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What is the best way to introduce a child to poetry?
Are there specific poets or poems that are good for children?
At what age can a child be introduced to experiencing poetry?
I believe the very best way to introduce a child to poetry is through Dr. Seuss. It may be that his work is nonsense. And that is what children are all about in their learning process...nonsense.
From there I would go to the library with the child and introduce them to borrowed literature, framed in poetry. Once I learned their style and what talked to them the best I would start building their own library.
Poetry is a wonderful way of communication. Writing simply poetry for your very small child is a balm.
The best way is to read funny children's poetry to them. Later, when they learn to read or write, you can have them make up poetry (a couple of lines to start with). Some good poetry books you can start them on are Dr. Seuss books, Shel Silverstein, The Jumblies and Matilda, and any Nursery Rhymes. Children can be introduced at any age. I have a friend who has an almost one year old daughter. The parents always read funny poetry to her and make her laugh. It is really cute.
I too am a huge fan of Dr. Suess but disagree whole-heartedly that it's nonsense. Suess' stories of the Star Bellied Sneeches and The Lorax are just a couple examples of stories that are fun for the kids to read but deliver a great message as well. Silverstein is good to but it may be good to read ahead since some are not exactly for the younger kids.
Having my kids write their own poetry has been great too. They seem to enjoy it and we use it as writing excercises that they get for homework. It is a lot more fun for them than writing in a diary style.
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