Decorating a reading nook or corner can be an investment in your child's future. When children discover books, a new world opens up to them, both now and in the future. According to the National Children's Reading Foundation's website, "Just 20 minutes a day reading aloud to to young children promotes family bonding, encourages listening and language skills, and gives children a strong reading foundation." One of the ways you can promote your child's love of reading is to make intimate one-on-one time in a space decorated just for sitting and reading with your children. Don't have a space? Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Room for all. Find an overstuffed chair wide enough for the two of you. An ideal chair is a chair and a half, which is slightly smaller than a loveseat and ideal if you are reading to several children. Kids love to snuggle with their parents! (And parents love to snuggle with their kids!)
2. Reading light. Make sure that there is proper lighting near your chair. Use soft, reader-friendly bulbs in lamps which are the correct position to prevent light from shining directly at eye height. You don't want to read with glare in your eyes.
3. Tableside. Find a table to put beside the chair to hold the lamp, glasses or additional books. Make it sturdy enough so that kids cannot accidentally tip it over when climbing on your lap and big enough to hold a cup of tea.
4. Bookcase. Buy or build bookcases to put near the chair at a height just short enough that your child’s favorite books are easily accessible. This makes it easy to have your child choose a favorite book for reading together.
5. Footstool. An ottoman or footstool is a wonderful place to comfortably rest your feet while reading. And when your child is older and thinks he has outgrown snuggling, it is a perfect place for him/her to sit.
6. Bean bags. As your child gets older and is reading on his own, invest in bean bag chairs. Children love to “slouch” in bean bags and read. If bean bags aren't available, an alternative may be a rug or maybe even a big pillow on the floor. The most important thing is that your child is comfortable.
It's easy to turn a small space in your home into a cozy reading nook for your children. And there is a bonus - in this era of computer games and cellphone, a quiet corner is also a great space for Mom and Dad to spend reading that latest summer page-turner.