Parents know all too well the challenges of keeping kids engaged and entertained over summer vacation, and getting them to pick up a book is often impossible. This can make the transition back to the traditional classroom or home school even tougher as their reading skills are usually a bit rusty.
Cincinnati’s own Julie Bogart, creator of Brave Writer, (the writing and language arts program for families), has compiled an anthology of classic poems that celebrate the joy of reading poetry aloud as a family. “Poetry Teatime” is rapidly catching on around the world with families and children ages 4-13. More than 10,000 photos are posted to the #poetryteatime hashtag on Instagram.
Says Bogart, “The summer is the perfect time of year to draw children away from electronics while engaging them in reading. Poetry Teatime creates a family ritual that fosters a playful appreciation of poetry. Whether it’s a Friday night with a big bowl of popcorn for Family Poetry Night, or on a Saturday morning with Pancakes and Poetry or a sunny, Sunday afternoon with tea, lemonade and cookies, ‘Poetry Teatime’ provides much needed downtime for the entire family – taking everyone away from ‘hustle and bustle’ of a busy household. Our website is filled with heartwarming stories from families who’ve bonded over this magical experience. And once the kids get hooked, it typically becomes a weekly family tradition that continues year-round.”
Bogart’s web site features a variety of free resources designed to help parents enhance their tea parties, including: tips on “how to” structure a successful tea party, suggestions for fun, summer themes, and yummy recipes that the entire family can create together—check out: Summertime Strawberry Bars, Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream, and Earl Grey Blueberry Lemon Cake. Each one is assured to delight the taste buds as the other senses are engaged by the sights of the delightful table and melodic sounds of the written word.
Her Poetry Teatime Companion book includes 52 engaging and entertaining poems from a variety of poets on topics including the seasons, nature, constellations and solitude. The poems are accompanied by beautiful, water-color pictures to invite imagination.
Some additional suggested reading materials sure to keep the children engaged and entertained include:
Any books by Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein, or Dr. Seuss
When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You by John Ciardi
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer
Forest Has a Song Amy Ludwig Vanderwater
Bogart is hosting a series of “Poetry Teatimes” this summer throughout Greater Cincinnati at the following locations. Please note that registration is required due to limited space.
Wednesday, June 27
The Blue Manatee Bookstore
3094 Madison Road
Cost is $8 per child. No charge for parents.
Tuesday, July 3
College Hill Coffee Company
6128 Hamilton Avenue
Drinks and snacks may be ordered off the menu.
To view the Poetry Teatime video, or download the FREE Quick Start Guide or order the Poetry Teatime Companion book, visit poetryteatime.com. To register for any of the local “Poetry Teatimes” taking place here in Cincinnati this summer, visit. http://poetryteatime.com/blog/poetry-teatime-in-cincinnati. Space is limited.
Follow Poetry Teatime on Instagram @poetryteatime and on Facebook facebook.com/poetryteatimefamilies.