Category Archives: poetry

Poetic Play: Week Two

Welcome to the second week of Poetic Play! If you missed the introductory post, Preparing for Poetic Play, I suggest you begin there and then return to this week’s poem. It will tell you everything you need to know. If you’d like to play along with us, you’re welcome to grab this graphic.

Have fun playing!

T H I S    W E E K ‘ S    P O E M

The whistling postman swings along,
His bag is deep and wide,
And messages from all the world
Are bundled up inside.

The postman’s walking up our street.
Soon now he’ll ring my bell.
Perhaps there’ll be a letter stamped
In Asia. Who can tell?
-author unknown-

I M A G I N A T I O N   S T A T I O N
* Build a cardboard post office with this free pattern found at Happy Hearts at Home. (How fun is this?!?!)
* Sew a messenger bag for your little postal worker with this tutorial from MMM Crafts.
* Fabric envelopes will last much longer than paper in your playroom (and make less mess!) See this tutorial by Jennifer Casa at Sew, Mama, Sew, and this one by Kelly of {MAKE} for ideas and inspiration.
* Learn to whistle.
* Create a letter writing station. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Miko Design
Future Craft Collective
Katherine Marie Photography
The Sleepytime Gal

The Write Start

H A P P Y   H A N D S
* Find a pen-pal.  It could be a relative, a friend, a senior in your local nursing home, or a missionary kid on the other side of the world.
* Write a thank you note to the postman.
* Start a stamp collection.

K I T C H E N   C R E A T I O N S
*Whip up a tasty treat for your postal worker. Attach your thank you note and put it in your mailbox.

* Decorate a small cardboard box and make a mailbox for your family. Your little one can be the mail carrier and deliver the notes you write to one another.
* Design your own stamps with these friends of the USPS.

B O O K   B A S K E T
*Mailing May, by Michael O. Tunnell
*Seven Little Postmen by Margaret Wise Brown
* The Post Office Book by Gail Gibbons
* Will Goes to the Post Office by Elisabeth Dyssegaard
* To the Post Office with Mama by Sue Farrell
*Delivering Your Mail by Ann Owen
* A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats

T A K E   T O   T H E   S T R E E T
*Contact your local post office and see if they’ll allow you to take a tour.

T R A V E L   T H E   W O R L D
* Locate Asia on the map. Find out how much it costs to mail a letter and how long it will take to get there.

Have fun playing this week!

p.s. I’m in the process of compiling a directory of free online Montessori resources and printables, along with tutorials for making your own Montessori manipulatives. Hope you enjoy!
Click below to see the directory.


Poetic Play: Week One

Welcome to the first week of Poetic Play! If you missed Saturday’s post,  Preparing for Poetic Play, I suggest you begin there and then return to this week’s poem. It will tell you everything you need to know. If you’d like to play along with us, you’re welcome to grab this graphic.

Have fun playing!


T H I S   W E E K ‘ S   P O E M

Of A Spider
by Wilfred Thorley
1878 – 1963

The spider weaves his silver wire
Between the cherry and the brier.

He runs along and sees the thread
Well-fastened on each hawser-head.

And then within his wheel he dozes
Hung on a thorny stem of roses.

While fairies ride the silver ferry
Between the rose-bud and the cherry.

N O T E   T O   P A R E N T S: Before beginning any of these activities with your child, be sure to talk about spider safety.  Remind your child that while some spiders are harmless, others can be quite dangerous.  Certain activities like the sensory bin should be skipped if you are concerned that your child might not understand the difference between handling toy spiders and real spiders.

P O E T R Y   J O U R N A L
Click on the poem (at bottom of post).  Select “Print Preview” in your browser. Adjust the size of the image to suit you. Print, cut out, and glue into your poetry journal.  Have your child illustrate the poem on the same page or the facing page. You may also want to print a few extra copies to place around the house to remind you to recite the poem to/with your child so that it becomes familiar. You might place a copy on the bathroom mirror, the kitchen table, or in the car.

H A P P Y   H A N D S
* Try one of these weaving activities from Let The Children Play and weave your own web, great or small.
* Use transparent tape to make a sticky spider web. Take turns tossing pom-poms or cotton balls at the web to make them stick.
* Sculpt spiders out of play-dough or modeling clay.

C U L T I V A T I N G   C H A R A C T E R
* Watch this AMAZING video of a spider weaving its web. Discuss perseverance and/or diligence.

O U T D O O R   O D Y S S E Y
* Go on a web hunt. See if you can find all four major types. (Be careful not to disturb the spider! This should be done ONLY with adult supervision for safety, of course!)
* Catch a spider web with these instructions from The Magnifying Glass. Alternatively, you can simply mist them water to make them easier to see without disturbing them.
* Visit a local nursery and find both a rose bush and a cherry tree. Purchase one (or both) and enjoy planting them as a family.
* Build a fairy house. If you need inspiration, look no further.

N A T U R E   T A B L E
* The book, Spinning Spiders, by Melvin Berger
* Life Cycle of a Spider printable from Kidzone.
* Stems from a rose bush (watch the briers!) and/or a cherry tree.
* Observe a non-poisonous spider in a large jar for a day or so.

S E N S O R Y   B I N
* stretchable spider webs
rubber/plastic spiders and insects for play (check your local dollar store)
* sticks and rocks

* Make a mischevious walking spider with this simple tutorial {Highlights Kids}
* Craft thumbprint spiders and string webs {DLTK’s}

K I T C H E N   C R E A T I O N S
Here are a few fun spidery snack ideas:
* cracker spiders at From An Igloo
* chocolate pretzel webs at Mom Endeavors
apple spiders at Almost Unschoolers

 B O O K    B A S K E T
1. Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
2. The Very Busy Spider, Eric Carle
3. Miss Spider’s Tea Party, David Kirk
4. Are You A Spider?, Judy Allen and Tudor Humpries
5. The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Iza Trapani
6. Be Nice To Spiders, Margaret Bloy Graham
7. Spectacular Spiders, Linda Glaser
8. Diary of a Spider, Doreen Cronin

preparing for poetic play

When I was a child, we had a fascinatingly plump book of poetry for children that rested on the dark corner shelf of our family room and I remember many balmy afternoons spent, legs curled beneath, thumbing through its pages and drinking its sweetness. Even from childhood, I recall the wonder of that moment when a newly discovered poem stirred my senses and tilled my imagination.

We are blessed with a great grandmother with a veritable treasury of rhyme and cadence in her head and heart and every now and then, something stirs her and she slips easily into recitations from her own childhood, the words and wonder dripping from her lips while everyone leans in for the listening. And in these moments I’m reminded of the gift of poetry and I long to fill my daughter’s mind and heart with its beauty and joy. But how? She’s three and busy and moving all the time. And then the idea came to me: What if poetry came off the page and filled her hands and heart in a new way? What if we “lived” a poem…just one simple poem…for a week or even a month? And the more I toyed with the idea, the more excited I became about the possibilities and I thought that just perhaps, someone else might enjoy playing with poetry too.

On Monday, I’ll begin sharing my ideas for poetic play. All you really need to begin is a journal (something child-sized) and an imagination. I’ll bring the poetry and the inspiration. I plan to begin each week with a new poem but please don’t feel rushed. Go at a pace that suits your child. You may “play” a certain poem for a month, and another one for only a day or so. It’s entirely up to you. Choose one or two activities or do them all. Your choice entirely. The most important thing is to have fun.

I N T R O D U C I N G   T H E   P O E M: Whether you spend a few days or an entire month on the poem, don’t get so busy with the activities that you forget to bring your child back to the poem each day.  Depending on your child’s age, you should determine whether your goal is memorization, or simply a friendly familiarity with each poem by the time you finish the activities.
* Consider reading the poem aloud for the first time while your child has busy hands but is likely to be attentive. Mealtime or bathtime work well for us.
* Don’t try to explain every word of the poem the first time through. You’ll have plenty of opportunities for vocabulary lessons as you complete the activities. Just allow your child to become familiar with the main idea.
* Depending on your child’s age and attention span, consider asking them some initial questions about the poem. {Ex: What do you think the silver wire is? What does a brier look/feel like?}

You’ll explore each poem through many of the following:

T H E    P O E T R Y    J O U R N A L
Any blank notebook or journal will do but for little hands, I prefer something spiral bound that stays open easily for drawing and coloring. I’ll provide a printable version of each poem for you to cut and paste into the journal and your child can illustrate it.

I M A G I N A T I O N    S T A T I O N S
Children love to pretend that they are someone or something else. This section will provide ideas for dress-up and role playing.

H A P P Y    H A N D S
This section will include hands-on educational activities corresponding to the poem’s theme.

C U L T I V A T I N G    C H A R A C T E R
Here, we’ll explore any admirable character traits that we can observe in the poem.

O U T D O O R    O D Y S S E Y S
Venture out into nature and explore!

N A T U R E    T A B L E
Children of all ages love to bring nature indoors and a nature table is a wonderful way to display these seasonal collections. If you have limited space, you might consider a nature shelf or basket instead. You can find ideas and inspiration at:
Restoration Place
The Magnifying Glass
A Holy Experience
Homeschooling Ideas
The Laughing Monkey
The Write Start

S E N S O R Y    B I N S
Similar to the nature table, sensory bins are a world of fun for tiny hands and big imaginations. Small rubbermaid containers are great for bins. I’ll provide suggestions for the contents of each bin.

Creative things for little hands to make.

B O O K    B A S K E T  {Peek into our SEASONAL BOOK BASKET }
Recommended supplemental reading to go along with each poem. You should be able to find many of these titles at your local library.

K I T C H E N    C R E A T I O N S
Tasty treats to make and enjoy!

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