What adjectives describe your favorite book? Action-packed? Spooky?? Maybe, it's sweet and charming?? Like our books, our reading (and working) environment matters. Have you ever noticed that when your environment matches your preferences you are much more productive. When I want to get work completed, the first thing I have to do is send my family packing (don't tell them, okay!!) I am a
little lot distractable, so the house needs to be distraction free and fairly quiet. Music in the background is preferred, and I need time. Does this sound a little like you too? Maybe it does, but these preferences may not match our students' preferences at all and you may still be in the discovery process yet. As you fine tune your classroom, you might consider different reading nook options as well as reading routines that fit your class schedule. If you do, you will help develop the routine for at home.
Do you have a Pinterest board of dream reading nooks? I started one, and it's growing. I think because my classroom library has been built with lots of love, time collecting the books, and thought in picking the titles, a premier reading nook is just something I would enjoy creating. I look at all of these clever creations and dream of putting one together for our house. One day, it will happen. If this describes you, I hope you'll enjoy looking through my pins and repinning some you love.
Follow Comprehension's board Reading Nooks on Pinterest.
Now that you've had a chance to look through my pins, you have probably picked a few favorites too. As I looked through my pins, I've thought about what qualities would be most important in making the space cozy, inviting, stimulating, and kid-friendly. So here are a few thoughts on each...
To make the space cozy, large throw pillows, bean bag chairs, and a soft rug works well. I also think a somewhat snug space is nice for little people. I remember vividly building forts with my sister when we were little, and hiding in there for hours. (sadly not with a book) We'd flip over my mom's big rocking chair and get my parent's card table, cover them all with blankets, and crawl into our "clubhouse". Kids love "their" spaces. I love how people have used the space under staircases, lofts, and Ikea "hacks" to make the spaces unique and fun.
These little nooks just make me want to curl up with a book. Keeping books accessible is key.
Lighting is one ingredient in making the space inviting. Lighting preferences can depend on the child/children. I think including a lamp or the stick-on tap lighting in the space to allow lighting choice is a good idea. That way, students who prefer low lighting have that option.
Another important ingredient to an inviting space is the use of color in the fabrics, rugs, and pillows you use. Soft colors are best for relaxation whereas bold colors might cause distraction.
Notice in these space that the lighting works well for reading and the colors are soft.
Once you get students (or your kids) into their nook, it's important to plant reading seeds. You can do that with posters that encourage reading, inspirational quote decor, and of course, lots of well organized books. Check out these cute ideas.
Books *highlighted* with covers visible for young readers and inspirational messages.
Finally, using kid-friendly themes makes your classroom reading nook just plain fun. What kid wouldn't want to read in an igloo, tent, boat, or rocketship? Of course, you have to use the space you have, but space unlimited...wouldn't these be great? (Dreaming again...sorry!)
So...ready to go decorate? My reader here at home is in need of a cozy, inviting, simulating and kid-friendly space, and guess what...my hubby is traveling for a week. I think a DIY project is in the works. I'll be back later this week to show you my creation. Til then...(or before if I get my blogging groove on. :-) ...happy reading!