Virtual Kids Create: Poems of Kindness & Repair


Hello and welcome to Virtual Kids Create! This is a self-paced version of the monthly kids day we host at the Poetry Center and includes age-appropriate language arts workshops for children from infancy to ten-years-old, developed by our facilitators. November's theme is "poems of kindness and repair." The activities include read- and sing-a-longs, and creative writing exercises for pre-school and elementary students. Feel free to use this as a guide to create your own at-home, structured Kids Create, or pick and choose activities you think the kids in your community might enjoy.

Infant to 3-year-old read-a-loud & sing-a-long:

In this video, Kids Create facilitator Kathy Sutton reads books including Horton Hears a Whoo, All of Us, and Giraffes Can't Dance.

Musician Gabrielle Pietrangelo leads a sing-a-long that includes the songs and books "Friends, Friends 123," The Rabbit Listened, and "All Through the Night":

4-6-year-old writing workshop: I Take, I Give

Have you ever been in a fight with a friend or someone close to you, and wanted to make it better? Sometimes we hurt people and feel bad afterwards. It can be painful to know you’ve hurt someone you love. Sometimes all we want to do is show that person kindness, gentleness, and appreciation.

In this activity by facilitator Sophie Daws, young poets are asked to show reciprocity to animals, plants, and other beings in the natural world. After an initial brainstorm, poets are invited to dive into their own writing or use a template to help them get started.

7-10-year-old writing workshop: Repair Poems

“Repair” is a concept with deep and winding roots. It comes from the Latin word reparare, which means to prepare something again. In the Japanese art form of kintsugi, ceramic cracks are filled with gold and silver, and in Judaism the concept of tikkun olam, which means “repair of the world” in Hebrew, is often related to actions for social justice. United States-based movements for land back and reparations seek repair in a country founded on the devaluation of Indigenous and Black land and lifeways.  

In this how-to poem activity by UAPC staff member Wren Goblirsch, poets are asked to write instructions for how to repair something they care about, be it a physical object--like a pair of jeans--or an emotional situation, like an argument with a friend, sibling, pet, or adult.

Photographs by Zdeněk Macháček and Riho Kitagawa.