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Anne Marie Cropper

July 26, 2012

 When I traded in my 2nd grade teaching career for motherhood, one of the many things I knew I would bring with me was my desire to instill a love of reading in children.  I knew that one of the keys to this would be establishing a reading area in our home-- a place that draws children in, feels comfy, and is stocked with great literature.  Anyone can do this--you don't have to have a lot of space or money to make it happen.  Here are my 4 tips for creating a reading nook your children will love:

Obviously there are a lot of great options.  I went with these 'Rollie Pollie' chairs because they are delightfully comfortable and great for all ages (oh, and washable!).  

The best use of space is to have a large bookshelf.  This was a really old, but solid one that we spruced up with some fresh paint.  My favorite storage, though, is our pallet bookshelf.  Just saw off a section of the pallet, then remove a board from the unused section and nail it on to create a bottom for your shelf.  (You could sand and paint the shelf, but we wanted a more raw look.  Just make sure to sand it well enough to protect little hands!)

 I chose artwork for our nook that was both childlike and appealing from a design approach. The possibilities are endless--prints, ABC cards, vintage flashcards or book pages, children's artwork...be creative and make it you!

This is the most important tip of all.  Books need to be easy to find and appealing to your children.  Here are some suggestions:

 *Organize books by series or genre.  All the Magic Treehouse books are easily located in one bin, for example.  We also have a specific area on our shelf for non-fiction.  You can even have designated tubs for individual children where they store the books that are the right level for them.  (This is especially helpful for emerging readers who struggle to choose books that are a good fit for them.  You help them identify the right books and put their name on their bin.)

*Having open shelving like the pallet bookshelf is wonderful because the children see the whole book, which is a lot more appealing than just the spine.  I have seen lots of great ways to display books like this, including IKEA spice racks and plastic rain gutters.  Be creative!

*'Browsing boxes' are an absolute must for paperbacks!  Instead of getting thrown in the shelves where they flop over and can't be seen, they remain organized and easily accessible.

 I'm happy to report that my dreams came true!  Our sons adore our reading nook and spend countless hours there.  It thrills me.

I hope these tips help you, as well.  Please be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions or further suggestions.

Rollie Pollie pattern
Rollie Pollie fabric
Eric Carle ABC cards
Love One Another print

Anne Cropper is a former 2nd grade teacher and a stay at home mother of three (and expecting number four: a girl!). She loves sunshine, making cupcakes, running, and sparkling lemonade. She lives in Ashland, Oregon, with the love of her life, Taylor, and their three sons--Blaine, Roger, and Jared Carter. 

You can follow Anne's journey through motherhood at:

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