If you are a passionate reader, you know the thrill that can fill you when you pick up the right book and curl up on a porch swing. As you watch the children in your life becoming familiar with books, it’s likely you want the same for them. These ideas will help you to inspire those young minds in subtle and appealing ways through the creation of the perfect kids’ reading nook within your home. If you’re not a great lover of reading [yet!], then these ideas are not only for those children, but for you. (featured image via Sew Liberated)
Step 1: Find a place for your space.
While it would seem simplest to throw a cushion in the middle of the playroom and call it good, really give this space some thought. Will it be outside? Inside? In which room? A reading space should be easily accessible but relatively quiet, clean, and away from high traffic areas. Good light is also an important aspect of a reading environment and certainly something to consider if you are limited in light sources. If you’re wondering how to work the space into a room, check out the photo inspiration and tutorials on these 6 slides:
- slide 1: kids reading canopy in a corner
- slide 2: simple reading space under the stairs
- slide 3: outdoor reading space
- slide 4: closet reading nook
- slide 5: kids corner reading
- slide 6: book nook on the landing at the top of the stairs
Step 2: Build it from the floor up.
What do you picture when you think of a good reading space? Is it angular and industrial, or soft and natural? This space is going to need some work. Start simply and consider adding “custom” details as you go. Pillows, a few stuffed animals, and a light blanket are great ways to add comfort and style. If you want to get even more creative, consider a few of these ideas for cozy little nooks:
- slide 7: DIY closet bench and bookshelves tutorial
- slide 8: A-frame reading tent tutorial
- slide 9: Super-simple DIY canopy tutorial
- slide 10: Lighted reading space under loft bed
- slide 11: Reading corner bench from pallets tutorial
Step 3: Add to your basic space.
Aside from the comfy-cozies like pillows and stuffed animals, there are other things you may want to add to your space. If it is inside, try bringing a little bit of the outdoors in. A small plant or two will add an enticing, organic freshness. Along with nature, keep in mind the different ways children may want to experience reading. Including a CD player or electronic device in the space and a number of books for listening will draw in even the most reluctant of readers. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out these ideas at Remodelaholic. And don’t forget the books!
- slide 12: simple add-ons for a corner reading nook
Step 4: What about the books?
The books and their location relative to the reading environment are going to be important. If you can, keep books on low shelves or in baskets near the reading space, or lying within it. Books that are out of sight will rarely be touched. If you worry about books getting chewed or otherwise demolished by younger children, you might try keeping a basket up higher and bringing it down at naptimes or when supervision is possible.
- slide 13: nursery book slings by Smith Peas
If you want the children in your life to embrace this new reading environment, show them the way. They will be much more likely to enter the space and feel at home there if you are the one to introduce them and teach them about it. And who knows, you might just find yourself there more often than you think – without the children.
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyineperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.