How to create a reading nook for your kids that they will love.
Today I am going to share some of my best ideas and tips for creating a reading nook. Whether you are a homeschooler or not, these tips will give you all the ideas and tools you need to create a cozy reading nook for your kids that will encourage them to curl up and explore their favorite books.
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Creating a literacy-rich environment
No matter what age your kids are, a reading nook is a key component to creating a literacy-rich environment for your kids. here are many components to reading in addition to the decoding of letters. Many factors contribute to our children’s literacy. Some of the best ways to encourage a love of reading are:
Let your kids see you reading.
As we all know kids do as we do. Picking up a book instead of a phone or other tech is a great way to show your kids that reading is enjoyable. No judgment here when you are on your phone though, sometimes mamma needs to do what she needs to do. A good mix of tech and reading shows kids that reading is also a valuable and enjoyable way to spend time.
Read to your kids often
One-on-one or as a family, read aloud times are one of the most important factors that lead children to love to read and become skilled readers. Of course, bedtime is a popular read-aloud time, but we also love the idea of a morning read aloud at the breakfast table, or having a tea and snack time, like This one that is so popular from Brave Writer, where you read your favorite poetry or stories.
Have your kids’ books displayed in a way that they can easily access them
We are going to dive into creating a reading nook that is specially designed for this purpose in this post, but there are some other ways we love to incorporate your kids’ books into the natural flow of your home. One way to do this is to clear a shelf on your bookshelf that you dedicate to your kids’ books. I also love the idea of sorting your bookshelf into categories or subject matter and keeping adult and children’s books together. This really incorporates a sense of literary inclusion.
Set up hands-on activities
Hands-on activities that encourage and inspire reading and creating from stories and imagination are wonderful for adding another layer of depth to your kids’ literacy experience. I love story cards, puzzles, pens, markers, paper, pipe cleaners, stuffed animals, small figures, and other items that let kids create their own stories from their imagination or inspired by stories they are reading.
Make it cozy
Making a cozy reading spot invites kids to grab a book and stay awhile. When your reading nook is a cozy place to be, your kids will be more likely to gravitate there.
Now let’s take a look at the key parts to creating a kid’s reading nook.
No matter what size you have to create a dedicated reading nook in, you can make one that your kids will love retreating to. Let’s put it all together!
Choose your area– No matter what size space you have to work with you can create a reading nook. You can create a reading nook for your kids in their bedroom, in your living room, a playroom, or even a closet. Here are some inspired ideas for out-of-the-ordinary and/or small space reading nooks:
Make it cozy– Cozy elements are a must in reading nooks. We love adding blankets, pillows, and favorite stuffed animal friends to our nooks.
Lighting and seating– In any reading space you will want to make sure there is decent lighting. If the reading nook is near an outlet, you can solve this simply with almost any lamp. If you don’t have an outlet nearby, you can use a battery-operated lamp or light. Adding twinkle or fairy lights (either battery operated or plug-in) is a great way to light up a kid’s reading nook.
Choose your book storage– When it comes to book storage you can really play jazz here. I like to use baskets or smaller front-facing bookshelves so the beautiful covers are what pops out to young readers.
Keep it new and fresh– When you choose books for your reading nook, try to do so intentionally. I like to keep a few current favorites, a few seasonal books, and a few new books we have from the library or from the bookstore. I check in on the books weekly, rotating any that the kids are bored of for now, and replacing them with books that feature more current interests.
Here is my review of some of our current favorite Winter season books. (I promise to turn my camera to landscape in the future!)
Add in manipulatives- Adding in manipulatives to your kid’s reading nook will encourage storytelling and let kids, especially younger kids, be more interactive with the characters and what is happening in the story. Playing with small figures and scenic items helps children relate a story to themselves and their experiences and also encourages them to create stores of their own.
Keep a booklist-Create a booklist on a chalkboard, a whiteboard, or in a notebook that you store in your reading nook. Keep a list of favorites that you may have borrowed from the library that you want to purchase for your home, as well as a list of books you want to borrow from the library or buy. If you homeschool, it’s a good idea to keep a running list of all the books you and your kids read throughout the year. Keeping this in or near the reading nook makes it easy to jot down titles and quick notes when you are swapping out books.
Keep books organized– In our book nook we always have a mix of library books and books we own. I used to keep these separately and this works still, but I did demise a new method of mixing the books together in a more natural flow, but then immediately adding their due dates to my calendar when I get home. I also keep the list of books in the reading nook booklist notebook. If you want to store these separately in your reading nook, I suggest storing them in a basket, cover facing out, so kids can go through them easily.
Ready to create a reading nook for your kids
Anytime is a great time to create a reading nook in your home, but creating one of these now in the colder Winter months will be especially welcome. Do you have questions about creating a reading nook in your home? Drop them in the comments below!