One of the best things about being a parent is storytime before bed – reading to your little ones is a pastime that is as much fun for them as it is for us.
But as they grow older, it can be challenging to keep them interested in reading, as they’re increasingly inseparable from all that the modern world has to offer – whether it’s their iPad, smartphones, and video games. And while these things aren’t inherently bad, it’s essential to strike a balance – including more traditional activities like reading into the mix.
This brings us to our post’s topic – creating a reading nook – a space dedicated to reading, where your child can sit comfortably, getting into a good book, while shutting out all of these distractions. The whole point of a reading nook is to promote the activity – making it more enjoyable, which will help them discover the joy of reading at an early age.
Before we do anything else – and for anyone unfamiliar with the concept – we’ll explain what exactly a reading nook is and what we’re trying to achieve by creating one.
What is a reading nook?
Put simply, a reading nook is a space dedicated to reading – giving your little one their very own reading hideaway, where they can go to shut the world out and get into a good book, without disturbance or distractions.
There are no set rules – a reading nook can be whatever you like. This means themes, styles, decoration, seating – you can create it however you like – but remember, that above all else, the key here is to make in snug and comfortable, being somewhere your little one will enjoy being for hours at a time.
The objective of a reading nook is to get our kids into reading. Too many children spend all their time on the iPad – playing games or watching Youtube – and not enough of them are reading. This is the point of a reading nook – giving them a space that takes them away from all that, shutting out the distractions, and letting them get into a good book undisturbed.
5 steps to creating the perfect kid’s reading nook
1. Before you do anything else, pick out the perfect spot for your reading nook
The very first step in creating a reading nook perfect for your little one is to pick out a place to set it up – whether that’s in their room, playroom, or even the living room, for all the family to enjoy.
While you don’t want to overthink this, you need to consider the space any particular spot in the house provides. You don’t want to put your reading nook in a room that’s already busy and cluttered – find a nice, empty space with access to plenty of natural light.
The reasons to opt for an empty space is so that you can customize it, truly making it into a built-for-purpose reading haven, where your little one can both shut out the rest of the world and make it their own, customizing it with cute products and items that best reflect their interests.
2. Make sure your nook has access to natural light, and pick up a lamp for nighttime reading
When setting up a reading nook, you’re going to want to pick a spoke that has access to good amounts of natural light, making it easier for your kid to read throughout the day.
While natural light is excellent for reading throughout the day – when it comes to bedtime, you’re going to need to pick up a lamp – preferably a dinosaur lamp.
Thankfully, there are loads of great options – with everything from the traditional bedside and table lamps, right through to fantastic novelty choices, like dino skull and fossil-shaped options.
3. To keep your child there, reading, you’ll need to make your nook interesting, unique, and cozy
This next step is where the fun begins. You’ve picked out your spot, made sure it’s got good natural light – now it’s time to start putting it together, building your reading nook, and customizing it.
Before you do anything else, pick a theme – in our case, that’s dinosaurs. Then start shopping, picking out warm, soft, and cozy items that match this theme – this could mean everything from dinosaur blankets to giant dinosaur plush toys, along with pretty much any other fun dino-related products you can think of. The trick here is to be as creative and imaginative as you like – go nuts!
Another great idea is to involve your little ones in the process, enlisting their help to pick out all the weird and wonderful products and decorate items for their nook. If they’ve had a hand in the planning and creation of the nook, they’re going to be far more invested in it, and therefore, more eager to get in there and pick up a book once it’s built.
One way to make a space cozier is to invest in a dinosaur play tent – these can be a great way of shutting out the world when your little one wants to spend some time by themselves with a book. They’re also great for general play, being particularly great when it comes to creative, imaginative play sessions.
4. Pick out a soft, comfortable seating option suitable for multi-hour reading sessions
Getting your little ones to get lost in books, truly discovering the joy of reading, requires providing them a comfortable place to do so. This is why it’s so essential to pick out a seating option that will provide adequate levels of comfort for up to hours at a time.
If you’re looking for a cheap seating option, a kid’s dinosaur bean bag can be a great choice. Comfortable, affordable, and perfect for coordinating with the rest of your little one’s dino-themed room – this seating option also doubles up as storage, being ideal for keeping plush dinosaur toys, dinosaur bedding, towels, and other soft linen.
To add to both theme and comfort, you might want to consider a few other cute dino additions. Things like dinosaur plush blankets, dino pillow pets, and even oversize, giant dinosaur plush toys are all great options to keep your little one extra comfy and warm while they read.
5. Invest in a bookcase, or put up some shelving
There are a few different storage options to choose from, but ultimately, it’ll likely come down to a bookcase or shelving. While each has its pros and cons, a lot of the time, the choice simply comes down to the space and shape of the room you intend to set up your little one’s reading nook.
Only keep books out that will be used – this means clearing out your selection from time to time, ensuring that only age-appropriate books are kept within easy reach. Any other books can be tucked away in storage or dinosaur toy boxes or even given to friends, family, or charity, reducing clutter.
You’ll also want to consider picking up a pair of dinosaur bookends, helping not only to up the dinosaur-theme but also to help better organize and safely store your little one’s books – especially if you opt for a shelf over a bookcase.
Well, there you have it. Our list of five simple, easy-to-follow steps to help put together your very own reading nook at home for all the family to enjoy.
The key takeaway here is that don’t overthink it! Pick out a spot, decorate it, and make it comfortable – that’s it really.
And remember that there are no right or wrong rules, decorate it however you like – better yet, get your little one in on the fun, having them help pick out the products and items they want to in their reading nook.
Good luck building your very own nook, and happy reading!