Tea Time in our house wouldn’t be complete without adding in a little poetry pizzazz. Aside from the enjoyment of artist and composer studies, learning about manners, and being exposed to different refreshments and flavors of tea on Fridays, we also add in a few poetry readings every week. My daughter is six years old, and not only does she enjoy listening to me read aloud, but she likes having the spotlight on her as she reads poetry aloud.
Why incorporate poetry? Poetry is fun! Poetry has a meter all its own. When read aloud, the beats can be emphasized, rhymes can be played with, and children are exposed to a language from which they can form images in their minds. Not only that, silly poems are simply fun to enjoy and repeat.
Introducing poetry into your own tea time is much easier than you might think. While preparing your tea area, simply set out poetry for your children to read (or have them pick a poem to share) and set on the table a book of poetry for yourself. Once you’ve served the tea and are eating refreshments, take some time to read to one another.
My daughter has enjoyed the beginning reader book Come Play with Me by Margaret Hillert. The poems included are short and contain simple rhymes, and children can relate to the theme of the poems.
I am reading aloud to my children A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. You can download the whole book on your Kindle for free. The poems provide a lot of imagery and we’ve had some great discussions on some of the vocabulary, such as foreign from the poem “Foreign Lands” and the word bazaar from the poem “Travel.” I tend to read one or two poems for casual discussion.
Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to incorporate, I challenge you to pick out a poem or two to share with your children. Have fun discussing the imagery, meter, vocabulary, or rhyme associated with your selection!