Want to encourage your kids to read? Give them their very own, special space to fall in love with reading. Follow these 5 simple steps to set up your own DIY reading nook for kids in your home or classroom.
In every Montessori classroom there is a reading corner. This little library gives the children a place to explore the world through books, or to rest while looking at beautiful pictures.
A peaceful environment set aside just for books can help children learn to love reading, too.
Ready to set up your own reading nook? No matter how small your home or classroom, you’ll be able to find a space to show your kids the magic of a book or two.
Let’d do this.
DIY Reading Nook for Home or Classroom
1. Choose the area.
Choose an area of your home or classroom that will be conducive to quiet reading, with plenty of light. If possible, it should be slightly out of the way, but still part of the general living area.
2. Choose simple furniture.
Only two things are essential:
- something to hold the books
- somewhere for the child to sit
This can be as simple as a basket with a few books and a pillow. Get creative if you want, but don’t be intimidated by all the “99 unique reading nook ideas” on Pinterest. Work with the size of the area you have, and remember that the focus should be on the books.
The bookshelf/basket can be found second-hand and freshened up, or built, or purchased new. Here are some ideas.
3. Choose good books.
Choose a variety of good quality books in perfect condition. If you always give kids ripped books, they will start to think ripped books are ok. If you give kids beautiful, well-taken-care-of books, they will learn to treat them as the treasures they are.
Choose books based on reality. Books are keys to the world. Picture books, realistic fiction, books about nature, encyclopedias, atlases, books of rhymes, etc. Avoid fantasy books. (Fairy tales, though…)
Choose books based on your child’s interests. If he loves tractors, find a book that teaches him the names of different types of vehicles. If she loves animals, find a book about animal habitats, or the cat family.
Choose beautiful books. Books can be kid-friendly without being dumbed-down.
Change the books occasionally to keep your kids interested.
4. Choose one or two simple decorations.
This is optional, but can help make the reading nook an inviting, peaceful place.
- a fishbowl (with real fish)
- a beautiful rug
- a potted plant
- a framed piece of art
5. Invite the child to use the reading nook.
Once everything is set up, invite one child at a time to see the beautiful new space. Show her how to choose a book, carry it carefully, turn the pages gently, and put it away when she is done. Set limits appropriate for the ages of the children, e.g. one child at a time, stay as long as you like, (or not) etc.
Do you have a reading area in your home or classroom? What are your favorite books for children? Let me know all about your home/classroom library, I can’t wait to read and respond to your comments! And of course, please let me know if you have any questions, too.