Parents often ask – “How do we encourage our child to naturally love reading? Why are some children glued to books while mine are glued to mobile screens and games? “.
The answer is actually pretty straight forward. From as early as possible – parents should try to create a nook or corner at home where children can get lost in their books. A place that children look forward to spending time in every day. A love for reading will naturally follow.
Hence, if possible and space permits – parents should create a reading corner for their children at home, taking effort to make it comfortable and cosy. A DIY reading corner is easy to set-up and there is no need to invest in any custom made furniture to create one!
Before we talk about reading corner decorations and set-up ideas, the number #1 rule that every reading corner should have is that the reading corner should not have toys lying around – not even educational toys!
In fact, no stressful academic activities should take place in the designated kid’s reading corner. The place should be maintained as a safe haven of relaxation and self paced incidental learning – a place that children look forward to spending time in getting lost in books.
Furniture In A Kids Reading Corner
Parents can keep a small bookcase in the reading corner where they keep all their children’s favourite books.This bookcase can be swapped for a larger one as the child’s collection of books grows in size. If the collection grows even more, books can be kept in large plastic boxes which are reasonably easy to get a hold off. Stickers can be used to decorate these boxes to keep things pleasing to the eye. If there is space on the walls around the area, posters can be put up as additional decorations. Decorations can be based on any reasonable theme like that of animals, cartoon characters or even just based on colours. In fact, you don’t need a theme at all! Just remember to keep things cosy and informal so that the nook is always inviting to the child.
Typically, a mini sofa or a large pillow will be the only other piece of furniture needed to complete the reading corner.
Books In A Child’s Reading Corner
You guessed it, assessment books do not belong here!
Book can be bought online, or from bookstores. Several charitable organisations also give away books for free. Libraries also sometimes hold book sales for old books. Sometimes, people also give away books for free or at very low cost in order to simply clear up space in their homes. Magazines like National Geographic are a great addition to any collection. If you happen to have a digital book reader, it would be an excellent idea to keep it in the reading corner as well.
Parents can also refresh the book collection every once in awhile. Online book stores have a great variety of books and new authors are publishing new children’s books by the hundreds (maybe even thousands) every day! Do not limit yourself to just the collection at your local book store.
Once the reading corner has been created – allocate a reading time.
This must be a special time in the house, where for at least 30 minutes, all devices in the house must be put away and the television must be switched off.
During this time, parents can spend quality time in the reading corner with their children and read to them. No quizzes, no testing if they have been paying attention and no structured or formal teaching or coaching activity should take place. This special time must always be a pleasant, stress free time for both the parent and the child.
If the child is old enough to read on his or her own, then the parent can allow the child to do so – while the adults in the house proceed to also catch up on their reading for the day. Children will learn from the example that adults in the family set for them. It must become a routine part of the day, for all family members at home to set aside time to read.
Brought to you by the KidsEnglishCollege™ Editorial Team.
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