As adults, we can help the rising generation expand their horizons, try new experiences, gain skills, and discover talents they may not have otherwise known they would be interested in. For this week’s growth skill, it seemed fitting to explore poetry today on National Haiku Day!
Not only does this activity focus on poetry, which seems almost like a lost art these days compared to a few decades ago, but it’s also a great way to get children and teens (and yourself!) talking about things that matter to them and how they feel (if you want more ideas on helping your kids talk about their emotions in a fun, no-pressure way, check out our Emoji Emotions downloadable game!). I specifically invited my nephews to write one of their haikus about their coronavirus experience, and their responses were touching.
My nephews and I decided to come up with three haikus each (see the bottom of this article for a sampling), but we ended up with many more than that!
If anyone is having trouble coming up with a topic for a haiku, try these (while not true to the full essence of haiku, often focusing on nature, they still allow your family to explore the syllabic rhythm):
- Describe something in nature.
- Express gratitude for something.
- Talk about your favorite hobby.
- Share why you love a particular item so much.
- Discuss your coronavirus experiences. (By the way, have you seen our free downloadable coronavirus journaling sheets, including one with a video-game design for the gamers in your life?)
- Share something about your daily routine.
- Describe someone you admire.
- Write about a favorite memory.
- Retell your favorite Disney movie.
- Pretend you’re describing an everyday object to someone who lived several centuries ago and wouldn’t know what it is.
Adaptation: Haiku Conversations
One of my nephews showed a complete talent (seriously impressive) for talking naturally in haikus nonstop!It’s quite the joy to have a conversation with him like that, and it brings so much laughter from his creativity! After writing a few haikus today, try holding a haiku conversation where you can talk only in haikus! So. Much. Fun!!!
This activity starts conversations naturally when you invite everyone to share their poetry. Once you finish haikus, try other poetry forms. How would you describe your current routines in Dr. Seuss fashion, for instance?
Why This Matters
I think most of us have a longing to express ourselves. Written creativity seems to fill a part of our souls. Yet we’re often hesitant to do so if we’re “not writers” or if we’ve “already been writing all day for homework/work.” But this kind of writing is different—it’s more of an expression of our inner selves. What sense of creation will you feel when you take a few moments to express yourself in poetry?
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