Saturday, March 3, 2012

10 Things to Make a Great Kids Reading Space

Kids Reading Space, Kids reading nook

I wanted to get this project finished in time to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday, but I didn't have as much free time this week as usual.  I have a feeling you know what I mean! 

How to make a kids reading nook

Little J has had a wonderful reading area set up in his room for years. He practically lives with his nose in a book. We also have books for all ages in just about every room of our house. However, Juiciness and Sassyfras's room needed a better reading area.   

Really, you just need some good books and a cozy, quiet place to read.  However, to make it a desired destination, here is what I think you need for a perfect kid's reading space.

10 Things to Make a Great Kids Reading Space
  1. Great books
  2. A way to display and store great books
  3. A comfortable place to read
  4. Good lighting
  5. A pleasant, cozy environment
  6. Book marks
  7. Material to write or draw your own story when you're inspired
  8. A good children's dictionary
  9. A place to write questions
  10. A way to listen to audio books

Great books
Libraries, bookstores, school websites are all great places to look for great book lists.  We've mostly built our home library from hand me downs, scholastic book orders, and Amazon. 

I'm updating this post since I've thought about it more...  Amy at Let's Explore has monthly book lists that are fantastic and Laura at Come Together Kids has recently posted 50 great books.  Both blogs are incredible children's blogs!

A Way to Display and Store Great Books
Little J has room for a small bookshelf in his room. We chose baskets for Sassyfras and Juiciness's room. It's easier for them to return their books and saves on space. There are several more baskets in their closet filled with books. I plan to rotate one general basket each week and then have another basket filled with books about our current learning theme or author study.

children's reading space, reading space

10 Things to make a great kids reading space via Little Wonders' Days
    A Comfortable Place to Read
    Anything like beanbags, chairs, pillows, and beds make great places to read.  Little J has a PBK kids chair that he likes to sit to read.  I used an over sized fuzzy pillow and small throw rug for Juiciness and Sassyfras and they seem to really like it.

    children's reading space

    how to make a kids reading space

    A Pleasant, Cozy Environment
    Kids love cozy spaces.  Just think how much they love forts.  I used a corner area in Sassyfras and Juiciness's room to make it feel more enclosed.  Then adding elements like a cute rug, small blankets, stuffed animal friends, and some pictures made it all very inviting.

    10 Things to make a great kids reading space via Little Wonders' Days

    You can buy them, make them, or improvise (we've used flashcards, post it notes, etc).  To print your own, just Google printable bookmarks and you'll find plenty of options.  Jan Brett has a great assortment of printable bookmarks. 


    10 Things to make a great kids reading space via Little Wonders' Days

    Material to Draw or Write Your Own Story When You're Inspired
    I had an extra organizer that I stocked with sketchbooks, bookmarks, and notebooks.  I've pictured their color pencils here, but in reality those live safely in the kitchen office area.  I'm not brave enough to leave them unattended with that much color!  The sketchbooks are being kept in their room though so they know they can draw as they please, just so I'm aware.  Little J has all sorts of writing and drawing materials on his desk and uses them responsibly at this point.

    children's reading space

    A Good Children's Dictionary
    This is really for kids that are reading. Little J has a DK Children's dictionary and a Scholastic Children's dictionary.

    A Place to Write Questions
    Again, this is for kids that are reading.  It seems like Little J has countless questions after reading most books, especially nonfiction books.  Sometimes I simply don't know the answer or don't have immediate time to answer sufficiently.  Having paper and pencil available makes it so he can jot his questions down and go look up the answers later.

    A Way to Listen to Audio Books
    This is the last thing needed in Sassyfras and Juiciness's space. I'm on the hunt for a small child friendly CD player for their room.  Little J loved audio books at their age and I want them to be able to set these up independently.

    10 Things to make a great kids reading space via Little Wonders' Days

    What else would you add?

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    Linking to:  Show and Tell, The Sunday Showcase, Link and Learn, Made by You Monday, ABC and 123, Sharing Saturday, Serenity Now , Dr. Seuss Birthday Party, Beneath the Rowan Tree, Montessori Monday Link Up, Teagan's Travels, Wednesday Wowsers, A Crafty Soiree, For the Kids Friday, TGIF!


    Christy said...

    This is a great post! My kids love book lights to read in bed at night.

    Rochelle said...

    Helpful post with great ideas! I will definitely use a basket for storage and display. It's really handy for toddlers that love books but don't read yet. That blue rug looks very inviting for floor reading. Thanks for sharing!

    April's Homemaking said...

    What a wonderful idea for a nice reading space, when my kids were little we lived in a house that had this very small bonus room that we turned into a children's library, they loved it. This post inspires me to set up a reading corner in my Sunday school classroom. :)

    sunnymama said...

    What a great post and so many good suggestions! :)

    Cherine M said...

    Your organization and reading space looks fantastic, and even better... looks well loved and enjoyed!!

    Ticia said...

    A reading nook is on my to do list. Of course it has been for a while......

    Raising a Happy Child said...

    It's a wonderful reading corner. My daughter has her reading corner under her bunk bed, but I am nowhere near ready to leave pencils in her room. Probably it will be OK, but you never know...

    Discovering Montessori said...

    Looks like I need to spice up our reading area:) I love the idea of adding bookmarks to the area. Very inspiring post. Thank you for sharing.

    Ruth said...

    very inspiring! thank you!

    Morgan said...

    We have a cozy nook in a corner between the wall and my daughter's bookshelf. I lined the wall with sweet throw pillows and stored a small blanket next to her shelf to snuggle in. Reading nooks are the best :) Great post!

    Deb Chitwood said...

    Awesome ideas, Kelly! Reading spaces were always important both when I had a Montessori school and when I homeschooled. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

    staci said...

    My daughter loves to read and these are such great ideas! I like that there is material available in her 'area' where she can write her own story if she wants to ... thanks for sharing!

    MeerKat said...

    Just discovered your blog - such a nice place to visit! Looking forward to reading more as time allows.

    Thank you so much for some really great reading space ideas. Not only have I been setting up my children with little sitting/book areas, I'm volunteering in our preschool library and am always looking for new ways to make the books even more inviting.

    I recognize nearly every book in your photos, but not the one that's in the middle of the collage - it looks like something I need to add to my home library right away! Could you let me know the title?

    Once again, so happy to have found your blog!

    Little Wonders' Days said...

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments!

    Your project sounds exciting! Thanks for the nice compliments.
    If you're referring to the book that Sassyfras has open, it's The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. Certainly a book worth adding to a preschool collection. If that's not it, just let me know and I'll try again.

    Michelle@Teagan's Travels said...

    I love this! I am just starting to homeschool my toddler and want to set up a reading nook. Great tutorial! If you have a chance I'd love if you'd link it up on my party at Teagan's Travels.

    Thanks, Michelle

    Gayle said...

    Great post. Well thought out. The only thing I'd add to the list is lighting. Everyone needs good lighting to read by, but if you want the kids to use the space independently, it also need to be safe and kid friendly.

    MiaB said...

    Great post!!! Must get busy and create a great reading space for my little one :) Thanks for sharing this with us at Sharing Saturday. Hope to see you again this week.


    Bekah said...

    Stopping by from TGIF! Thanks for sharing this, gives me some ideas to think about. I'm planning on creating a "reading area" this summer.


    Alison @ Oopsey Daisy said...

    What a great post!! :) Someday I want a cozy reading area. I love your ideas. Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

    Beth ( said...

    This is WONDERFUL!! You always have such thoughtful posts! I hadn't thought about bookmarks or audio books - LOVE it! I shared it with my Facebook readers. Thanks for linking up to TGIF! See you again tomorrow,