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Children love their own spaces.
But they like to share, too. Most kids would prefer to share a bedroom with a sibling, suggests Martin Ford, senior associate dean in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and an expert in child social development. He says, “A strong argument could be made for shared living arrangements based on how peer relations facilitate social, moral and intellectual development.”
Yet when it comes to independent reading, it might be more fun to have a private space just for that activity.
That doesn’t mean each child needs his or her own reading nook. One nook for the whole family is probably sufficient, if space is at a premium. Then it’s just a matter of managing time so each child has ample opportunity to settle with a book and read for awhile while siblings are involved in something else. Learning to take turns is a natural outcome of sharing space.
While kids can read anywhere, they enjoy it more in a reading nook.
Reading to your children is where a lifelong love of reading begins. Snuggled together on a couch or in a big chair makes for some really great memories. Your voice, melodiously reading a favorite story over and over again, is something your kids will always remember. But comes the day when little ones want to “read” to themselves (even before they’ve mastered the actual mechanics of reading). Giving them a creative space to enter that world can make reading a lifelong habit.
Whether the reading nook is a colorful tent, a corner with pillows and a bookshelf, or an elaborate nest is really not the point. Having a place designated just to read, is. Here are a few ideas for making that place special.
Kids love tents. Tents come in all sizes and shapes, and you can get one that uses their favorite cartoon characters, too. Although there are a lot to buy, you can just as easily make one by hanging a blanket over some chairs or a table, too. Shelley Bergh has a great tutorial on making a tent on You Tube. BuzzFeed offers 5 Steps To Building Your Own Epic Blanket Fort. And, of course, there are a world of options at Amazon.com.
A few floor cushions thrown in a corner near a bookshelf may be all it takes for your child to have his own space. Whether the cushions are store-bought or homemade, comfort is paramount. If it’s comfortable, kids will naturally gravitate toward it.
While they enjoy snuggling with you in your chair, one made just for kids will be really appreciated. Especially if it’s really unique, like this hanging chair. Who wouldn’t want to curl up and swing gently while you read?
Little things make a big difference to the kids in your life. Clipping a light to a book lends an air of adventure and engages their imagination, too. And a colorful place that houses just their books makes a bookcase really special.