As an adult, who doesn’t love curling up and relaxing with a good book?  Kiddos are the same way!  Setting the scene with comfortable chairs, a soft rug, and assortment of different books can make your classroom or home reading area much more enticing and enjoyable for young readers.

Seating and Accessories

Depending on the age level of the learners in your program, bean bag chairs, small rocking chairs, or even some larger pillows can do the trick. That being said, one tip when looking for comfortable items to add to your reading area is to think about how easy it would be to clean the items. We all know that germs and cleanliness can be problematic at schools, daycares, etc. Most bean bag chairs use a pleather material that is easily wipeable. Find or create your own chair pads that can either be thrown in the wash or wiped clean.

Stuffed animals are also a nice addition to any reading area. Kiddos may like to practice reading to them or just simply snuggle them while reading their favorite books. Tents, like the NaturePod Swing, can also help create a calming reading area and help shut out some of the extra distractions.

Book Selection

Another essential part of a successful reading area is the book selection. Select a variety of book genres – picture books, I Spy, non-fiction books, cultural books, etc. to help reach a wide variety of interests amongst your young learners. Take note of the interests in the class and add a few books in relation to those topics. Seasonal books can be fun as well!

Now that we have figured out what to put into our reading area, we need to find the perfect spot for it. Think of a quieter spot in your classroom or home that can be blocked off a bit with some extra shelving to make it extra cozy for your little readers. Ideally, this spot is away from some of the louder or high-traffic areas, like the block area or dramatic play, but you have to make do with what your space allows.

Reading Area Rules

It is also important to regulate how many kiddos are in the reading area at once. Overcrowding can make things much less relaxing and can cause unnecessary chaos. One classroom tip is to use center signs to help regulate how many kiddos can be in each area at one time. These center signs can be used in all areas of the classroom. Simply create laminated name tags for each child and keep them on the back of their chair or on a board somewhere in the classroom.

When it is time for them to pick a learning area/center to go to, they can take their name tag and put it on the appropriate sign. You can determine how many kiddos can be in each area by only putting a certain number of Velcro dots for them to hang their name tags on. Be sure to keep the number of Velcro dots the same as the number of comfortable chairs or spots in your reading area.

Hopefully these tips will help you to visualize and create your own calming reading area in your classroom or home. Keep things simple and comfortable. Happy reading!