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How to Create an Inspiring Reading Nook for Your Child

A little boy and girl reading a book in an indoor tent.

Inspire your children to embrace the wonderful world of reading by designing a special reading nook. Even with limited space, it’s easy to carve out a whimsical space that’s entirely for them.

Have a weird corner in your child’s bedroom? Repurpose it as a reading nook. Want to encourage more reading in the living room? Transform part of the space with comfy chairs, practical bookshelves, and a good reading lamp. Have some spare sheets? String them up as a DIY canopy and create the ultimate reading fort.

We’re here to help you create an awesome nook that’s Instagram-worthy. Remember, the main goal is to encourage your child to love reading. And what better place for their dreams to soar than in a magical nook?

Pick a Spot

The first step is to find the perfect location. Keep in mind, your child might have a different idea about this, so definitely involve him or her in the planning.

Also, remember to think kid-scale. They love crawling under things, making little hangouts in the backs of closets, and turning spaces that feel claustrophobic to adults into little forts. You might think throwing a tablecloth over a side table to make a tiny little tent sounds uncomfortably small. Your preschooler, on the other hand, might think it’s the coolest, coziest thing ever.

Here are some other popular locations:

  • In front of a large bay window.
  • A corner of your child’s bedroom, or the living room.
  • The space under a loft bed.
  • Your child’s closet.

If you’re interested in a more portable option, a child’s tent or teepee is perfect. Being inside an enclosed space will minimize distractions, while also giving your child the freedom to haul her tent outside.

Also, if there’s enough space in your home for two reading nooks, create one for yourself, too!

Comfortable Seating

The goal is to engulf your kids in comfort. This way, they’re bound to beg to retreat to their luxurious reading nook or use it during family quiet time.

Going for a more simplistic approach? Try an oversized cushion or floor lounger. You can even repurpose an old futon by folding it in half and adding some colorful throw pillows.

If you decide to go with a tent, fill it with their favorite stuffed animals or old baby blankets.

Consider going all out with this hanging hammock chair, so your child can disappear into an exhilarating spinning pod (check out the video above to see it in action). Their nook will be the envy of all their friends!

Simple Book Storage

There’s no need to buy fancy bookshelves or attempt to cram your child’s entire library in his nook. Remember, his nook should be a special place he can go with just a few favorite books. You can store the rest of his books elsewhere.

For ease of use, we recommend a portable book organizer. Then, if your child decides a new location is more ideal, it’s not difficult to shift things around.

You can also try this rolling cart to easily tote your child’s favorite books around the house. Heck, even a simple backpack will do the trick, and make him feel like he’s going on an adventure when he travels to his nook.

Make It Warm and Cozy

A young girl and little boy reading a book on a bed under a canopy.
Ali Yalcin_Seamann/Shutterstock

Once you’ve got the basics sorted, you can dive into creating a whimsical environment. Here are some of our favorite extras:

  • Twinkle lights: String up some of these to create a soft hue in the space.
  • Hanging canopy: The perfect way to create some privacy without a full-on tent.
  • Fake candles: Create a warm, cozy ambiance without any fire hazards.
  • Inspirational posters: A few of these can encourage your child to embrace all his goals, ideas, and dreams.
  • Wall decals: These can add some color and transform the space into a personalized reading zone.

If your child hasn’t started reading yet, you can incorporate some prep materials, like alphabet puzzles and blocks.

Most importantly, make sure your child helps with the decorating process. It’s her unique haven, after all. If she wants to deck it out with unicorns and rainbows, so be it!

Keep It Bright

Even though the main goal is to create a warm, whimsical, delightful space, it’s also important to make sure it’s well-lit. Otherwise, those little eyes will have to strain or squint. A portable lamp will allow your child to have proper lighting wherever her reading journey may take her.

Alternatively, you can set up the nook next to a window for the benefit of natural light. Still, keep that lamp handy in case she’s tempted to keep reading after sunset.

Add Those Books!

Finally, we’ve come to the best part: the books! No reading nook is complete without a variety of fun, interesting, and engaging books to read for hours.

We suggest trying the Prime Book Box for kids. It’s available in four categories, ranging from babies to age 12. Your child will receive two handpicked hardcover books, or four board books as often as once a month. If your child loves reading and receiving packages (and what kid doesn’t?), this is the gift that’ll keep on giving.

Try sparking your child’s interest in an online reading program. Some of them offer some really cool prizes! Go ahead and snag some discounted books from these four online bookstores. And don’t forget about your local library. Many are now set up for online ordering and curbside pickup—perfect for fulfilling your reading list during the pandemic.

If you have time, sneak into the nook and read your child a few stories. Even if they’re confident readers, kids benefit tremendously from listening to books that are a step or two above their reading level. It exposes them to more words and more complex sentence structures.

It also demonstrates that reading is so important, even adults invest time in it.

With just a little creativity and a few fun accessories, you can transform any little corner in your home into a special place where your child can read!

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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