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Is there a gene that passes a love of poetry from parent to child? Probably not, but we think you can share your passion for poems just the same. For writers and poets, instilling future generations with a love of the written word is not only important to the fate of the form, but a gift children will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Here are five ways to encourage your children to share your love of poetry:
1. BEDTIME STORIES guarantee a captive audience. By reading together with their children, parents can foster a love for books and reading. While most people think of bedtime stories as prose, bedtime can also be a great opportunity to explore poetry as well. Shel Silverstein is an excellent choice—good for wide-eyed wonder and giggles night after night.
2. Using WORD GAMES for inspiration to write poems together with your children is a great way to encourage imagination and develop early writing skills. Word games teach rhyming, concepts like metaphor and simile, vowel and consonant sounds, and important rules of grammar.
3. Children grow so quickly. Before you realize it they’re enjoying their first years of school. Those years are ripe opportunities to explore WRITING PROMPTS with them. Presenting one or two sentences that describe a scene or an adventure can spark budding poets to write a few stanzas. This is an exercise that will carry over well into other core school subjects and will definitely benefit students overall.
4. SHARE YOUR OWN PUBLISHED POETRY. When you have one of your poems published in a literary journal, share your pride with your children—and they’ll be proud of you! Kids think it’s cool to see their parents published, even if they don’t quite grasp what a given poem is about. If you need help submitting your writing to literary journals so you can impress your kids with some publication credits, Writer’s Relief is here to help!
5. After all your efforts to share your love of poems, your children may want to share what they’ve learned with their friends. A POETRY CLUB (similar to a book club) is an excellent way to spend time with your children and get to know their friends better as well.
Sharing the love, the joy, and the beauty of poetry with your children will be something to cherish for a lifetime.