In many homes, there are books and magazines everywhere you look – on shelves, in baskets, stacked on side tables. Other families might keep their collection of books out of sight or might not have much of an at-home library. Many parents I know say their children read and do their homework
in their bedrooms. Other families have their kids plop down wherever it’s comfortable to read, whether it’s for pleasure or for school work.
If you have kids around your home, how can you create a reading nook? It’s important to bear in mind that creating a nook goes far beyond identifying a space or an empty corner in your home. If choosing a corner were your only goal, your child’s excitement for reading might be lost. Instead, choose a special space and transform that particular section into an inviting place where your kids look forward to spending time with their books. Where should you start?
Choose a good spot for the nook.
If you’re looking for a parent-and-child space for books before bedtime, consider using a beanbag chair with a basket beside it for books. This could be in your bedroom to make it extra special and promote reading as a family. You can also look for an awkward corner or unused space in your home and transform it to an exquisite reading nook. If you’re wondering where awkward corners could be found, look around the play room, storage areas, under a staircase, or in your living room. A window seat is another option. Remember to investigate outdoor spaces, too. Take a look at the side porch or screened porch for options.
As much as possible, get the kids involved. If they feel a part of selecting the spot, they will likely use it more often than if you simply present them with it. Once you declare the space a reading nook together, that’s exactly what it is. Don’t forget that this can also add to the beauty of your home.
Choose comfy and inviting seating and accessories.
Ideally, your children should be drawn to reading and to the nook, so make it your goal to create a space that’s comfortable and inviting for your kids. Look for appropriate seating accessories that correspond with the age of your kids. Depending on the number of kids and their interests, a mini table-and-chair set might be a good idea. If your kids prefer floor cushions, look for big throw pillows or bean bags. Ask your kids for help in picking the colors and patterns. This will help customize the space and add to the comfort and the beauty of the reading nook. Consider adding a basket, bin, or minimal shelving to store reading material. You might also want to add a small whiteboard so the kids can keep a reading log.
Provide adequate lighting.
While you don’t want a blinding light in a cozy space, appropriate lighting is important for reading and maintaining focus, that is to say, staying awake. In a corner, a floor lamp with multi-directional heads might be a solution. Clip-on lamps are another fun and functional choice. If there’s plenty of natural light during the day, kids might enjoy occasionally using a clip-on book light when the conditions require it. Store that accessory in a bin or basket with the reading materials.
Invest in great books.
Last, but not least: Stock the reading nook with great books and magazines for your kids. Be sure to save a special place for their library card!