If your child loves to read books, you should be proud. In this age where everything is digital and, most kids are hooked on gadgets and video games, having a young bookworm at home who likes to curl up with a book is a delight to have. And as a parent, fostering their love for books is essential. The benefits of being an avid reader extend far beyond the sheer enjoyment of getting lost in another world.
So, if you have a bookworm at home, support their healthy habit by creating a reading nook for them. In this article, learn some tips and creative ideas for making reading more comfortable and exciting for your kids.
Encouraging the Habit of Reading
Of the many impactful things you can do for your kids, instilling and promoting reading habits is one of the most important. Reading can benefit your child in many ways – improving vocabulary, increasing empathy, learning new ideas not taught at school, improving concentration, and improving future academic performance. The value of reading will carry on well into adulthood as well.
If you see your child engrossed in a book, let them be. Make room for more books in the house. You can also give them books as a reward or reinforcement for positive behaviors. You may want to include a trip to the bookstore whenever you go to the mall or do errands with them. These steps will create an atmosphere that fosters reading habits in children.
However, another essential step towards promoting this good habit in your children is giving them a dedicated reading space. For example, a comfortable couch or seating of any kind with your kid’s favorite pictures hanging in the background. Or a tent with little fairy lights to create a magical space for the little ones to love reading more is what you can do.
How to Create a Reading Nook for Kids
The best thing about this nook is that you can spend hours with your children and make countless memories to cherish. You can also make it a space where they can get lost in another world and enjoy their own company. Here’s what you can do to create a comfy, cozy, and exciting reading space in the home:
1. Pick up a great spot
The first thing to do is to pick the perfect spot for an ideal reading nook. Do you have a long hallway with an end that is primarily dark and seldom used? Does your child’s bedroom have a little nook that is usually stuffed with toys and unused items? Do you have a closet that is rarely used and remains empty?
If you said yes to any of these, consider it a spot to build a reading nook on. It can be a narrow end in your living room where no chair or sofa fits. It can also be created in the attic if you transform it completely.
The best option is to choose a well-lit space with natural lighting. Also, this spot you are looking for does not necessarily have to be inside. For warm days, your kids can do a lot of reading outside on the lawn with tents and comfortable seating while soaking up the sun.
Once you are done with finalizing the space, it is time for some shopping. Jot down the things you need, depending on the type of your chosen space and the design that suits you best. Gather all the items and start checking off books that your kids always wanted.
2. Create a cozy seating area
Ensure comfortable seating if you want your kids to keep their heads buried in their favorite books. Creating a cozy space to settle in with a book is vital to any reading nook. Reading areas are great for kid-friendly seating, like beanbag chairs, kid-sized furniture, benches, furry rugs, oversized pillows, footstools, ottomans, and even swings. Here are some seating ideas:
- Children love small, unique spaces, so consider creating a reading nook in unused, unusual areas like under the stairs.
- You may also want to create a unique space to read in their bedroom by choosing a side or corner to put up teepees, tents, or canopies. Make sure to add fun and cozy area rugs and pillows to make the reading nook more welcoming.
- You may also want to consider kid-friendly chairs, kiddie-sized couches, or lounge chairs. It would make them really happy to have a piece of furniture that’s especially theirs, and they would surely like sitting on it.
- If your kids are older, it would be best to choose a type of seating area that they could grow into. You can use a sofa bed or a cushioned bench so they can lounge comfortably. You can also opt for a large Papasan chair or a cushion on the floor if they want to be there for long periods of time.
- Bean bag chairs are popular with young and older kids alike. The great thing about them is that they are available in a vast selection of colors, shapes, and designs – you will surely find one that fits your kid’s taste and personality.
- If you are short on space, you can transform your small bedroom by installing a children’s loft bed with a comfy reading nook underneath.
- A swing chair can make a pretty whimsical focal point for a child’s reading nook. You may want to install a chair swing suspended from the ceiling with floating shelves on the wall behind it. If your interior decorating style leans towards organic or boho, you can opt for a macramé chair swing or something made of natural fibers like wicker, rattan, or bamboo. Whichever style you prefer, make sure the ceiling can bear the weight of the swing and your child so they can stay safe.
The most important thing to remember when choosing the seat is that it should be comfortable and appropriately sized for your child.
3. Set up a smart book display
The whole idea of creating a nook is to make the place comfy and lucrative for your kids to spend hours reading. The next big thing you need to do to start the setup is to decide on a storage solution for the books. Since the nook is for kids, make sure they can easily reach anything you set up. You will want the books to be tempting to read and easy for their short arms to grab, so think beyond the traditional bookshelf. Make sure the book storage is placed close to the comfy seating area at a height that’s easy for your little ones to reach. Here are some book storage or display ideas you may want to consider:
- There are many bookshelves and book racks nowadays that are specially designed for kids’ rooms and nurseries, wherein the books are to be displayed with the cover facing outwards instead of being stored with only the book spines showing. By displaying the book covers, you can easily encourage your little ones to try new titles. The fun bonus is that the books instantly add pretty pops of color to the room.
- If you don’t want to buy, you can choose to put up a book rail or newspaper racks – these things can also make book covers easy to see, and they won’t take up a lot of space. You can also make a DIY book bin to let your kids flip through books easier to find the perfect title to read.
- The simple idea is to have floating shelves atop one another underneath a floor cushion, a floor pillow, or beanbag chairs that will serve as the seating or lounging area. If your kid likes to sit on the floor as they read, you can fill up the wall beside it with book storage to make the space come alive.
- You may also want to consider installing a long cushioned bench underneath the windows and make it an open storage bookshelf under the seating. This way, you can make use of the space under the bench as a smart way to store the books, making it easily accessible to anyone who wants to read there.
4. Make sure there is ample lighting
This one is basic to interior design, but it is even more critical when it comes to reading nooks and corners. The ideal reading nook is a place where there’s plenty of natural light, like beside windows, near glass doors, or under skylights. Natural light also brings a positive impact on mental and physical health and even academic success. It can also help prevent fatigue and eye strain.
While natural lighting is ideal, not all homes come with abundant windows. And sometimes, the only available spot for a reading nook is in a less-than-ideal space with no access to natural light. If that’s the case, make sure there is regular overhead lighting coupled with a focused light from a floor, task, or reading lamp. These are some lighting ideas that can make your kid’s reading nook better:
- Look for lamps with adjustable light and brightness. Those lamps that change in color temperature from cooler light to softer, warmer tones for bedtime reading are ideal. A dimmable
- Providing fun lamps and lights can also make the reading nook more enticing to them. You can add a lava lamp, a fun chandelier, repurposed holiday light, or pretty fairy string lights to make their reading corner feel extra special.
- If you’re using a teepee or a canopy as a reading nook, get creative by hanging up fairy lights that drape down to make a magical space they would love to stay in all night.