You may have heard the quote by Emilie Buchwald, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” I once read a book that discussed this very idea, called Read to Lead by Ron Smith. In the book Smith looks at the lives of seven people who were leaders within different spheres of society. The one thing they all had in common? They were avid readers, and all of them developed a love for reading when they were young children— each because their mother or primary care-taker had read aloud to them on a regular basis and had taught them to read.
One way you can encourage your kids to love books and reading— and also improve their literacy skills, is to create a little reading or listening nook for them. Over the past couple of years we have collected a few audiobooks. After taking the Playful Learning Spaces eCourse (more on this this and a Playful Learning giveaway to come), I was inspired to organize our audiobooks into a little listening and reading nook. Our nook has gotten lots of use— the girls take turns in there throughout the day. It has been a great entertainment source for them while I am busy getting things done around the house or taking care of their baby brother. And when they want some down-time they will slip into their corner, hidden behind a chair, and listen to their favorite stories.
Here is my middle one listening to Beauty and the Beast… and also:
How to Create a Simple Reading Nook for Your Kids
You will need:
1 – A couple of baskets for storing your books and audiobooks (chalkboard/slate label from Michael’s).
2- A cozy nook.
3- A couple of comfy floor pillows. I love these.
4- A CD player and some earphones (for when the babe is sleeping or things need to be quiet).
A few tips:
Instead of dishing out a bunch of money to buy all new books, I went to Audible Kids and found the audio versions of some favorites we already own. I burned our purchases to blank CDs (each book got its own CD) and used these sleeves to make them into little kits. Another place we have found audiobooks is our local library. It’s fun to keep things fresh (and free!) by rotating books regularly. Although my three are pretty little, older kids would enjoy a reading nook too— as many beloved chapter books come in audio versions.
Check out these reading nooks for more ideas.
For a free printable 2×6 bookmark, click on the image below: