Fostering a love of reading is effectively giving your child a gift that will last a lifetime. With a book in hand, your child can take grand adventures without ever leaving the safety of her own space, learn about the world around her and develop crucial comprehension and cognitive skills. Providing your little one with a cozy, comfortable space dedicated to spending time with books is a great way to influence and encourage her to read, and doesn’t have to be a major project. These tips can help you create a book nook in just about any quiet space of your home.
Keep it Comfy
When your child is reading a book for fun, you want her to feel comfortable and cozy. Skip the hard chairs and opt for seating that will allow her to curl up any way she pleases. Floor cushions and a nest of pillows create a soft place to hide with a favorite tome, and are easily accessible for little ones. Bean bags are also a favorite for seating, as are small daybeds raised very slightly off the floor.
Keep Shelving Accessible
In order to encourage reading for fun, make sure that your child is able to quickly and easily grab her favorites without help from a tall person. Shelving should be short enough for your child to reach even the top shelf, unless there are special books that you’d rather look at together stored out of reach. Make sure that your child doesn’t feel inspired to climb her shelves like a ladder in order to avoid asking for help, either. Independence-driven kids may be eager to do things for themselves, but they don’t always take safety risks into consideration. It’s also wise to make sure that shelving units are securely anchored to the wall to prevent tipping, just to be on the safe side.
Pitch a Tent
A well-made tent, a DIY canopy, a tee-pee or any other fabric edifice you can think of is an easy way to carve out a special space for reading in your child’s room. Making the space feel dedicated to time spent with a book and like a relaxing retreat is key, as is adding to the feeling of adventure. A single floor cushion inside a round canopy can feel like a castle to imaginative kids, so don’t shy away from draping fabric around things to create a little reading haven.
Consider the Closet
Adults often feel cloistered and crowded in small, cramped spaces, but kids seem to love them. Taking the door off of a seldom-used closet, outfitting the walls with safe, accessible shelves and padding the floor with cushions is a quick way to turn otherwise wasted space into a comfortable and cozy book nook. You may even be surprised at how tempted you are to curl up with your own favorite book after the kids go to bed!
An inspirational quote or two is a great way to add ambiance to any space, especially one designated for reading. Frame a quote about the love of books, or paint it directly onto the wall of your child’s space. Create a collage of favorite quotes for your child to add to as she reads, and encourage her to copy her own favorite lines from the books she reads on index cards for hanging up in her reading nook. Not only will she be surrounded by inspirational phrases, but she’ll also be inspired to keep reading so she can add to the quote collage.
Let There Be Light
When you’re planning a little corner of the house for your child to escape to with a good book, it’s easy to overlook the more practical details. No matter what design you use or how you create a space for your child, make sure that there’s plenty of light for her to read by in order to reduce eyestrain. Reading in the dark is no fun for anyone, and it can lead to headaches and other issues if your child is determined to read in her new nook despite the lack of light.