Have you ever wandered around the kids section of a bookstore or library and thought…gosh, this is cute!? Wish you could re-create a similar feeling at home for your own little ones? You can and here’s how:
- Determine an area of your house where you’d like to develop a reading center. Get creative. It doesn’t have to be in a bedroom or the living room. We developed a reading nook in my daughter’s closet–complete with comfy chair and a pile of books. Add a lamp and pretso–a reading nook! Other ideas: an extra wide hallway or loft, a kitchen corner or a basement playroom.
- Gather your collection of little people books. Develop a library style system of organizing them. One option is to put like books with like books….all of your “Fancy Nancy” books in one section and your “Berenstein Bear” books in another. Or, you could group them by subject area. We used plastic bins and labeled them with the subject, “Nature,” “Manners and Feelings,” “Animals and Pets,” Finally, another suggestion would be to group books by color or size. Get your kids involved with this process. It might take a bit longer but they will learn valuable organizational skills.
- Add new books periodically. That doesn’t mean running out to buy new ones. It may mean not displaying your entire collection at once (save some for a rainy day) or picking up a few new titles at the library.
- Mix up the reading material you provide. Ask for a subsription to a kid magazine as a Birthday gift and keep the current issue in the book nook. Let them read junk mail and catalogs.
- Once your library system is established it’s time to accessorize! A bookshelf is a must–or, if you don’t feel comfortable with bookshelves + kids consider a book sling, book ledge, buckets, baskets, or storage ottomans. Add some comfy kid-sized seating, a throw pillow or two, rug, a reading lamp, and a bookmark or two (just to feel grown-up).
- Consider adding a poster or other art work of kids reading. Better yet, take some photos of your kids with books–frame them–and hang in your kids’ book nook.
Now what? It’s time to use that cool area you just created. So, each day set aside some time for your kids to spend in their book nook. It works best if it’s the same time every day…say before nap or while you’re preparing dinner. Better yet, join them! If you want to raise a reader, they need to see you reading a least some part of the day (and they need to be read to as well). Monkey see-monkey do, right?