Setting up a cool reading corner for your child is one of the best ways to encourage them to read more.
Appealing to a child is the idea of having a cute, cozy, exciting private space where they can lose themselves into bookish adventures.
Fortunately, you don’t always have to spend a fortune to renovate a room to make it a safe and fun library for your child. A simple reading corner can be their paradise if you pay attention to the following principles.
Have it the way they want it
We all have our own opinion on what the interior design should be like and what furniture we should use – the “Ikea meltdown” exists for a reason.
However, when setting up the reading corner for your child, keep in mind that it is for them. It should be a place they enjoy spending time in. The reading corner should reflect their own taste and personal preferences, even if you don’t think it’s appealing.
That is not to say you shouldn’t have a say in how the corner is to be made. You can do the designing together. Let them plan the budget with you and even contribute their own money saved up. Give them suggestions when you think something of their choice could pose a problem later on.
Finally, let your child contribute in the “construction” and decoration of the reading corner. It is not only a good way to strengthen the family bond, but also for your child to practise working on projects and taking pride in what they do. Who doesn’t like spending time in a place that they took part in building?
Make it full of light
It’s important to make sure your child gets sufficient light in their nook. Improper lighting not only causes fatigue to their young eyes, but can potentially mess with their circadian rhythm.
If the place does not have enough light, your child will have trouble reading their books, and it’s very easy to feel sluggish and doze off. On the other hand, if the light is too bright and “cold” at night, they might experience difficulty falling asleep when bedtime comes.
The most ideal thing a reading corner can have is a broad window that allows a lot of natural light in. For reading at night, find a lamp with yellowish light to illuminate in the corner.
If natural light is not an option, however, find a ceiling light or a floor lamp with adjustable brightness and colour temperature. Set it at high intensity and high colour temperature during the day, so your child has bright light similar to daylight to stay fresh and alert. As the night sets in, dim the light a bit and change it to a warmer colour to make your child relax and fall asleep easier.
Preserve a spot for eye resting
While it can be pleasing for a parent to see their child spending hours enjoying their books, remember that the human eyes are not designed for looking at such close distance for too long. Make sure your child gives some relaxation to their eyes every once in a while by looking at something else at a further distance.
That’s why a window is so important – it offers some distraction from the book. Also, if there are trees, flowers and other greens outside, it could be a beautiful physical world for your child’s eyes and mind to wander in, as they get out from the bookish one.
If the reading area is in a small corner with no window, you can still manage by having it open to a larger space, such as the living room. This way, your child can apply the 20-20-20 rule (looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes) to relax their eyes.
Make sure there’s always fresh air
Ventilation is very easily overlooked, because it’s not something you can usually “see” immediately. However, it is as important to your kid’s reading room as it is to the entire house.
Sufficient oxygen and air movement in the reading area keeps your child’s mind clear and fresh. Meanwhile, a poorly ventilated room tends to have a concentrated amount of allergens such as pollen and dust. These irritants can cause allergies, affecting their health and consequently their ability to focus on the reading materials.
A nice way to freshen the air in a reading corner is to put in some leafy plants, such as golden pothos or English ivy. Make sure they are placed where daylight can reach them, or this will backfire, as they will be competing with your child for oxygen!
Add some exciting objects
A child’s home reading corner doesn’t have to look like a boring library – and sometimes you can bring it to a whole new level of coolness just by adding some unconventional objects in it.
Brainstorm with your child to create a short list of what exciting things they want to have in the place. If space and budget allow, why not a mini loft with a stair or a rope to climb up and a slider to get down. A comfy hanging chair is also a great choice for the reading corner, especially if space is limited.