April is national poetry month.
Poetry may not be something we think about after we are done with high school english class but it has huge benefits for kids of all ages.
From simple finger plays (here is the beehive, but where are the bees?) to Dr. Seuss to Shel Silverstein, poetry can enhance a child's ability to read expressively, introduces new sounds and provides some creative thinking skills.
Young children benefit from the rhythm of poetry. It exposes them to concepts like rhyme and meter. It is helpful for them to learn to distinguish between certain sounds or phonemes and can encourage them to "play" with language which is crucial for early talking!
Early readers can explore the humor or deep emotion through poetry. It can be helpful for reluctant readers to see whole thoughts in just a few words. It is even easier for them to approach the page as it doesn't appear so daunting.
Kids can learn about imagery. It is exciting to them that poems can be interpreted in any number of ways. And the complex thoughts and emotions that poetry expresses means that the same poem that makes a 2 year old laugh can make a 6 year old imagine and a 12 year old reflect and expand. This makes poetry great for using in multi aged groups like we as nannies often have!
So why not go to the library and check out a book of poems this month! What are your favorites? How do you use poetry in your job?
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live 'em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give 'em.”
― Shel Silverstein