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On The Table Read, “the best arts magazine in the UK“, reading is vital for children’s development and imagination. Check out these interesting ways to get your kids to read poetry!

Do your children love stories? The answer is probably a resounding yes! Even when they’re too young to read on their own, kids love stories, fairytales, and adventures. Family reading favorite stories together are often one of the most cherished childhood memories. It can spark kids’ interest in reading and maybe even writing their own stories. But what about poetry?

Ways to Get Your Kids to Read Poetry  on The Table Read
Child Reading Poetry

From the earliest age, we surround our children with poetry. From singing lullabies to chanting nursery rhymes, we start with poetry. Unfortunately, this rarely continues as our children grow. And that is a shame. Not only is poetry beautiful, but it’s also valuable for kids’ cognitive and emotional development. It releases kids’ imagination and allows them to learn, wonder, and explore themselves and the world.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Read on and learn more about different ways to get your kids to read poetry!

What are the benefits of getting your kids to read poetry?

Poetry isn’t just fun! In fact, it has many benefits for children and their development. First and foremost, it incites their passion for words and reading and helps them develop a lifelong love for the written word. In addition, it also helps kids:

  • develop comprehension skills
  • become more fluent and better express themselves
  • learn more about a variety of topics – from alphabet and beekeeping to dinosaurs and space
  • develop imagination and think out of the box
  • learn to recognize and deal with their emotions and feelings
  • relate to different experiences and develop empathy
  • process and overcome different problems and issues.

As you may see, the benefits are endless! Let’s further explore how to get your kids to read poetry.

Make reading poetry a part of your everyday routine

One short poem during breakfast or maybe after dinner? It won’t take much time, and yet your kids will get used to hearing it. They might even start to look forward to this moment. Find the time that works for all of you and enrich your day with a bit of rhyme.

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Lead by an example

People in kids’ everyday life have a huge impact on the behavior and habits they form. If you don’t like reading and don’t make time for it, your kids aren’t likely to do it either. Instead, be a role model they can look up to and encourage them to form this lovely habit.

Experiment with different forms and types

Of course, not all poetry is created equal. We all have preferences about the style, themes, topics, etc. The same goes for your kids. Just because they didn’t like one poem (or ten!) doesn’t mean poetry is not for them. On the contrary, it just means they haven’t discovered the right one. So, don’t hesitate to experiment with different types until you find something that will resonate with your kids. Also, make poetry collections readily available at your home and encourage your kids to explore on their own.

Follow your kids’ interests

a book collection with dinosaur toys will get your kids to read poetry on The Table Read
Have poetry books that draw on your kids’ interests

So, how do you do that? In fact, it’s quite simple. You already know what your kids love and what they struggle with. Use your knowledge as a guide.

For example, do you have an adorable little scientist in your hands? Choose a fun book that explores scientific concepts through rhymes and illustrations.

Or does your kid love nature and animals? Opt for a kids’ book about wild animals and protecting our environment.

Maybe your kid has problems dealing with their emotions. Help them identify their emotions and introduce them to the concept of mindfulness in a way they can understand.

Engage your kids while reading

The most challenging part of reading poetry for younger kids is to stay focused and still long enough. You need to capture their attention and keep it all the way through. Here are several ways to do that:

  • read aloud
  • use gestures and facial expressions
  • mime actions and movements
  • add sound effects or music
  • use audiobooks.

Incorporate it into important events in your life

Now, don’t make poetry a chore. If your children really don’t feel like it or they’d rather do something else, it’s okay to give it a rest for a couple of days.

However, your kids will love poetry more if you create connections with their life. Draw connections from the world around you and meaningful events from your family life. For example, read a song to welcome spring in your neighborhood or to celebrate starting kindergarten.

Why not read a special song for your birthday boy or girl? Even if the event is stressful, a poem can help your kids overcome it and accept the change.

For example, as experts from warn, moving with kids isn’t easy. All the work notwithstanding, it’s a challenging time for children. So, why don’t you write a poem to say goodbye to your old home? Or a song about things to look forward to in your new one?

a boy and girl performing a home play on The Table Read
Combining poetry and theatre will engage your kids in many different ways

Combine poetry with other activities

A good way to get your kids to read poetry is to connect it with other activities they love or create little challenges for them. You can ask them to illustrate their favorite poem or maybe add a new verse or two. Or you can hide the poem’s title and ask your kids to come up with one. You can also use the poem as a springboard for learning something else – fun new dance moves or visiting a museum or a zoo.

Combine it with technology to get your kids to read poetry

We always hear people complaining about kids nowadays not knowing or doing anything except hanging on their phones and the Internet. However, the key is in what they do while they’re there. Use your kids’ love for technology to instill in them a love for poetry. Does it sound silly? Not at all! There are plenty of apps for poetry, not to mention websites where you can learn more about their favorite poets or find illustrations or videos to accompany their favorite poems.

Encourage your kids to write their own poems

Last but not least, encourage your kids to play with words and use new expressions. They can add a new verse or stanza to the poem they love, write an alternate ending, or even create their own poem! Not only will it get your kids to read poetry, but it will also boost their imagination and creativity.

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