Virtual Kids Create: Spooky Poems & Stories


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 incredible facilitators. October's theme, in celebration of Halloween, is "spooky poems and stories." 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  Room on the Broom, Whoo-Oo Is It?, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, and King Jack and the Dragon:

Musician Gabrielle Pietrangelo leads a sing-a-long that includes the songs "Pumpkin Patch/Mi Jardin," "Halloween is Coming Soon," "Five Little Pumpkins," and "The Monster Mash":

4-6-year-old writing workshop: Ode to the Monster Under My Bed / Odes to Face Our Fear of the Dark

"Are you afraid of the dark?" writes facilitator Sophie Daws, "When the lights go out in your bedroom at bedtime do you imagine creatures? Do you imagine a boogie monster under your bed? Or a ghoul in the closet? Many of us imagine spooky, scary creatures in the dark—you’re not the only one who is afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of the dark sometimes, too."

In this prompt, young writers are encouraged to talk to the monsters under their bed by writing an ode to them. Using a fun, fill-in-the-blank template, participants are inspired to think about the experiences and feelings of those monsters, and consider what they might have to teach and share with us.

Image by Freestocks.

7-10-year-old writing workshop: Haunted House Stories

"There are haunted houses (and other haunted buildings!) all over the world," writes UAPC staff member Wren Goblirsch, "Many spooky stories are associated with Himeji Castle, in Japan, including that Osakabehime, a mind-reading yōkai, inhabits the towering white fortress. Bran Castle in Romania is said by some to be the original home of Dracula, whereas it’s believed that the ghost town of Al Madam, in the United Arab Emirates, is haunted by djinn. The staff and actors at Puerto Rico’s Teatro Tapia have not only seen apparitions, they’ve also heard footsteps and even a choir of ghostly voices! Here in Tucson, Hotel Congress is said to be haunted, including by a man in a top hat."

In this exercise, young writers are asked to craft a story from the perspective of a haunted house or building. Through this, they are able to consider how the house became haunted, how it feels about its haunted status, and if it's friends with any of the ghosts that inhabit its walls or other haunted buildings in its' town!

Cover image by Łukasz Nieścioruk.