p o e t i c * p l a y

When I was a child, we had a grand plump book of poetry for children that rested on the dark corner shelf of 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 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.

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. You’ll explore each poem through some 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 S E A S O N A L    B O O K    B A S K E T }
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 EN    C R E A T I O N S
Tasty treats to make and enjoy!

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One response to “p o e t i c * p l a y

  1. I’m so doing this! Even though my little one is only 18-months, I think she will still have fun and who’s to say we can’t do it again year after year? What a fantastic idea! Thank you so much for putting this all together. You rock. 🙂

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