We started reading poetry to our children at an early age.
You probably did too, although you may not have even realized it – Mother Goose, nursery rhymes, and many popular picture books are great sources of poetry for the very young.
One day at a book sale I came across a picture book version of Walter Dean Myers poem, “Harlem,” (affiliate link) I chuckled thinking it was rather a “deep” topic for a picture book! But the ink and collage illustrations caught my eye. So I found myself bringing it home.
And then… hubby found it… and commenced a dramatic reading to our then-two-year-old son. Who apparently didn’t have an appreciation for the finer arts at that time…
I know, it’s not the best quality video, and it’s only a partial clip I found on my phone… but I am sharing this today to give you a little smile, and encourage parents…
Read poetry to your kids! Dads too!
I jokingly titled this “When Dad Reads Poetry” because it was a funny moment for us. But what a parent chooses to read (or not read) to a child has powerful influence.
I’m guessing most moms read to their children often, so kids are used to that (at least mine are!). But when dads also sit down and read with their kids… kids see both parents value reading – this must be something important.
When Dad and Mom read poetry…? Children learn poetry is accessible, fun, and an important part of their lives (even if you and your spouse are trying to keep from snickering at your child’s antics!).
I think when I was an English teacher and all my boy students who first of all hated to write, but bring up writing poetry, and it was like I was going to be poking their eyes out! I wonder how different my classes would’ve been if these boys had parents regularly reading poetry to them when they were small?
The poetry challenge for parents:
Try reading a little poetry to your kids. You don’t even have to tell them it’s poetry! Just read it like a story and let them enjoy it!
Try reading just a few lines that stand out to you in a poem.
Or read a stanza, take a break, read some more. There’s not really a “wrong” way to read poetry to kids! Later this week, I’ll share with you some of my favorite poetry books parents can read to their kids (especially to keep boys’ interest!).
And… take a few videos! I know I want to do more videos of us reading to the kids… it’ll be some great memories one day!