You are never too young for poetry. As young as infancy, our minds can appreciate and learn poetry. From the moment your baby is born, the mind develops. His or her eyes and ears process what is going on before them. You have the ability to begin shaping and developing that mind from the moment you bring your sweet baby home. Poetry will help your baby learn to appreciate the world.
Poetry helps children discover words and language. It becomes the way babies learn how to express themselves and learn how to communicate. Teaching your baby to appreciate and love poetry will help inspire your child with the desire to read. With a few simple things, you can lay the foundation for a life filled with poetry.
Nursery rhymes not only teach kids vocabulary skills but teach them poetry and language skills. Parents using rhymes in a sing song fashion as you move throughout the day exposes infants to rhymes at every turn. There are rhymes that deal with numbers and letters and animals and people. These rhymes give babies and toddlers the information that helps them grow. Rhymes also help sooth babies; the rhythm and cadence can help a fretful baby and a fretful parent.
From rhymes come songs, filled with rhyming words and catchy tunes. Your baby will begin repeating and learning these songs and rhymes and will fill their minds with words and rhythms. These rhythms will naturally lend themselves, as your child grows, to music and creative language development. Take time to sing silly songs as you change a diaper, fix lunch, nurse your baby, prepare them for bed. Any time is an opportunity to fill your child’s ears with the sounds of poetry.
Talk to your baby. Expose your baby to words-- even those that do not rhyme. Give them a vocabulary and share your knowledge with them. Babies brains develop at lightning fast speed and they are always learning. Give them the tools to put names with new concepts. As you expose new words, and as your baby grows, give your baby an opportunity to practice. Rhymes and poetry help create interest in language and in new ideas.
Read your baby small rhyming books. Rhymes are very captivating to babies. It captures their attention and helps their imaginations take flight. As they grow, babies will learn these books and rhymes and “read” them along with you. Exposing babies to these colorful phrases and singsong rhythms will stimulate your baby’s ability to mimic the phrasing and songs and one day baby will be able to sing these rhyming words with you.
Babies and children who have had a love of words and poetry instilled in them can create images and ideas. They begin to find poetry all around them; in nature, in playgroups, in the grocery store. Their minds and their lives become filled with the creativity that poetry brings. Poetry can enrich your baby’s life and instill a love of words and creative writing that will last a lifetime.