Create a Cozy and Fun Place for your Child to Read.
High on every parents list of wants and needs for their child is the essential skill of reading and writing. Making a special spot in your home or classroom is essential in promoting a healthy and lasting relationship with books. One of my fondest memories with my grandmother was when we would cuddle up together for a bedtime story and I would never want it to end. As a parent I am experiencing the “just one more…pleeease?” with my children now. Shared moments like these will enhance your child’s development as a skilled, successful and enthusiastic reader.
Below are some great ideas to spark creativity in your own book center.
Shelving and seating can make a big difference when setting up your reading area. Here are some different ideas. The shelving unit is from Kaplan. But as a teacher I know we can find some of the best deals on Amazon and local discount stores.
This is a Book Center I currently use. It is big enough to seat about 5 to 6 kids comfortably and contains many comfort items such as pillows, blankets, chairs and stuffed animals. We use both small book baskets and a display shelf for reading. It is very easy for the children to see the books available and put them back when they are done. We also use this area for individual reading time, large group story, and calendar.
Display Books for Young Children.
I love this shelf because the children can access books very easily and put them away easily as well. As a provider I am able to search for the book I am going to read for large group faster because I are able to see titles. We cater to a mixed age group so as you can see we have board books with different textures, sound books, and paper back books. I try and fill it with a variety of themes and topics since all children are different and have different preferences. I have seen daycare centers fill up the book shelf with books from their unti they were teaching that week. For example, if they were starting a Spring Unit they would have a variety of spring books on the shelf. This is great but make sure there are other books with different topics available around the room or house.
(Below) Little chairs are perfect for little bodies and kids love them. I always thought it would be a hazard but they learn to treat the furnishings with respect and they love to sit in their own little seat.
Don't forget the walls!
What you put on the walls matter as well. Make sure all pictures are at your child’s height. These pictures are from Discount School Supply and are great because they are easy to clean and hang on the wall. During Circle Time with a small group of preschoolers I will ask “what is happening in this picture?” or “what are they doing in this picture?” Sometimes it is a great start to a new unit or theme we do.
During circle time we do Calendar and Story Time. As you can see with the picture below it is low enough for the older children to add numbers to or count with but high enough for smaller children not to pull off the wall.
To make this easy display I took a thin piece of metal I found at the hardware store and spray painted it orange. It is our magnet board / Calendar display. I attached it to the wall (make sure you find the stud) with a couple of screws.
This chalk board below was made by a peice of ply wood and some framing materialing. I found chalk board paint inthe painting section and colored the trim with spray paint I hade left over.
I have heard many teachers say how they wish they could incorporate writing materials in the reading center but time and time again they find books written on and pages full of wonderful crayon. So instead of pencils and markers in the reading center I created a black board made from plywood and chalk board paint I found at a discount price online. It is not magnetic (though there is magnet paint) but the door that leads outside is metal so we just painted that in chalk board paint as well. They use the same centers in Kindergarten and first grade classrooms so it prepares the child for school as well.
More to Come...Thanks for stopping by!