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Tips for Creating a Cosy Reading Space for Kids at Home

Here’s a look at our reading space to encourage a love of reading + some tips for setting up your own!

kids reading space at home with a play couch, cushions and a bookshelf of children's books
A cosy place to sit and read!

We love reading! It made perfect sense that we needed a dedicated spot in our house to cosy up and enjoy a book! Of course reading doesn't only happen here, but having books displayed is a great way to invite children to choose a book to read. Let's talk about why and what of setting up a reading space at home...



Why set up a reading space at home for kids?


Reading is such an important lifelong skill, which means that we want our kids to grow a love for reading! One of the best ways that we can encourage this love of reading is by showing that we value books/reading and by making it a fun part of our everyday lives.


A reading space, no matter how small or simple, shows that we deeply value reading and view it as a worthwhile activity.


Reading together is a beautiful way to spend quality time together, whilst building your child’s love for reading! It also helps to develop and expand their vocabulary and understanding of the concepts of print, such as, words go from left to right, books have a title and author, we turn the pages to read the story etc. As children grow you can discuss in more detail what happened in the story, ask questions allowing children to predict what might happen or have fun retelling the story.


kids reading space at home with play couch and bookshelf
Our home reading space

What you need for a reading space?


A reading space at home for kids can be as simple or complicated as you would like to make it. There are really only two things you need - books and somewhere to sit.


A small basket of books is a great start. A smaller front facing bookshelf like we have can be added in later if you need more space for your book collection. I used to have a similar bookshelf in my classroom and would display some additional books standing up along a bench space to make them look extra inviting! This always worked well.


If you have a bigger space there are more options to choose from when it comes to storing/displaying your books.



For our reading space at home we used:


  • Nook play couch

  • Bookshelf - Keezie 5 tier bookshelf online from Catch of the Day

  • A collection of our books. The rest are stored on a cube bookshelf in our hallway. Our board books are in a basket for Miss 1.

  • Optional - cushions and a nice cozy blanket + a cuddly toy



You don’t need to have a play couch. Somewhere cozy to sit e.g. a cushion or a beanbag can make a nice spot to read. We used to have a beanbag next to the bookshelf in our lounge room before we changed to the play couch.



I just changed the side of the room that our reading space was on as it previously had a window behind it, which gets cold & condensation on it in Winter time. In warmer months, the window sill is perfect for displaying books!




How do we choose which books to have out on display?


Rotating the books on display here is important as it invites children to come and read the new books and renews interest.


Ways to choose the books to have out:


  • Child's own choice - have them help to choose the books with you!

  • Favourite books - the ones that get read over and over again

  • Based on the children's interest - e.g. animals, counting, Spot books

  • Based on current seasons, events e.g. Autumn, Summer, Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas, birthdays etc.

  • Based on a need e.g. Ish has been chosen to help learn to embrace things not needing to look perfect when drawing.

  • Topics - e.g. Australian animals, colours, numbers

  • Favourite authors

  • Series of books e.g. Pig the Pug

  • New books to read that we have recently bought or been given from family

  • Books borrowed from the library

  • Board books for younger readers

  • Books that haven't been seen in a while

  • A random selection




A peek at some of the books we have been reading recently:


children's books displayed on a windowsill to encourage reading in a kids reading space at home
A window sill can be perfect for displaying some books!

Here’s a look at a few books we have been reading recently as pictured above:


  • All Through the Year written by Jane Godwin Illustrated by Anna Walker

A family’s journey through the months of the year showing changes for the Australian seasons. This book has beautiful illustrations and is great for talking about things that happen in each month of the year.


  • The Dot - by Peter H Reynolds

The book is about a little girl who refuses to draw and how her art teacher helps her to see that she is capable of creating. Such a great book for those who think they can’t draw or do art.


  • Ish - by Peter H Reynolds

Another beautiful book to help those who are overly focused on getting their drawings and artwork to look perfect or just right. This book tells the story of a boy who embraces the concept of ‘ish’ e.g. his drawings look vaseish, treeish, instead of needing to be perfect! I love this concept!


The Dot and Ish have been very helpful in past years with my eldest daughter to help her embrace having a go and just enjoying the process of creating art. She now loves drawing and creating! I’m reading them now with Miss 4. If your little one is worried about making mistakes or doesn’t want to have a go - these books may help you too!


  • Ducks Away written by Mem Fox Illustrated by Judy Horacek

A fantastic rhyming book for preschoolers counting backwards and exploring subtraction for numbers 5-1. We have read this one many many times!



 


kids reading space at home with children's books and play couch
A beautiful sunny spot to read in the afternoon!

Thank you for reading this blog post! I hope you found some inspiration for your own reading corner/area at home or in the space that you work.


Books are great for learning about new topics and exploring concepts both new and old. What better way to enjoy a good book together than cuddling up in a comfy place to read!



Until next time, have fun learning in a playful way!


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