April is National Poetry Month. Here are some ways to share the beauty of language with your family. You also can visit poetryfoundation.org for more ideas.
1. DR. SEUSS NATIONAL MEMORIAL AT THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS, Springfield, Massachusetts There is “fun to be done” when you visit this memorial and sculpture garden in the hometown of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Learn what inspired him to pen more than 40 children’s books. Also in residence: Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, the Cat in the Hat and other iconic characters.
2. POETS HOUSE, Manhattan Enjoy learning about new poets or steep yourselves in the beautiful words of your longtime favorites at this site overlooking the Hudson River. The organization’s collection includes more than 60,000 volumes and is among the most comprehensive in the United States. The on-site Constance Laibe Hays Children’s Room serves up kid-friendly performances and encourages the creation of poetry, art, music and dance. Youngsters also will find pecking out their poems on a manual typewriter compelling.
3. GO WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Take the kids to a zoo or animal park and create your own rhymes along the way, taking cues from the shapes, sizes and sounds found in the natural world. Consider drawing pictures to illustrate the creative words. Add to the experience by visiting the website of former Children’s National Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt for poems like “Don’t Think About a Zebra.”
4. ROBERT FROST STONE HOUSE, Shaftsbury, Vermont Nestled on 7 acres, the museum honors the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who lived there from 1920 to 1929. The stone-and-timber home opened as a museum in 2002 and includes the dining room table where Frost composed “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” on a hot June morning. Pair a visit to the museum with a stroll on the adjacent Robert Frost Trail.