Looking for ways to build reading and writing skills over the summer?  Poetry is the answer!  Children of all ages love the magic, rhyme and silliness that often accompany poems written for children. Many of my favorite children’s poems are written by Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein.Prelutsky books include A Pizza the Size of the Sun and The Dragons Are Singing Tonight.  Both are perfect for all ages of elementary school aged children.  Silverstein’s Falling Up, The Missing Piece, and Where the Sidewalk Ends, include many classics.

 The best place to begin is by joining your child in reading poems aloud together.  Once your child has developed an ear for poetry through listening, encourage him to write his own poetry.  Poetry requires the writer to look at everyday things in new imaginative ways.  Purchase a poet’s notebook and for older children, a calligraphy marker to add to the fun.  Encourage them to experiment with line breaks, punctuation and describing ordinary objects in extraordinary ways.

 Two good websites for kids are: wwwgigglepoetry.com and www.poetry4kids.com/index.php