There’s nothing like having a comfy, quiet space to enjoy reading a good book. In order to spark an interest and engagement in reading with our kids, the same idea applies. When it comes to teaching your child to read, finding a special reading space promotes quiet and calm and is particularly good for children who struggle to concentrate.
A reading nook doesn’t need to cost hundreds of dollars or follow the latest design trends, but we’ve looked into some of the recommendations from My Little Bookcase and Creatingalearningenvironment.com to firm up our ideas. Here are our tips on setting up a reading space for kids:
Light – Set up a space in a light-filled room. Use lamps when required to create a warm, ambient glow. There should be enough light to be able to read the books easily but also create a lovely atmosphere.
Enclose a space – Children love the idea of a ‘cubby’ or a secret space just for them. It’s also nice to enclose a space within a larger room, so their reading nook is easy to identify. Different ways to do this are to set up a tent over a few floor cushions. Other ideas are to take the doors off a cupboard and deck out the shelves with books, adding seating into the bottom. We love this version by Playtivities.com
Make it cosy – By adding floor cushions, soft toys and throw rugs, the reading nook will become a favourite place to ‘chill out’ and relax after a day at daycare or school. Adding comfy elements will also allow the child to ‘make it their own’.
Add some books – Make sure that books are at your child’s eye level. Find different ways of storing the books, such as in baskets and bins. Mix up the books so that a selection of their book collection are sitting in the reading nook. A great idea is to ask your child to select which books are brought into the reading nook at a time and when they should be swapped for new ones. This promotes ownership of the space. Other ways to store books is to create a reading bench, such as that featured in Creatingalearningenvironment.com. A simple idea of turning a bookshelf on it’s side, adding a padded top and filling it with books creates a beautiful and cost effective DIY reading bench. We love this!
So that’s it! A reading nook doesn’t need to be over-engineered, it just needs a few basic elements to become part of your child’s learning journey.