The AVBOB Poetry Competition | Why Writing Inspirational Poems Is a Fantastic Creative Hobby for Kids

Why Writing Inspirational Poems Is a Fantastic Creative Hobby for Kids

Believe it or not, most of us have been surrounded by poetry all our lives. Nursery rhymes, for example, were part of our early years, as they are used for language acquisition and the development of speech. Not only is the repetition of these rhymes and songs excellent for memory, the recognition of patterns, and listening skills, but they evoke strong emotions in children. Most importantly, poetry is fun, and few activities generate the excitement that singing and acting out the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” does. With this foundation in place, many children will come to appreciate song lyrics, as well as the written and spoken word in any artistic form.

This is where parents and caregivers can begin to instil a love for inspirational poems into their children, and thus reap the benefits thereof. Below, we explore the advantages of introducing your children to inspirational poetry, as well as how to start the journey.

Building a Confident Voice

A few decades ago, children were raised to be seen and not heard, which for many kids, meant that their emotional development was suppressed too. Today, thankfully, parents understand early childhood emotional development better than ever and how important emotional intelligence is when it comes to future success. Socio-emotional milestones and skills, however, are only achieved when parents and caregivers actively take part in the positive development of these skills.

One method of promoting emotional intelligence in children is through helping them find and build their voice. This means the ability to speak about what they are feeling, identifying and regulating their emotions, and navigating a wide range of relationships and situations. Poetry is helpful here because it relies on honest expression and using one’s voice boldly. Reading and writing their own inspirational poems will enable your little one to share in the opinions of others and form their own opinions without fear of failure.

Get in Touch with Your Child’s Views

As modern lifestyles grow busier and more cluttered, children are often left in the care of television screens or passive entertainment. Not only does this stifle creativity, but many caregivers are simply no longer in touch with who their children are. Because poetry explores topics often too vague or difficult to traverse during polite conversation, it is the ideal platform for connection between parents and their kids. Your child’s favourite inspirational poems can be a great conversation starter and give you a better idea of their headspace. You could also ask to share in the stories or poetry they write and ask thoughtful questions about their art to gain perspective on how they view the world.

Reading Child-Friendly Inspirational Poems at Home

While children (and even plenty of adults) enjoy the works of famous children’s authors, such as Dr. Seuss, there are many examples of mature inspirational poems that may be meaningful to children as well. These might mildly touch on more challenging topics, such as death, loss, or injustice, or carry metaphors you may need to explain to your children, but it is still well worth it to explore them.

Writing Prompts for Inspirational Poems

Poetry need not just focus on language development alone; it can incorporate numerous other skills, such as sensory development and memory. If your child would like to write their own poems but requires some direction, there are several writing prompts that act as a superb starting point, such as:

  • Their five senses
  • A favourite memory
  • A poem for someone else on a special occasion, such as Mother’s Day or a birthday
  • Colours
  • Animals and nature
  • Their biggest dreams
  • The ideal adventure
  • Someone they miss
  • Something they want to invent or create
  • A lesson learnt that week
For children, representation matters. It is essential that your child is able to express themselves in a language and setting with which they feel most comfortable. This is why our poem library here at The AVBOB Poetry Project includes inspirational poems from local writers in all 11 official languages. We invite all South Africans (of any age) to explore this collection of thousands of poems and participate in this meaningful movement. If you would like to discover new and interesting poetry together with your child, simply click here to view the entries.