Read Poetry With Children

Poetry is a wonderful form of artistic expression. There are many benefits of reading poetry to children.

I have strived to regularly read poems during our homeschool time. Not only has it benefited my kids’ education, but each has developed an appreciation of the art and has collected books of favorite styles and poets.


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Benefits of poetry:

When my children were little we often read the familiar rhymes of mother goose. Although nursery rhymes may just seem like catchy chants and songs, they are actually benefiting language development.

  • Rhyming helps kids look at patterns within words which will support reading and spelling skills.
  • Reading poems aloud helps kids practice pitch and vocal inflection.
  • The pattern of poems supports the development of reading fluency.
  • Poetry is fun. Finding short and interesting poems for children will engage even the most reluctant reader.
  • Silly and humorous passages encourage memorization.

My former reluctant reader was transformed after reading Shel Silverstein. I finally purchased him a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends as he’d checked it out at the library so many times. He made it his mission to memorize some of the poems and randomly share the sentiments with his younger sibling.

One sister for sale!
One sister for sale!
One crying and spying young sister for sale!
I’m really not kidding,
So who’ll start the bidding?
Do I hear a dollar?
A nickel?
A penny?
Oh, isn’t there, isn’t there, isn’t there any
One kid who will buy this sister for sale,
This crying spying old young sister for sale?

Kids can be creative through poetry. A funny poem will encourage kids to write their own silly limericks. My daughter occasionally works on a piece that goes something like, “Two brothers for free, please take them, please….”

Sibling teasing aside, poetry is a wonderful form of literature to share with children.

Our poetry recommendations:

Nursery rhymes are the perfect beginning in the early years. The always popular Mother Goose is a collection of French fairy tales and English nursery rhymes that have entertained children for centuries.

Our home library includes several books of poetry by various authors. Collections of various writers are a great way to introduce children to different styles and poets. I initially checked out books at the library. As we have discovered favorite writings, we’ve sought works by favorite poets.

In my son’s elementary years I almost passed over a poetry book for children by Robert Frost. He was an American poet that often wrote depictions of rural life. Now in high school, my son has several books of his work.

Poetry reading is something I would recommend for every child. If it’s not something you are reading with your kids, I want to encourage you to give it a try.

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