creating a space for reading
To: the simple heart
When I was an elementary math teacher, I always had a reading space in my classroom. Didn’t matter that I taught math, I wanted my kids to still be able to read during math station time/free time. Why? Because I believe early literacy is the foundation for all learning and integrating reading into other subjects is important to a child’s literacy development. With this in mind, I knew I would create a reading nook for my own children. When I had my son, it was the first thing I really wanted to create in his room.
Reading nooks are a great addition to the home. They create a space that fosters independence, while also providing opportunities for children to discover things through reading. I created this reading tent for my toddler son in his playroom. Even though he is not of the average age to read just yet (he’s not even 2), he still loves to crawl in and look at books. It’s never too early to introduce books to your little (you can even start as early as reading to them in the womb)!
Here are my tips for creating a reading nook:
Find a quiet space or corner free from loud distractions. This can be in your child’s room, a den, or a corner in the living room.
Have books, but not an overwhelming amount. I like to trade out books for my son every month.
Add some cushions or pillows. This gives comfort. Kids will be more comfortable and productive in spaces that feel safe.
Add some good lighting. My son’s room has a large bay window near his tent that lets in a good amount of light. Make sure it’s not too bright and not too dim. Also make sure it’s safe!
Add a favorite stuff animal or two. Reading to a stuff animal can really help children with their literacy skills. Just don’t overcrowd or else they can become a distraction.
Don’t let the toys in! My son sometimes brings his toys in there as a game. We are teaching him that the nook is only for books.
Let your child have a sense of ownership. If your child is at the age where they can decide, let them! Have them take part in creating their space. This will mean more to them than designing a place with a perfect design.
Don’t force them to go in the nook. A reading nook is not a place for timeout, otherwise your child may not ever want to use it. You can include nook time as part of your daily schedule, but never make it feel forced.
What I incorporated to create my son’s nook:
Tent- $20 found on Facebook Marketplace. Don’t underestimate FB marketplace! I have found so many good things on there for resale. It’s probably the only reason I still have a facebook.
“Once upon a time” cushion and large round cushion- both from Target.
Book basket- also Target found on clearance!
Board books- since my son is only 20 months, I put more board books than regular hardcovers.
Literacy phone- used to help children hear their reading! Can be really helpful with language development at an early age.
One of my son’s favorite bears.
Hope you find some inspiration for a reading nook! You can always create a reading space for yourself too, doesn’t just have to be for the kids. Happy nesting!