I love poems, and reading poetry aloud with children brings it alive in a way it hasn’t been since I used to read “Daddy Fell into the Pond” to my little sister when I was a child.
Last week we were excited to receive our own copy of The Puffin Book Of Utterly Brilliant Poetry, which in the past we’ve enjoyed at poetry teas with friends. The book was passed between C and J on most of our car journeys last week as I was entertained by one classic poem after another. (Brian Patten’s “The Race To Go To Sleep” was read about every five minutes!)
Then an email yesterday from Brave Writer’s Julie – the clever inventor of poetry tea! – reminding readers of its benefits, could not have come at a better time. We’ve spent the last week reeling from one theme park to another, making the most of our annual passes while the parks are empty enough for the children to go on their favourite rollercoasters 28 times in a row (I know. Really. But what did I expect from the progeny of two people who spent their honeymoon in Disneyworld?) Anyway, all those topsy turvy days left us a bit out of our usual routine, so poetry tea – complete with home-baked cookies and hot chocolate – was the perfect way to get back into our groove.
Sure enough, several delightful poems later, the children seamlessly moved onto creating their own poems. I love the process of typing as they dictate – it really frees them up to be in the flow of their words without worrying about handwriting, spelling or punctuation (all of which we work on at a different time).
And having seen how quickly words can be got down on a computer keyboard (as I toggled between two open documents, one for each child’s poems), C and J were eager to move onto the next thing on our schedule – touch-typing!