Monday, February 13, 2012

Molly Makes {A Reading Nook}

No, not *that* kind of Nook.  We'll old school here and prefer to sacrifice lots of trees for our reading pleasure.

I realized that I haven't shared with you my favorite spot in the house.  Henry's Reading Nook.  In fact, Henry was so excited that I was taking pictures of it that he crawled right over to demonstrate it's use.  I'm not kidding, these pictures aren't staged.  He just crawled over, sat himself down, grabbed a book and opened it right up.

And then had to show his green truck the books as well.

Now who here didn't have their favorite place to curl up with a good book, tucked away from the world and super comfy.  We made this spot not long after moving in - originally it was just a pillow and a blanket, but now it's a full on comfy spot.  And to be honest, sometimes I crawl right in there with him.

A few things I have noticed since making this spot - Unlike the rest of the toys in the room, the books stay pretty close to the nook it's as if he knows "this is the reading spot" and perhaps it was just a well timed accident, but his interest in his books seemed to sky rocket after this spot became his.

Though I try not to give too much parenting advice here.  However, as a granddaughter of a children's librarian and a future librarian myself I do feel I have a little insight into child literacy.

Here are my top 6 tips for promoting a love of books a young age.

  1. Monkey See Monkey Do - Read around your child.  Read books, magazines, the mail anything!  A child is going to do what you do long before they do what you say.  If you show them that sitting down for quiet time with a book interests you they'll want to discover why!
  2. Have a Reading Space - Even as adults we forge out our own reading spaces - maybe it's the tub or that one comfy chair.  Make a child a space that is just for reading.  Make it comfortable and limit the availability of electronic distractions (there is no tv in the room where Henry's reading nook is).
  3. Age Appropriate Books - Whether it's board books a toddler can't rip or chapter books for an older child make sure you're catering to your child's age.  Simple, short books with bold illustrations or "touch me" books are right where we're at right now.
  4. Spark An Interest and Feed the Fire- Pay attention to which books get pulled from the pile, even at a very young age a child will start to recognize shapes or things that keep him interested.  You might end up with 10 books about trains, but the important thing is that those books are being used!  Just like how a toddler likes to fixate on a particular food toddlers and older children will fixate on particular topics.  Indulge these interests to the best of your ability until they've gorged themselves and are ready to move on to the next obsession.
  5. Read Everywhere - Show your kids that readings just not for school.  Take a book of bible stories as part of your busy bag to Church.  Take books, a picnic and a blanket to the park.  Take books on vacation.  Turn off the radio and listen to books in the car.
  6. Make Reading An Adventure - Whether it's taking your toddler to storytime at the library or taking your dinosaur obsessed 6 year old to the museum to see Sue engage your young reader with the literary world around them.  Encourage them to do summer reading programs (I know our local libraries have special programs to encourage parents to read to their babies and toddlers as part of their Summer Reading Programs) to show them that "Reading is Cool".  Take advantage of meeting visiting authors.  Read the book before you watch the movie.  Take your "Thomas" fan to see real trains.  Take your "Dora" fan to a Hispanic or Latin American cultural event.  Show them that reading truly is a free pass to the world.


  1. I need my own reading nook! that looks super-cozy!

  2. This is simply fabulous. I've never seen anything like it, and now I'm thinking that every child should have a reading nook.

    1. Honestly - I kind of want an adult sized one now!

  3. I found your post on Frugally Sustainable, and I had to come take a look because we have a reading nook too! It started as a blanket and pillow as well, and now we put up a tent in my daughter's room. I think she likes the feeling of being enclosed in her own area. You've inspired me to share our reading area with others too, and I love your tips. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I'll have to add you to my list to see your nook!

  4. Henry is ADORABLE! And we have that same green truck (I have no idea where it came from?), ours was being shoved through snow today.

    Science books seem to be the topic of choice around here. Curious kids want to know lots of facts... and there are so many interesting things to learn out there. Awesome that Henry has a love of books already, you are doing great!

  5. Henry wins the day! Loved this post, thank you so much for sharing it with us on Natural Mothers Network.
    I am really looking forward to the Seasonal Celebration Linky Party #5 going live tomorrow morning and would be delighted to see you there! Have a great weekend!
    Rebecca x


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