Create a comfortable and cozy reading nook at home to show your child how much you value books and reading. Toddlers benefit significantly from listening to stories. After hearing a book several times, toddlers will often begin to pick out a favorite book by looking at the cover or even the spine. Build on this new skill by providing easy access to your toddler’s familiar and favorite titles.
- materials to create a cozy reading nook (e.g., bean bag, pillow, stuffed animals, engaging posters)
- baskets, bins or shelf for books
- much-loved children’s books
Step 1: Set up a home library for your toddler. It doesn’t need to be large or fancy, but instead should feel cozy and inviting. You might consider including some stuffed animals and comfortable seating such as a bean bag chair or pillow, or even a small tent to climb into. You might paint the reading nook a bright, cheerful and inviting color or add murals of favorite characters. Provide good lighting in the library area.
Step 2: Include some of your child’s favorite books that are in good condition and are not tattered and worn. Start with sturdy board books that you have recently read and your child has enjoyed. Toddlers love to revisit books that have been read to them.
Step 3: When you introduce the reading nook to your toddler, be sure to give her lessons on how to care for her books. Model and teach how to turn pages carefully. Show her how to return and store books when she is finished reading. Remind her that books are for reading, not for drawing and marking.
Step 4: If desired, you can think of a fun name for the reading nook. It might become My Reading Hut, Reading Tank, Imagination Cloud, Comfy Spot, Imagination Zone or anything that you feel would appeal to your toddler.
Step 5: Let your toddler have fun reading and exploring her books! Rotate the books from time to time. Add new books that you find your toddler enjoys. Remove those that she has outgrown or are no longer of interest.
Here are some books you might consider for the reading nook: