Parents

Reading to kids: Build a book nook together!

Father and daughter reading together in book nook

In one of our previous blog posts, we unpacked some of the many benefits of reading for kids. It’s full of learning opportunities, sparks your little one’s imagination, and provides bonding time for parents and children. Simply put…reading is magical. Ready to make reading even more magical than it already is? There are lots of ways to encourage your kiddo to make reading a habit.

Here are some fun DIYs and suggestions that can make reading even more appealing to your little one. So, grab some blankets and get cozy…there’s nothing better than a quiet afternoon with some good books!

Build a reading nook

What’s better than a reading nook? It’s all of the fun of fort building but specifically designed for maximum coziness. You’ll be melting with cuteness overload when you see your little one all bundled up with their favorite books. Creating a book nook is a great activity to do as a family, and it’s got lots of opportunities for creativity. Keep an eye out for things you have around the house that might be perfect for taking your kiddo’s reading nook to the next level. Building a nook is just as much fun as using it!

Surround your kiddo with books

Sometimes the secret to encouraging your kiddo to try a certain toy or activity is by making it easy for them to find when they’re deciding what to do. Instead of having books tucked away on a shelf, putting them in a more visible spot for your little one can help bring out their inner bookworm. Here’s an idea…why not make a reading nook out of books?

If you’ve got an extensive book collection at home, you can use them to make a super-cool structure! You can line them up or stack them to create walls, or decorate the inside of the book nook with stacks of books. (Tip: Make sure the stacks are shorter so your little one won’t get hurt if they topple!) With so many books available for your little one to grab, they’ll be hooked on reading in no time.

Ultimate coziness

Your kiddo will love having a quiet, cozy corner that’s just for them. Help your little one build their own nook with household items like blankets, pillows, or even some extra-large cardboard boxes. Once you’ve built a kid-sized structure to read in, let your little one get creative with decorations! Give your kiddo some suggestions to make it their own, whether it’s through decorations or their imagination. Maybe their reading nook is their top-secret superhero lair. Or, maybe it’s a magical tent in an enchanted forest. Whatever they choose, they’ll love building their very own hideaway with you.

Don’t forget some lights for an extra bit of magic! Give your child’s reading nook a twinkly go with some fairy lights, or give them a flashlight to see the pictures better. It won’t be hard to convince your little one to pick up a book when they’ve got such a cozy spot to read in!

Children reading together

The benefit of reading aloud for kids

While there are lots of reading games and activities for kids out there, one of the most effective ways to foster a love of books is by reading aloud to your child. The stories kids hear create lasting memories, and it gives your little one opportunities to develop social-emotional skills and cognitive benefits.

We’ve known for decades now that reading aloud to kids is the most effective way to help them gain the knowledge to read themselves. Simply reading aloud to your kiddo stimulates their brains in some incredible ways. One 2015 study found that when preschoolers were read to, the parts of their brains that are responsible for visual imagery and comprehension were activated. As a result, their cognitive functioning improves and their brains evolve.

Setting aside some time to read together in your daily routine is a great way to boost some early learning skills, and spend some quality time together, too!

Today's reading: Create a reading list together

Starting a reading habit doesn’t have to take a ton of work. Habits form from consistency, so making time for reading every day can turn your kiddo into an avid reader.

Get your little one involved in creating a reading list that you can work through together. Grab a chalkboard, whiteboard, or a piece of paper, and ask your child what they’d like to read about. Are they fascinated by space? Do they love dinosaurs? Are they excited about an upcoming holiday? Next, make a list of the type of books they’d like to read. You can do a reading list for the day using books you have at home, a monthly reading list, or even a reading list based on a specific theme. The sky’s the limit!

Ask for book recommendations from your kiddo’s teachers, friends, and other parents, or browse online to create your own reading list. The library is a treasure trove of books waiting to be discovered, so don’t forget to explore the shelves together to see what you find. If your kiddo’s diving into a certain topic, find a book for adults on the same topic at the library and read along with your child. Keep track of your progress, discuss what you’ve both learned from your books, and ask each other questions. You’ll be amazed at what you learn from each other!

Book series for kids

Introducing your child to a book series is another great way to encourage a reading habit. When reading a series, kiddos connect to their favorite characters in a deeper way as they follow them along their journey. Instead of a one-and-done story, a series inspires your kiddo to keep on reading once they’ve finished the first book. They’ll be eager to pick up the next book and see what happens next!

If your kiddo doesn’t need pictures to stay engaged while you’re reading to them, reading aloud kids chapter books also help prolong their interest in a story. Snuggling up together to read a chapter or two before bedtime is a wonderful way to wind down after a busy day.

Reading together creates happy memories that last a lifetime. So, put that library card to good use, then bundle up for some quality reading time together…let’s hope you made that reading nook big enough for two!

Parents
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