, we will be going in-depth about the benefits of poetry in my next post, but for now, just know that the importance of poetry for children cannot be ignored. Once you discover the incredible benefits of poetry for children, you’ll be reading them poems right away.

I believe that the reason children aren’t being read poetry today is because the importance of poetry for children is either unknown or underestimated. While reading to children is definitely encouraged, we aren’t given much direction as to what we should read them. I would encourage you to read your children poetry. Include poetry along with your regular story time favorites. It will be such a blessing to your child.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of poetry for children, it’s time to discover the incredible benefits. Be sure to check back next week to discover the amazing benefits of poetry for children!