To help the little ones in your life celebrate National Poetry Month, we came up with a few activities that will help you engage them with poetry, naturally. These are activities you can do indoors or during a quick trip outside because, let’s face it, lots of Canada is still frozen, freezing, or just plain cold in April!
Treasure hunt poem
Instead of a traditional treasure hunt list, write a poem that features or describes things you can find in your backyard or on a walk around your neighbourhood block. Read the poem together and go explore! Bring the poem along in case your explorer needs hints or reminders or translate the poem into a list before you leave.
Work together to write a poem about their favourite playground or piece of playground equipment. To help brainstorm, go there first to remember what the playground looks and feels like. Take a picture to help with inspiration once you’re at home sitting down to write – or even better, write the poem from the park bench and share with other kids at the playground!
Planet Earth poem
Watch a nature documentary like Planet Earth (or clips from the documentary on YouTube) and write a poem about their favourite animal. Encourage them to think about words that describe how the animal sounds, what it looks like, how it moves, where it lives. You can research facts about the animal together if they want more inspiration.
House plant poem
Write a poem about the plants around the house. Compare the different kinds of house plants and notice what makes them unique – colours, textures, shape, size, even smell! (Not too far a stretch to use this as an opportunity to teach them how to take care of the plants, too).
Draw a nature poem
Read some kid-friendly nature poems from this awesome selection on Poets.org. Have them choose a favourite and illustrate it!
Experiment with form! Check out Young Writers’ Poetry Glossary for inspiration – we suggest acrostic, limerick, or haiku if you’re looking for something with more structure to guide you through these activities.