I think it’s safe to say we all want our kids to read more than they probably do – to love reading, well that would be a bonus. Teaching your child to pick up a book over their devices may sound like a stretch these days, but encouraging children to read can be fun. Creating a space where kids can enjoy their favorite books, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of room, is a great place to start. A small corner in your child’s room will do, turned into an inviting area that becomes a place to escape where they can curl up with their favorite books, kind of like their own mini-library.
When you set up a reading space, especially one of their own, you send a message that reading is an integral part of their lives and isn’t reserved exclusively for schools and libraries. All you need is a designated small space, a mini bookcase, books, and a hint of creativity.
A place in your child’s room or in a part of the house that has easy access to curl up or sit down and read a book. Make it inviting, cozy even, a space that makes reading a relaxing activity. Soft pillows work just as well as stools or chairs. If possible, add a small lamp. You can even build a tent. My kids had a reading corner with a bookshelf, and a princess bed complete with a pink tent. We used both places to read.
Your child’s favorite books; let them help pick them out to place in the new space. Put shelves at their height, not yours. If your child is a climber, do not stack the shelves too high, if at all. Crates work really well for storage to prevent stacking and climbing issues.
Add new books to your child’s collection.
Put new books in full view to encourage your child to visit their space. Instead of candy or toy treats, purchase a new book instead. Favorite books are great, but there’s nothing wrong with adding to a collection.
Find books with topics about things your child likes
Fill your child’s space with books that cover topics that interest your child. If they like animals, animal books, sports, their favorite teams. These books will help hold the child’s interest while they read. They may even want to tell you all about what they’ve read before you even ask them to tell you all about it.
Ask your child what they read
Ask your child to discuss the books they’ve read each day. Maybe have them draw a picture. Showing interest, plus having them retell the stories, teaches them to retain the information that they’ve read. It also has the added wonderful bonus of spending precious time, which is often so limited these days, with your child.
As parents, time never seems to be on our side. I read with my kids in their reading corner, miss it so much, but I’m now doing it with my grandkids. Maybe a mini library in the corner of your kids’ room will be something your kids can enjoy as well. It’s the little things that seemed to help the most.