The Pen Is Mightier Than The iPad: How To Teach Kids To Write Poetry

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Our kids have such complex and imaginative minds, so much so that for any writer it can be a real challenge for them to find the best ways to see how to write poetry kids will definitely love and engage with.

However, during the unsettling time of lockdown, now is the perfect time to put away those smartphones and tablets, and encourage our little ones to get creative and learn a new skill that truly is invaluable. Why not inspire your children to get writing their own poems, and unleash the little authors within.

Writing is not only an amazing skill for our children to gain to help them in their future working lives, but has also been proven to have highly therapeutic effects that encourage self-expression in a way that may come easier through words than speech. Poetry writing has shown to motivate kids to read more, and develop essential vocabulary and listening skills that really are so invaluable. By widening our children's reading and writing horizons, it may give them the confidence to go forward and conquer more fears like reading aloud in class, or having more of their say in a group discussion.

But despite all this, perhaps most importantly writing poetry is amazingly fun, and the opportunity for your kids to imagine and create their own stories and characters through the magic of language is something that truly shouldn't be missed. Take a read below at some of the ways we recommend to get you started on teaching your kids how to write poetry.

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Think Of A Topic

The first hurdle for any writer to get over is to come up with a subject for what they want to write about. The Harry Potter series with all its global fame and success only started as a simple idea from author J.K Rowling, and your children can also search for a topic as exciting and inspiring as any that they've discovered in their favourite books. One great writing exercise to overcome any writer's block is continuous writing. Have your children grab a pen and a piece of paper, and tell them that they have to write whatever comes into their heads without stopping for a whole minute. Read through what they've written together, and more often than not, you'll be surprised and some of the ideas to be had in just this.

Get Inspiration From Some Of Their Favourite Authors

Encouraging our children to read is such an invaluable thing, and hopefully, they'll have some favourite authors in mind to get them started and inspired to start writing themselves. If you're struggling to think of some authors to have a read of before your poetry writing session, take a read of our "52 Best Books For 2 Year Olds" and "17 Best Books To Read In Lockdown" blogs to you and your little ones started on your creative literary journey.

Make It Sensory

Another great way to get you started in writing is to describe your sensory environments. Tell your kids to stop, look, smell, touch and taste what's immediately around them, and then write these down. This sensory activity is a brilliant way to get your children to start engaging with words and will help them to start using descriptive language which is vital for any poetry writing. Check out this resource on how to write a sensory poem to get you started.

Teach Them About Rhyme

Rhyme is an incredibly important part of any poem, and something that your children are sure to be familiar with reading some of their poetry favourites, or just from what they've heard in songs. And with so many different types of rhyme, from full rhyme, half-rhyme and slant rhyme to name a few, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to begin. One activity to try is getting your kids to pick out a favourite song of theirs, and see if together you can identify and circle any rhymes that appear in the lyrics. This resource that teaches how to rhyme is also a fantastic way to learn more about rhyming words.

Introduce Games

Word games

Although writing poems is such a fun and exciting activity, it is easy for it to begin to feel a little bit tedious for our children as writing is definitely no easy feat! But turning the writing process into a game is a great method to keep those little minds engaged whilst offering the help they may need to make the perfect poem. One game idea is a word scramble. Get your children to write down any word that pops into their heads on a piece of paper, cut each of these out and scramble them up by picking them out randomly one at a time. It's a method that a lot of songwriters use to create their lyrics, and can really throw up some new and exciting word combinations.

Learn About Poetic Forms And Styles

Learning about poetry

Just like with rhyme, there are so many different types of poems that could be written. Some of our favourites are limericks, haikus and alliteration poems, but the possibilities are endless. Read a few examples of each with your kids and see which type takes their fancy the most, and give it a go. Don't forget to illustrate your poems for added creative and artistic fun!

Put On Your Own Poetry Slam

Why not make it a competition and an event the whole family can get involved with? A poetry slam is a great way for everyone to get involved. It's a poetry competition where you read out your poems in front of some judges, where you receive a score at the end. You could even get your little ones to add music and costumes to their prom performances to really make it a special and memorable occasion.

Eleanor Gustard
Lover of arts and crafts

Having loved everything art and crafts so much as a child and wanting to pursue this when she grew up, Eleanor recently moved to London from Bath to study for a degree in Fine Art. Eleanor loves exploring the city in her spare time, especially visiting galleries and seeking out new arts events to go to with her partner. When she’s not out enjoying what the capital has to offer, Eleanor is a keen outdoor adventurer and lover of all things travel, always looking for a new destination to discover.