Reposted with (my) permission from my other blog A Year With Mom and Dad:
I believe poetry has power to develop learning skills in young children that translate across all other avenues of learning. Passive reading of poetry for pleasure is a great start to help kids develop an affinity for the poetic form. Yet understanding the way poetry aids development helps us as parents take a more active role in regularly reading poems (and stories) to our children.
Listening to poetry read aloud helps children 1) recognize rhythm patterns, and verbal phrasings.
The short lines and repetitive phrasings of poetry teach children to 2) chunk information into manageable parts.
As children chunk in
formation while listening, they 3) strengthen their listening skills, as they focus on hearing the various patterns.
Recognizing patterns allows children to start 4) forming logical conclusions about "what comes next?"
Making educated guesses about what rhyming word/phrase comes next (which can be a fun game) 5) develops a child's inferencing skills!
Since poetry is rhythmic and patterned, children easily memorize lines and entire stanzas of poetry (especially when set to music!).
The 6) rhythms of poetry aid in developing memory skills - important for your non-reading toddlers, who must rely on their memory to "accumulate text" (remember what just happened while receiving more new information) to understand a story as they cannot re-read the text.
And of course, these easy-to-learn patterns and rhythms 7) helps children learn any number of other skills, such as counting, vocabulary building, and imagination-stretching!
What are some other ways poetry can help child development?