A reading nook provides a dedicated place away from distractions that can really help make reading a joy. A good selection of titles, ambient lighting and comfy cushions styled on the floor make a space that children will really love.
Keep kids engaged by rotating the reading matter and adding regular new titles. Storybooks are ideal for under-fives, as they convey the narrative via bold illustrations, pop-ups and flaps, rather than lots of words. For children approaching school age, flash cards are a quirky alternative to leafing through regular books. Your nook should provide an uncluttered space to lay them out too.
Storage solutions that children can access themselves are important. Something like a large storage basket keeps books orderly and gives you the option of moving it out of the way when reading time's over. Another solution is a toy wagon. It's perfect for parking up next to a beanbag on the floor, so they can grab a book whenever they like. If you'd rather use a shelf, try to create a visual display with the covers facing outwards. Under-fives are stimulated primarily by visuals, so help them choose by the cover artwork. Of course they say not to judge a book by its cover, but kids definitely do - so roll with it.
To encourage reluctant readers, or kids who'd rather be playing with toys, characterful cushions can be a really effective lure.
A reading nook needs to entice. For ours, we painted a dark feature wall to enhance the cosy atmosphere and added some decals on the white walls for extra interest. They're a simple solution for a temporary decorative update. Soft lighting is also key. For readers that like to migrate from nook to bed, something rechargable and portable is a fun choice.
The relaxing environment is also great for other low-energy activities such as simple crafts, puzzles and open-ended play. A colouring book or two is always a good standby and adding a table, or a chair they can use as a table, gives a dedicated space for taking activities off the floor too, while a Wobbel Board is ingeniously multi-functional - it can be a stool, a little table or somewhere to rock and read.
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