5 Crafty Ways To Get Your Kid (And You) Into Poetry

By Ashley Austrew

If you’re a fan of poetry, you know how even the simplest of poems can be moving, challenging, and inspiring. It’s for these reasons that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared March 21 World Poetry Day in 1999, and it’s a holiday we’ve been celebrating since.

For some, poetry is the language of love, beauty, and passion. But for others, poetry may seem intimidating, difficult to understand, or even a little boring. No matter where someone falls on the poetry appreciation spectrum, there’s a poem out there that can help them appreciate the joy, wisdom, and fun poetry uniquely provides. In celebration of this year’s World Poetry Day, here are some fun and engaging ways to get your kids interested in poetry—and maybe even rekindle that love for yourself.

Watch a young poet in action

One of the most captivating ways to experience poetry is by listening to someone read it. Poems have unique beats, verses, and rhythms, just like songs. When you hear one read aloud, it’s easy to get swept away in the flow and power of the poet’s words. Need an example? Listen to Amanda Gorman, a 23-year-old poet and the first National Youth Poet Laureate, who read an original work during President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

See what makes poetry special

It’s a given that you should read some poetry on World Poetry Day, but learning more about poetry as an artform may help deepen your understanding as well. Check out these helpful guides to understanding poetry and learning how to interpret your favorite verses.

  • Learn the different types of poems: What’s the difference between a haiku and a sonnet? Does poetry have to rhyme? Learn more about the structure of poetry and what makes a poem, well, a poem.
  • Synonym of the Day: A great poem is all about finding the right words. Check out Thesaurus.com’s Synonym of the Day to learn new vocabulary and find better ways to convey your meaning in every type of writing.
  • Discover the art of poetry: Poems get their power not only from the words the poet uses, but from their structure and point of view. Learn about literary apostrophe, anaphora, and other linguistic devices that help take poetry to the next level.

Find your own inner poet

Kids may appreciate poetry more when they get to experiment with it on their own. On World Poetry Day, use these handy resources to craft your own poems and start exploring the power of words.

  • Make a list poem: Add some spelling and vocabulary practice to your poetry adventures. Invite kids to make a list of 10 words. These can be rhyming words, spelling words, or even brand-new words from the Dictionary. They can use those words to craft their own unique poem. Get more instructions here.
  • Create your own words: Famous writers often invented their own words. You can read about the frabjous words invented by Lewis Carroll and the magical language of Dr. Seuss. Kids can do this, too! Have them write their own zany poems using words they created themselves.
  • Use a writing prompt: Get inspired by one of our free writing prompts, and use it to explore poetry in whatever way feels right to you. This one is fun for kids and adults!

Hone kids’ skills with an online writing camp

Got a future National Youth Poet Laureate on your hands? Build their skills by signing them up for one of our online writing camps! Kids ages 7 and up can learn the ins and outs of storytelling, essays, and language to get their creativity flowing and improve their abilities in any type of writing. Spring 2021 sessions are still available, so don’t miss the chance to nurture your kid’s penchant for poetry and watch it blossom.

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Ashley Austrew is a freelance journalist and writer from Omaha, Nebraska. Her work has been published at Cosmopolitan, Scary Mommy, Scholastic, and other outlets. For more by Ashley, read“Teacher” vs. “Tutor”: Why Most Kids Need Both | Leave The Best Impression With Our Tips For National Proofreading Day  | “Does ‘Spark Joy’ Mean The Same Thing In English And Japanese?” | Is There A Difference Between “Calling In” And “Calling Out”? | Why Do Journalists Avoid The Word “Liar”? | Make Your Writing The Star Of National Grammar Day With These Tips

The poetic inspiration you seek may be no further than this list of inspired—and bewildering—names for animal groups.

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