Planning to set up a reading corner for your child, but don’t know where to start?
While a Google search can return hundreds of beautiful images of reading nooks and bookish corners, it’s not easy to find one that fits perfectly with your budget, the state of your house, and your kid’s preferences.
How to make sure the reading corner you are building will be a safe, healthy, and interesting place they enjoy reading their books at?
There are actually very simple tips for that!
- Make effective lighting a priority
When setting up a reading corner for your child, lighting is always among the most important factors to consider.
If possible, have a big window or a glass wall in the place so your child can read in daylight. Reading in sufficient natural light is not only good for the eyes, but also makes your child feel fresh, lively, energetic, thus processing information much faster and more easily.
Have big windows in the bookish area so your kid can read in natural daylight
If natural light is not available, try to get some bright artificial lighting to make up for it. A good floor lamp or strong ceiling light would usually do. Pick the ones with adjustable brightness and color temperature so you can dim the light and make the color warmer to put your child into relaxed, sleepy mode after their read at night.
- Take extra care of the ventilation
When talking about a “corner”, what usually comes to our mind is a small area where the walls meet. Air circulation could be very restricted in such places, especially if you set up more walls, dividers, or curtains around it.
It’s easy to overlook ventilation, because we don’t usually feel the lack of fresh air immediately. However, spending a long time in a poorly ventilated area can lead to drowsiness and dullness of mind, making it difficult for your child to focus on their books.
To ensure your kid always get clean, fresh air to boost and freshen their mind while they’re in the reading corner, build it at a place with a big window that they can open when the air is good outside. If the window is not an option, try to make the reading corner as spacious and well ventilated as possible with a fan or an AC.
- Less screen, more greens
Too much exposure to electronic devices can cause various physical and mental health problems, including insomnia, decreased concentration and memory loss. Meanwhile, studies show that children living in areas with more greenery will have better attention skill and stronger memory.
Therefore, when designing the reading corner, don’t place any electronic devices there unless it’s really necessary.
On the other hand, try to maximize the level of exposure nature your child will get. A big window looking out to some trees and the grass is a great start. You can also place some indoor plants on the bookshelves, on the table, anywhere around the reading area. They will help purify the air, reduce certain pollutants in the room.
Some greens in the reading corner can help increase your kid’s memory
- Have your child take charge of the project
Nothing gives more pride to a kid than being the person responsible for a family project.
Invite your kid work to with you to plan the budget, the design, and the construction of their bookish area.
Your child doesn’t have to be able to do maths or know how to handle a hammer in order to take part in the project. Encourage them to learn and to do things that are suitable for their age and ability. Let them be the executor whenever possible.
The point is to have them really do the work they can to contribute to the project. That’s the easiest way to make the place special and personal to them. What is a cooler place to a kid than one they help build up by themselves?
- Be creative and “crazy”
Reading is not necessarily a serious and boring activity, and nor should your kid’s reading area.
Work with your child to create a unique bookish space that reflects their own preferences and personalities – a place like nowhere else. Use your imagination and creativity to turn their ideas into interesting objects. Decorating the place in the theme of their favorite book is a good way to tart it up. For example, if your kid loves the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, having a green rope with some artificial leaves hanging down from their mini loft will definitely excites them.
Sometimes something as simple as a cute bean bag chair, a hammock, or some colorful LED lights would do. It’s all about knowing what can attract and inspire your child, and thinking outside of the box when designing the place.
Who doesn’t like reading in a cool bookish corner?
The idea of you working with them to set up a safe, cool, and comfortable reading space just for themselves can easily excite any child. At the same time, it shows them you take reading seriously, and are willing to invest your time and effort on supporting them to develop good reading habits. It is one of the best things a parent can do for their kid’s long term development.