[P]arents, you know I am a big fan of reading to your kids. Today, I have invited Kelsey Reaves of Modernize.com to give us some great ideas on creating reading spaces for our children.
When setting up a reading space, start with the personality of the child. Knowing your child’s personality will increase the odds of getting it perfect. Introvert or extrovert? Recharges alone or is energized by crowds?
If you are reading this, the chances are high that your child is either: A) a bookworm, B) a reluctant reader, or C) perhaps a bit of both.
Fitting into the “A” category, I was definitely a bookworm and left piles of books wherever I went. When I was young, my mother followed the trail of books like breadcrumbs until she found me in my latest reading lair. Today my “future reading” pile is nearly the height of my nightstand. (Hmm…I wonder if I really need the nightstand.)
For the avid reader who is quickly immersed in a good book, a small solo space is all that is needed. Once the pages are turning, this child has joined the author’s world and the adventures have begun.
If you have a reluctant reader, a designated reading space can be more important. It needs to beckon to a child and often sets the mental stage for reading.
With this in mind, envision your child in the reading space. Is it light, dark, quiet, loud, private, or public? Is it a cozy nook indoors or an airy treehouse in the backyard? The perfect reading environment transports a reluctant reader even before a book is opened. Like a circus ringmaster, it says, “Come one, come all! Discover the wonders within!”
Private Spaces for Reading with Your Kids
Private spaces can be within the child’s room, a corner of the den, or even under the stairs. A snug enclosed area allows a child to follow the story without distraction.
It’s also a good idea to include plenty of handy storage. Whether to lay aside a current favorite or organize a larger reading space, book baskets and shelves make it much easier for kids to find what they want or pick up where they left off.
Public Spaces for Reading with Your Kids
Open reading spaces that accommodate a number of readers are great for having friends over. Families with children of different ages (and reading interests) can each find a special corner of a large open space and feel like they are reading together even if they are each immersed in their own book.
Your local library may have a really fun and creative children’s section that you can emulate in your own home. What child wouldn’t jump at the chance to use a reading igloo made from books?
You can also make DIY bookmarks or pillows with your child to add to the excitement your child feels when it’s time to crack open a book.
Outdoor Reading Spaces
As with indoor reading spaces, outdoor spaces need to be comfortable and have good light and protected book storage.
Using an old trampoline for a child’s reading area is genius. Not only does it move, but it might even turn into a favorite nap-time space.
Use these ideas or invent your own to create a reading space for your child. There are tons of possibilities. The key is to know your child’s preferences and foster their love of reading. If all else fails, invite them to cuddle up in “mom and dad’s bed” and they will be thrilled to have some special reading time with you.
For more design ideas and inspiration on reading with your kids, head to Modernize.com.