It’s hard to believe that we are already a full week into April! April is one of my favorite months for many reasons, one of them being National Poetry Month. Reading poetry is one of my favorite past times, but writing poetry is an absolute favorite way for me to express myself and reflect on my thoughts. As a kid, I was always busily scribbling away poems in a notebook, and it was a huge game changer when I discovered that poems don’t have to rhyme!
If you have an imaginative child at home, or if you, yourself, love to try creative forms of expression, I am here to offer you some easy and inexpensive ways to help capture that imagination.
Magnetic letters and words make a great and creative tool for kids to use to piece together poems. Get a large magnet board, or for an easy win use the refrigerator, and let kids get creative by arranging the words into short clips of poetry. You can even make these words at home by printing, or writing, them on paper and then sticking them to a magnet. It’s a simple idea that really sticks!
A Poet Tree
This can be done by making a 2D tree and sticking it on a wall, or by using a small fake or real tree in the house. Have kids write poems out, and hang the final product on the tree. For older kids, see if they can hang the words of their poems on the tree in the order that the poem should read. They will have to consider length of string, sequence, and space for this fun twist. This is not only a creative form of expression for the kids, but decorative as well!
Black-Out poetry is always a lot of fun, especially if you have older kids or teens in the house. To make a black-out poem, use an old book that is in very poor condition; a magazine article with lots of words; or a photocopied page from a book. Have the kids use a black marker or sharpie to ‘black-out’ words they don’t want to use, leaving un-marked words on the page. The unmarked words remaining make up a poem. Some kids like to read through and write their poems first before blacking out what they don’t need, and others may want to black-out words at random. Let the kids try out different methods. All I ask is that you please don’t use nice, new books for this one!
Magazine poetry is an old classic, but still a fun and creative way for kids to express themselves. Use old magazines, and let kids cut out words. They can tape or glue the words on another piece of paper in the order they want their poem to read. A fun spin on this activity is having the kids use pictures in lieu of words (for example, a picture of an “eye” for “I”, or a picture of a can for the word “can”, etc.), or do a mix of words and pictures.