Encourage Young Readers with a Welcoming Literacy Space

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Encourage Young Readers with a Welcoming Literacy Space

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on August 11, 2021

Getting your child to willingly read a book at home can be a struggle. With distractions like TV, video games, outside play with friends, and after-school activities, how can books compete?

For lots of families, the answer is to create a warm, welcoming space that invites kids to engage with books and encourages literacy, even if they don't sit still long enough to finish a whole book or aren't quite ready to read independently yet.

The Benefits of a Designated Reading Space

  • Helps make reading a relaxing, enjoyable part of your family's daily routine
  • Sends a clear message about the importance of reading
  • Shows kids that reading can happen anywhere, not just at school
  • Invites kids to explore books on their own time and at their own pace
  • Offers a great alternative to screens and can help cure "I'm bored!"-itis

Tips for Creating a Welcoming Literacy Space in Your Home

Your reading nook doesn't have to be fancy--or even very big--in order to benefit the young readers in your life. A comfortable chair in the corner of the family room, a bean bag or a few pillows stacked in a corner, or even a blanket tucked into a closet are all great ideas for small spaces.

  • Make sure you include a comfortable place to sit and good lighting.
  • Use low shelves or a sturdy box to store books so kids can reach them easily and safely without help.
  • Repair or replace torn books.
  • Rotate books often to keep the selection fresh and ensure kids get excited about finding "new" books in their collection.
  • Create variety by including fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, even catalogs or newspapers that might capture your child's interest.

How to Stock Your Home Library

New books can be expensive, but there are lots of different ways to stock an amazing home library without spending a fortune.

  • Shop for books at yard sales and thrift stores.
  • Take advantage of Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood.
  • Visit your local library! Now that all Anne Arundel County Public Library materials are fee-free, you can keep books at home for longer without incurring late fines or penalties.
  • Search Facebook Marketplace or your local neighborhood buy/sell/trade groups.
  • Arrange a free book swap with neighbors, friends, and family. Everyone can bring their gently used books and kids will have a blast "shopping" for their home libraries.

For more tips and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming reading space in your home, check out these links:

Creating a Home Library (Reading Rockets)

Build Your Own Home Library (Kids Read Now)

10 Creative Reading Nook Ideas for Kids (Lemon & Kiwi Designs Blog)

12 Ideas for Creative Reading Spaces for Kids (The Spruce Blog)

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