When I was younger, it wasn’t really something cool. I knew my librarians by name because I was there, at the local public library, enough to know them personally. It didn’t matter that I was only in third grade; they were my friends, my confidants and my mentors. They always knew what topic I would be interested in next, and I’m convinced that I have them (and my mom for taking me to the library in the first place) to thank for my love of words to this day.
I am a case study in the impact reading can have on development. I grew up loving the mystery and excitement a good book could bring, and came to love the escape an incredible story could offer. Words became something I collected almost as a hobby.
As I hope to foster a similar appreciation for the written word in my sons, I’ve been contemplating lately how to encourage them to read like I did. I’m convinced that setting up the perfect cozy place to read with them, and ultimately where they too can read by themselves, is a good place to start.
Here are a few easy ways I’ve found to designate that special place in your home:
Take Your Pick
If there is one thing children like, it’s helping to make decisions about the things happening around them. They enjoy having a sense of independence about what they eat, what they wear and how simple tasks are completed. Help encourage their personality development by giving them a say in what books they read at any given time. Once they are old enough to know and understand one book from another, set up a wall with small racks for them to see and easily access the book they want to read. The racks can be store bought, homemade, or even repurposed from other items you have in the home (like spice racks or refinished wooden pallets).
Maybe it is that spare closet in the guest room packed with all those clothes you never wear anymore. Or that little nook upstairs you haven’t ever figured out the right way to decorate. Wherever it may be, no space is off limits when it comes to creating a comfortable place to curl up with a good book.
If space is limited (or even if it’s not), there may not be adequate separation between the reading space and whatever room it is in or near. Correct that problem with something as simple as a shower curtain or other curtains that can easily be hung with a tension rod for adding an element of peace and quiet to the reading space.
Make it Cozy
Whatever makes it feel like a place they want to be, try your best to do it. Find ways to integrate cushions and pillows and blankets. Add a favorite toy or two to the mix. Incorporating things that make the space feel like their own little escape will help encourage the little ones to spend time reading, with or without you by their side.
Have you created a reading nook for your child? What would you add to the list?
Looking for more ideas and inspiration? Head to Modernize.com.
Tyler Schmidt is a freelance writer, newspaper reporter and mother whose work has also been published on Ladies Life. She also writes for Modernize — where you come to get inspired, see what’s possible, and connect with a professional who will make your dream home a reality.