Encouraging children to read is sometimes just down to creating a space to do it. Here are 5 steps to consider for your own kids’ reading nook.
A child’s reading nook can be a magical oasis from the noisy buzzing and incessant mind-numbing music of today’s video and computer games, but making it appealing to the child is the key to his or her enjoyment. Here are a few things to keep in mind when constructing the ideal space for them that you can live with.
1. Use Great Lighting
Ideally the nook would be bathed in natural light, which is the ideal for most rooms. You also want a variety of lamps and lighting for rainy days and nighttime reading. Lamps should provide enough light to read by but not be glaringly harsh. Light bulbs at 4 to 60 watts are best.
2. Design for Kid Comfort
Coziness is essential to the nook. It’s in the nook by-laws. Create a space your child will want to curl up in. Some kids prefer a nice comfy chair while others like to spread out and recline. A nice chair—suited to your child’s size—with throw pillows and blankets allow your child to achieve his or her perfect arrangement. Throw pillows also accommodate friends, and when you have a spot as great as this one, you’ll want to invite a crowd.
Another thing to keep in mind is a lot of younger kids adore forts. Design your nook with your child’s imagination in mind. A strategically placed sheet or blanket in their favorite color may transform a corner or area under a desk or table into the most amazing spot imaginable to them.
3. A Tactile Dream
Consider adding soft textures to the spot. Kids love tactile experiences such as faux fur, velvet, or baby yarn. While adults may love the livability of burlap and canvas, kids prefer something more luxurious.
4. Ditch the Media Center
While many libraries have ditched the idea of books only and adopted a “media center” moniker, this is a bad idea for your reading nook. Children are still developing their attention span, and if you put things in their fortress of solitude that resemble a carnival with all the buzzing and whirring, you can bet that not much reading will get done. Eliminate the distractions for a more functional space.
5. Make It Convenient
Eliminating distractions is important, but don’t be so zealous in your quest to do so that you place this nook in a spot that removes your child from the family. If he or she views being “sent to the nook” as a sentence along the lines of Alcatraz, it will become more of a punishment than an oasis. Keep it quiet but accessible.
Speaking of accessible, a mini fridge with some snacks or drinks is a nice touch to keep foraging down to a minimum and reading center stage. While you’re working on placing everything they need for some enjoyable reading time in one spot, add a few office supplies too such as a notepad, highlighter, and dictionary. Books should be easily accessible to your children. You don’t want them calling for you every time they want a new read.
Drawn into the magic
Creating the perfect kids’ reading nook is about keeping their interests and desires in mind. Where do they see magic? What are they drawn to? Material is as important as design. Build it with these things in mind and they will come.