Monday, April 17, 2017

Create a Bedtime Haiku Together

A warm April night
Spring peepers begin their song
Windows open wide

Hello again, Moonlighters!  Tonight, let's make poetry together!  In celebration of International Haiku Poetry Day, here's a thoughtful, quiet activity you and your child can do.

A haiku is a poem of seventeen syllables, written in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.  It originated over 1500 years ago in Japan and was popularized and formalized in structure by the great Japanese poet, Bashō.
Basho Horohoroto
Quietly, quietly,/ yellow mountain roses fall –/sound of the rapids. -Bashō
To get started making your own haiku with little ones, worry less about the syllables and focus more on the story.  You can make the syllable aspect mostly about simply clapping the beats and counting as you go.  For older children, explain that haiku poems are about capturing a moment in time, especially as it relates to moments in nature.  Then challenge them to form that into a haiku with the specific syllable structure, 5-7-5.

Writing haiku can be a great way to calm before bed because it forces you to slow down and become mindful of your natural surroundings.  A great haiku will elegantly and colorfully capture a special moment in a certain place.  As we enter the spring months and it warms here in this part of the world, we are starting to get outside and connect more with nature.  Perhaps some moments from your day or from your child's day have a haiku waiting to be revealed!  You can use those moments or think about what's happening in the natural world around you right now while you lie in bed next to each other.

Ok, now it's your turn to create these special poems with your children.  But before we go, here are a couple more we wrote to help get you started!

Fresh green leaves emerge
From the twisted old tree branch
The last dead leaf falls

A robin splashes
In the puddle in the grass
Filled by last night's rain

We want to hear from you.  Leave a comment below with your best bedtime haiku.  Also, you can always find us on Twitter or Facebook!

Have a poetic night, and...mind the nap!

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