3 Essential Elements of a Cozy Kids’ Reading Nook
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Cozy Reading Corner Ideas for Toddlers & Beyond
The best way to promote reading in your house? Create a cozy reading corner where kids can snuggle up with a pile of books.
You could even take it a step further by putting a cozy little nook in several different areas of the home.
This way, they can sit down and read wherever they are: the living room, family room, bedrooms. You could even keep a few books in the kitchen to occupy them while you’re making dinner.
As a bonus: having book storage all over the house also helps make cleanup easy. Because if your kids are anything like mine, you probably wind up with books all over the place.
This way, you can just put them away on the nearest shelf or in a basket nearby, rather than running all over the house to gather them up.
There are SO many ways to display books in the home!
You could either use these kids’ reading corner ideas to create little nooks in several different rooms, or you could create one main reading corner and put a few more baskets around the house to catch stray books.
Let’s take a look at the three essential elements of a cozy kids’ reading nook, and then we’ll dive into some really fun ideas for implementing each of these elements.
1st Element of a Cozy Kids’ Reading Nook: Book Storage
We’re currently in temporary housing, so our books are just displayed on cube shelving, along with all the toys.
Meanwhile, I’m dreaming of our children’s future reading nook, wherever we end up living permanently….
The book storage reading corner ideas for toddlers and older kiddos are absolutely endless!
1. Wall Mounted Wire Baskets
You can use wire plant baskets that are attached to the wall for displaying children’s books. The cover art faces forward for easy viewing. You can even keep small toys in the baskets.
2. Wicker Baskets on a Shelf
Use wicker baskets to keep small books together on the bookshelf. Those teeny-tiny board books are a pain to pick up when they’re scattered all over the floor, and it’s a lot of work to line them up on a shelf.
Just grab a basket (or plastic container in our case!) and toss them in, then set the whole basket on the shelf.
3. Library Cart on Wheels
Utilize a library cart on wheels for portable book storage. Simply push it around the house, collecting stray books as you go. Then return the entire thing to the reading nook. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
4. Picture Ledges
Use picture ledges or spice racks to display books facing forward. When the cover art is exposed, the kids are more likely to sit down and read a book that catches their eye.
5. Cloth Book Slings
Cloth book slings are the latest Pinterest trend. They’re super cute, and you can use any fabric you like!
No time to make it yourself? Here is a super cute book sling bookshelf that I found on Amazon.
7. Large Basket or Box
Set a large decorative basket like this one, or even a wooden crate, on the floor so small children can easily access their books.
These are just a few ideas I’ve found for storing books in your kids’ reading corner. If you tap into your creative side, you could really use anything you have around the house to keep them organized.
Before we move on to the second element of a cozy reading corner for kids, I wanted to share a few book organization ideas with you.
Organizing Books on a Large Bookcase
Sure, the above ideas are cute and all. But what if you prefer to keep all the kids’ books together on one large bookcase?
What are some ways to display them so they are organized and visually appealing?
If you have a large bookcase where you keep all of your books together, there are so many fun ways to arrange them:
- Arrange them in order. You could organize them by age group, genre, or series, or you could even alphabetize them.
- Arrange them by color. Another idea is to group similar colors together to create a rainbow of books. This is a particularly fun idea that will catch kids’ eyes and encourage them to sit down and read a book.
- Break it up for visual appeal. To add a little more interest, I also like to place a stack of books horizontally every so often. This helps to visually break them up.
Book storage is just one thing you need when creating a cozy nook where your kiddos can sit down and read. What else can you put in the kids’ reading corner?
The second element is a comfortable place for them to read a book….
2nd Element of a Cozy Kids’ Reading Nook: Somewhere to Sit
To be honest, my toddler often grabs a pile of books and sits on the floor right in front of the bookshelves to read. Or she’ll just bring them to the couch and have us read them to her.
But she does have a couple comfy bean bag chairs that she can sit on when she wants to.
You could have a lot of fun decorating a reading nook with a theme! Or, you could just keep it simple with a few plush pillows to sit on.
Here are a few ideas that I hope will inspire you.
1. Oversize Pillows
Place a few oversize pillows like these in the kids’ reading corner, where they can sit on them, lie down, etc.
2. Beanbag Chairs
Get a couple kid-size bean bag chairs to complete the cozy nook. We have the Big Joe bean bag chairs in the child size, and they are great even for toddlers starting at about 18 months.
A daybed does double duty. It’s a comfy place to sit and read during the day, plus a place where guests can sleep at night.
4. Window Seat
A window seat is a cute and cozy place where anyone can snuggle up with a good book. And having a scenic view is an added bonus when you have a window seat!
Even if you don’t have a window, you could always add a little bench in some little corner or nook, kind of like the one pictured below.
5. Under the Staircase
Create a cozy nook under the staircase with built-in shelves and seating. (I’m in love with this idea. Why wouldn’t you utilize this otherwise-wasted space in a creative way?!)
6. Indoor Tent
A canopy or indoor tent creates a private little hideaway where kids can get away from it all and read a book.
Consider hanging a hammock in the kids’ reading corner, if you have enough space for it. Personally, I would make sure it can handle the weight of an adult too (this hammock looks super comfy!). Just saying… 😉
8. Small Closet
A closet makes a great little hideaway, and with some bookshelves and seating — voilà — it becomes a reading nook.
9. Indoor “Tree House”
Build an indoor tree house, playhouse, library, etc. where the kids will have both a quiet place to read and a fun place to play.
3rd Element of a Cozy Kids’ Reading Nook: Interesting Books
By now, you probably have some awesome kids’ reading corner ideas floating around in your head. You have the storage and seating all planned out.
But what about the most important part of a reading nook — the books?!
You can have the most awesome reading corner in the world, but if the books don’t appeal to the kids, your cozy nook is just going to be neglected.
News flash: As they grow, kids not only outgrow their clothing, but their books as well.
Not to mention their interests can vary quite a bit. One type of book might appeal to one of your kids, while another likes an entirely different genre.
Be sure to have a variety of reading material available that aligns with each of your kids’ interests.
Babies & Toddlers
Babies and toddlers love books that they can interact with, particularly books with different textures.
Sensory books help build nerve connections in the brain, encourage the development of motor skills, and even support language development.
- Curious Columbus Quiet Book for Babies
- LoveLnE Play With Quiet Book
- Melissa and Doug Soft Activity Book
Related: 5 of the Best Books for Toddlers Age 1 & Beyond
Preschool & Kindergarten
This is the age when some kids might be starting to read. Rhyming stories with repeated sounds are great for preschool and kindergarten age kids.
Check out some non-fiction books to accommodate a wide variety of interests, from history to science, astronomy, and lots of different hobbies, such as cooking and gardening.
There are fiction books for all different age levels, from beginner to advanced reader. Elementary age kids are starting to get interested in chapter books.
Middle Grade Fiction
By the time kids get into their older teens, they typically have already decided whether they enjoy reading or not.
Some aren’t really into reading regular novels, but enjoy graphic novels, or perhaps they like listening to audiobooks.
I feel that they all count as “reading” because they are still enjoying a story, and probably learning a few things along the way.
For older teens who like reading chapter books, there are so many different genres to choose from.
How Do I Make a Reading Nook for My Kids?
The three essential elements of a cozy kids’ reading nook are seating, book storage, and books. While you don’t need much more than this, there are a few other things you might want to consider adding:
- extra lighting
- wall art
Enjoy putting together your children’s cozy reading corner!
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You piqued my interest with the title (as a good WriterMom should), but I compared your list to my own. Interesting books, check. Somewhere to sit, or rather somewhere comfortable to read, check. But you missed it with the third, which should be “lighting.” Any important task requires the correct lighting. Just my “two cents.”
You’re right — I’ll have to move the “extra lighting” from the additional elements list to the essential elements list. Good lighting is crucial in any reading area. I’ll make myself a note to update this post soon! -Tonya