Saturday, August 10, 2013

Make a Cozy Reading Area in Your Child's Room

One of the best ways to encourage reading is access to books coupled with an inviting space to read. 

This is the reading space in Natalie's room.  She has a comfy spot to sit right next to the books.  One of the nice things about this spot is that it is hidden behind her bed making it a private nook.  Natalie likes to pull out her books and "read" them, sometimes telling the story she knows and other times making up a new one.  Sometimes she packs books in her back pack playing library and other times she reads bed time stories to her dolls.  Its great fun to hear her yell out "Knuffle Bunny" or come back into the room to find a book mess. 

 For this picture, I straightened up a bit.  When she plays with her books, they aren't stacked as neatly.  I do recommend making one bin for only library books.  This helps them from getting lost.  Natalie also has a bucket just of princess books with the rest of her books in a stack to the side.  

William's cozy spot is about reading together.  We have a blanket on the floor to designate the space (and make the floor more comfortable on your legs) The pillows are for leaning or sitting.  William always sits on the turtle.   William recently sat Brobee there (on the left) to listen to stories with us.  Usually Mike or I sit in the middle with William on the turtle and William leans in.

We keep a smaller selection of books available for William since he is younger and more easily overwhelmed.  He usually sticks to two or three favorites over a few weeks.  These are mostly library books which we keep in this one spot in his room.  William has only recently started to like longer books(Where the Wild Things Are and Little Quacks Bed Time were instantly able to keep him silent and still for the whole duration).  As we've started to explore those, we keep a variety of board books on hand.   Some times we suggest the titles and other times he pulls them out of the bin himself. 

These are the rest of William's books kept in his bookcase across the room.  I've never seen him play with them or even notice them at all.  When he wants a story, he goes right to the blanket.  So, I occasionally look through the bookcase and swap with the books in his cozy spot. 

One tip I do not use much in the kids' rooms is to display books cover out.  This highlights just a few books at a time, but is much more engaging than the spines. 


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