It’s well known that reading is considered beneficial towards a child’s development, but have you ever stopped to wonder just why that is? Reading exposes children not just to grammar, phrasing and vocabulary, teaching them ways to build more nuanced sentence structures, but it also helps give them an understanding of perspectives not their own, cultures long gone and places across the world.
By teaching your child to read, you’re not only increasing their ability to write, to communicate, you’re teaching them a life-skill that can have a profound effect on how they interact with their world for the rest of their life. Reading is a vital skill required for navigating Western society, appearing in the most mundane of places.
Teaching your child to enjoy reading can help increase their development of their spoken language skills and their ability to express themselves. While the books themselves are, obviously, of vital importance when looking to help encourage your child to read, creating a space for the sole purpose of reading can also help enormously.
To give you some inspiration and guidance, here are our top tips on creating a reading nook for your child:
A nook by definition is a corner or recess offering seclusion and security, an unused wardrobe, a built in cupboard, or just an empty corner of the room are perfect places for a reading nook.
Make it interesting. Add a little decoration to the area to make it special. Have the books on shelves or ledges so they can easily be selected and reached, let your child choose the book they want to read.
Make sure it’s comfortable. Add cushions, a little bed space, or a big comfy chair. However you choose to make that space comfortable, just make sure it’s big enough for you to fit in too. Reading aloud to your child gives them the proper pronunciation for new words and increases their understanding of context and content.
Make sure it’s well lit. You want them to be able to enjoy their reading nook whatever the weather or time of day, so make sure that they’re not straining their eyes due to poor lighting conditions, particularly if you have chosen to renovate an old cupboard or built them a tent-fort.
Give your child the space and time to read every day; if they’re disappearing off to bury their nose in a book then your reading nook is a success. A child’s capacity to disappear into a story can open up their imagination and teach them about the world we live in, as well as the myriad of worlds authors have created, all of which throw some light on our own culture.
And then all that’s left is to fill it with books! Second hand bookstores are a great place to pick up new books at bargain prices and are a cheap way of providing an inexhaustible source of reading material, so you can sit back and get stuck in to reading your own stack of novels.