Poetry and creative writing hold a special place in my heart. I’ve written since I was young, and my Masters thesis was a book of poems (about birds of course!). Despite my experience, I struggled a bit on integrating and sharing that passion with The Wild Child (4) and The Wild Flower (1). The discovery of two wonderful resources helped me make it a priority, and inspired us to create our own tradition called, Poetry Treetime!
WHAT IS POETRY TREETIME?
Well, it’s a combination of two brilliant programs. Juliet’s Bogart’s Julie Bogart’s Poetry Teatime, and The Woodland Trust’s, “Invite a Tea to Tea” After having fun with both this summer, a lightbulb finally went off – we needed to take our poetry outside! Thus was born – Poetry Treetime. The idea is simple: just make some tea, grab a book of poetry and head outside to find a tree to share it all with.
HOW TO HOST YOUR OWN
What you need:
- Tea (or any drink). We like to forage for our own or purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs. We especially like their Fairy Tale Tea and Hibiscus High
- Treats and/or snacks
- A book of poetry (at the end of this post, I provide a list of some of our favorites!)
- Silverware, cups, plates and napkins.
- A blanket
- We always get a little dressed up for the occasion. I have outdoor dresses and other clothes that I am not worried about the kids getting dirty.
- A serving tray, we use this one
What you do:
1. Set up and lay out everything under your tree of choice.
2. We say hi to our tree, observe and talk about what type it is.
3. Open your poetry book and go around the circle, each reading a poem of choice. My daughters can’t read yet, so I have have them point to the poems that look interesting to them. We talk about the poem a bit if that is what feels right. The goal for us is not to over analyze the text, but instead have fun and find joy in the words and experience.
- Be consistent. I recommend choosing a day and trying to stick to it if possible. We’ve chosen Wednesday if you want to join along with us! Tag your photos and experience with #poetrytreetime.
- Poetry is an all weather sport! If it’s not sunny out, I challenge you to bring it outside anyways. Believe it our not, we’ve had Poetry Treetime in the rain and snow 🙂 Yes, it’s more work in some ways, but it’s so worth it. Of course the important thing is that you don’t get discouraged, so if you are inside don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Take it on the road. We’re on the look out for interesting trees in our neighborhood now to have our parties under!
- Make it your own. These are all just suggestions, the goal is to make this a special time for you and your family! So do what works for you.
NATURE POETRY BOOK LIST
To help get you started, I’ve put together a book list filled with some of our favorite nature-themed books of children’s poetry. I wish I’d had this when I first started, because finding good poetry is definitely one of the keys to hosting a smooth, fun Poetry Treetime.
Click below to get a complete list!
THE NATURE-INSPIRED BOOK CLUB
Originally I created the Nature-Inspired Bookclub Facebook Group so I could share my favorite nature-inspired children’s books. A year later, this group has collectively shared and catalogued over 300 nature-themed books for kids!
Join the FB group (it’s free) and get:
- Weekly nature-inspired children’s non-fiction, fiction and poetry recommendations
- Support, resources and ideas for developing a love for literacy, poetry and creative writing
- Nature study activities and extensions
- Recipes and tips on having hosting fabulous Treetimes.
- Access to a community of inspired, nature-loving parents and care takers.
This would be such a fun tradition to share, I can’t wait to see some of your #poetrytreetime!
Your Woman Gone Wild,
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