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If you’ve been on the homeschooling scene for long, you’ve probably heard about Poetry Teatime.

The concept of Poetry Teatime was created by Julie Bogart of Brave Writer.  There are entire blogs and Instagram feeds dedicated solely to this intriguing phenomenon.

Teaching poetry to our kids no longer means slogging through rhyme schemes and meter while puzzling over obscure Shakespeare references.  It’s become a chance to cozy up as a family, fancy up your table, and delight in reading poetry together over snacks and tea. 

Now doesn’t that sound inviting?

Who wouldn’t want their family to reap all the benefits of being exposed to poetry while also learning to enjoy a traditionally intimidating subject?  If you haven’t heard much about Poetry Teatime yet, I recommend this article  explaining what it’s all about.

Poetry Teatime: tea party setting, Image by karolyn83 from Pixabay

Image by karolyn83 from Pixabay

But What if you’re not really into tea?

What if you want to try Poetry Teatime but feel like you need to ease your way into the tea party concept?  Or what if you’ve tried Poetry Teatime, but you burned out?  What if you need a fresh approach beyond the traditional tea party to get your kids excited about poetry again? 

Here are some fun variations on Poetry Teatime that I think your kids will love:

Poetry Teatime: All About the Food

  • Poetry and Punch 

If your kids aren’t excited about the idea of sipping tea, what about punch?  Bright colors, chunks of fruit, a light fizz, maybe some sherbet.  What’s not to love?  Here are some easy kid friendly punch recipes to get you started.

  • Poetry Treat Time 

If fancy drinks aren’t your cup of tea, what about focusing on the food?  Poetry Treat Time still has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?  And you can go with traditional tea party foods or shake it up a bit with family favorites.  Here are some easy inexpensive ideas for adding treats to your poetry experience.

  • Poetry and Popcorn

If you’re looking for something kid pleasing and ridiculously easy Poetry and Popcorn is for you.  This may become a fun part of your family culture, and all you have to do is pop some corn and read  some poetry while your kids snack.  Heck, you could even buy it pre-popped and the fancy alliteration still stands.  Keep it simple or experiment with new flavors.  Here are some ideas if you feel like kickin’ it up a notch.

There’s also a pop-ular (see what I did there?) poetry activity using the five senses called popcorn poetry.  Here is one person’s example of how to do it.

  • Poetry Pizza Party

What kid doesn’t get excited about pizza? (well, one of mine hates pizza, but four outta five ain’t bad).  It’s the quintessential celebratory food of childhood.  If you want kids to learn to have a positive relationship with poetry, associating it with the fun of a pizza party should do the trick.  Once a week too much? Go for once a month and really build up the anticipation.  Invite friends, include dad, and party it up.

Poetry Teatime: Fresh Experience

If just mixing up the food and drink isn’t enough of a change for your taste, here are some ideas for a fresh experience. 

  • Poetry Picnic

Any time you can take your learning outside, it’s a nice change of pace for everybody. 

Why not try a poetry picnic?

  You can keep it simple and take it to the back yard, or pack up and head to a favorite park.  Pack a lunch, spread out a blanket, and read poetry under a shade tree.  If the weather isn’t cooperating, try a picnic on your living room floor.  With little kids, they can invite their Teddy Bears along.   You can introduce them to the Teddy Bear Picnic Song, which is poetry in its own right. They will never forget it. 

Poetry Teatime, girl with Teddy Bear, Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

  • Pop Music Poetry

If your kids are older, they may enjoy learning to appreciate poetry through the lens of pop music.  They may be intimidated by the thought of poetry, but chances are they’re already memorizing it.  I’ll bet they can spout off their favorite song lyrics without a second thought.  Here is an article with ideas on how to teach various poetic elements using popular music.

If current pop music is a little too edgy for your kids, you can always look for the same elements in classic patriotic songs and folk music. 

  • Poetry Painting

I find this to be a fascinating concept and can see kids of all ages playing with this on different levels.  If you’re interested, this is an article comparing the visual arts with poetry.

One way to approach showing poetry off in a visual format is to learn to write concrete poems or shape poems. Here is an image search to give you more examples.

You could even take it one step further and create an illustration based on a favorite poem.  Here are some examples of famous paintings that were inspired by poems (preview for content).

Invite fellow homeschoolers to participate and come together to put on a visual poetry gallery. 

  • Open Mic Poetry Party

If your kids have a flair for the dramatic and enjoy being in the spotlight, it might be fun to host an open mic poetry party.  Kids can take turns reading or reciting their favorite poems.  They may even choose to read original poems. 

Remember to teach them how to show appreciation by snapping their fingers after each reading. Here’s an article to walk you through setting up your own open mic poetry party.

This is a nice list of poems elementary students may enjoy reading aloud.

Girl reading a book, Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Here’s a re-cap:

  • Poetry and Punch
  • Poetry Treat Time
  • Poetry and Popcorn
  • Poetry Pizza Party
  • Poetry Picnic
  • Pop Music Poetry
  • Poetry Painting
  • Open Mic Poetry Party

Thanks for Listening, friend.

Read about a heart-based education here.

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