Expert Ideas for Creative Reading Spaces for Kids

Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Expert Ideas for Creative Reading Spaces for Kids

Let them take the lead

Encouraging children to foster a love of books and reading at an early age is an excellent way to set them up for their future. However, getting our children to want to read is a task much easier said than done. Creating a comfortable, quiet and unique space for your kids to read can be the perfect way for them to fall in love with the world of literature. That’s why we’ve reached out to the experts from Sacramento to Philadelphia to provide you with some ideas for creating the perfect reading space for your children. So sit back, and check out these imaginative reading nook ideas to help your child foster a lifelong love of books and learning.

Choose the right space

Choose the right space

The Association for Supportive Child Care recommends that reading areas for children are quiet, have plenty of light, and are arranged to fit the child’s height. For children that don’t enjoy reading, opt for books with an even mix of text & images and provide sketchbooks with colored pencils/crayons so they can draw out the things they’re reading and seeing. Tight on space? Try lofting the child’s bed and using the space underneath it or filling a claw foot tub with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and books to make a cozy reading nook. Lastly, fill the space with books you want them to read – such as Language & Literacy items – as well as things they love, as this helps create a lasting desire to read. – The Association for Supportive Child Care

At Worldreader, we believe that the best place to read to your child is the place that you are both most comfortable. Routine is key to developing your child’s reading skills. Set a goal of reading to your child for 15 minutes each day. Then pick a spot in your house that invites you and your child to relax and focus on reading. It could be a corner of your living room with some big pillows,  a beanbag or swinging hammock chair; it could be a big comfy recliner or easy chair with room enough for two, or simply your child’s bed with big pillows to prop yourself up. If you have the means to create a separate space, focus on paint and furnishings in cool colors in lighter shades (blues, greens, violets) and provide dimmable lighting – the idea is to calm your child and set the stage for relaxed reading. Most importantly, make reading a time to tune everything else out and really bond with your child over stories. This will set them up for success in school and life. For a great collection of free global books, available right on your mobile phone – go to – Worldreader

Let them take the lead

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is a leader in youth development and a primary focus in our programs is amplifying the youth voice. To ensure their buy-in and excitement, let your child take the lead on planning the space to really let their personality shine. Establish a budget and get extra creative by visiting your local thrift store and upcycling treasures into a work of art. For example, spray paint an outdated lamp with a bright color or a cool metallic, swap out a new lampshade for a more modern version or embellish it with stickers or rhinestones. Or, gather old shelves or baskets to paint and decorate and use them to store your favorite books. – Seattle YMCA

As a children’s book author, I am always working on creative ways to help children develop a life-long love for reading. I feel it is important to create stories that spark imagination and provide an opportunity to escape into the magical world of books. When I was a kid I always enjoyed reading in places that felt magical to me, whether that was a treehouse, blanket fort, or in my room beneath twinkle lights. My advice to parents is to figure out what elements inspire your child’s imagination -whether it be lights, fun wallpaper, mounds of blankets, or a special nook and create a space that makes reading all the more enjoyable. – Tracy L Blom, Children’s Author

Let them take the lead

See it from their perspective

To create a space that invites children to sit and read for a bit, try and see the space from their perspective and let them help in the process! Offer a variety of seating options, whether it be comfy floor pillows or more sturdy stools, but keep them low to the ground to make it feel like it’s special just for the children. Let them help pick the books that go in the reading nook, and make it even more timeless and keep them interested by rotating the books every few months. Instead of traditional wall art or décor, provide them with a chalkboard or dry erase board low to the ground. Add some writing utensils in a small basket nearby and encourage them to draw parts of the story as they read. These quick and easy ideas will make reading both fun and immersive helping create a lifelong love of reading! – The Merit School

Embrace the outdoors

Nothing is quite so magical as an outdoor reading space for kids. Scout your yard for a small tucked away space: under a spreading shrub, between a cluster of tree trunks, or behind a shed. An outdoor carpet and heaps of pillows make it cozy. A tarp, tent or even a golf umbrella provides shade and a windbreak. A plastic tub to put these things in, keeps them safe from squirrel sabotage and raccoon rampage. – Rosanne Parry

Personalize, personalize, personalize

At Jobs in Childcare, we know the importance of reading! We suggest making any reading space as comfortable and creative as possible. A fort or tent that can be set up easily with blankets or pillows is a good starting point. You could even try something more permanent made with lightweight wood, fabric and some fairy lights. It’s always a great idea to try and tie any design in with the interests of the kids themselves; so why not have a go at Minecraft, Frozen, or Toy Story-themed reading nooks? – Jobs in Childcare

You can transform any space in your home into a fun reading nook! If you happen to have extra closet space, you could paint the inside your child’s favorite color, add a cute bench, some fun pillows, string up some lights, and you’ve made a cozy nook! This also works well for those sometimes awkward under the stairs storage spaces. Finish it off with some book baskets, comfy pillows, and maybe even decorate R-E-A-D letters for the walls, and you’ve designed a comfy reading spot. If you don’t have extra space, move your reading nook from spot to spot! Build a fort under your dining room table or set up a tent in the living room. Any fun-shaped string lights make it extra fun and don’t forget your book baskets! Enjoy your reading nook! – Creative Reading Adventures

To create an inviting reading nook for your kid(s), begin with the things they care about – favorite topics, color schemes, books, or pillows – and use that inside info to customize your cozy corner. Providing personal and compelling choices will give your child(ren) a sense of ownership and pride around their special spot, which engages them more deeply and helps to foster a love of reading. – Story Shares

Make it accessible anytime, anywhere

We want to show our children storytime can happen all around us – anytime, anywhere. Yes, even in the bath! So tuck book storage a handful of places around your home. With my job as Founder & CEO of, a subscription book club & publishing house, I have over a thousand books. We have 3 different book depositories: a bookshelf in the nursery, a book cart in our living room, and a book basket that travels around our home and backyard. – Brittany Murlas, Founder & CEO

Have a variety of reading material (including books, magazines, comics) within arms reach of your reading area – the easier you have access to reading materials the more likely you and your family will be to read. – Everyone’s Librarian

Create a space that captivates curiosity

Now that we’re all spending so much more time at home, creating a cozy, kid-sized reading space is more important than ever. Consider your favorite childhood forts, and try to incorporate some of those imaginative and magical elements. Making a space that is easily accessible to your child and captivates their curiosity will draw them in. Ambient string lights, comfy pillows, a small, well-placed chalkboard for doodles, and an open, low-profile bookshelf filled with colorful, diverse children’s books make for a good template. Developing a love for reading is such an integral part of teaching kids how to seek knowledge, and establishing a storytime routine can be a great way to guide kids towards an independent passion for learning.

Create a space that captivates curiosity

Embrace the Fidget

If your child finds focus through fidgeting, don’t fight it! Give them the freedom to move while they read with dynamic seating like an exercise ball or rocking chair. For additional stimulation, you can stock the reading space with small fidget toys. Free up both hands for fidgeting with a book stand that keeps pages flat. – Staffing at Tiffanie’s

Keep their book collection as diverse as possible

As an educator, I suggest stocking up on books of different genres and storylines written by diverse authors. You can find great books on Books for Littles or get a subscription box from Little Justice Leaders or Little Feminist to regularly update your reading options. For children who like to read on a tablet or listen to audiobooks, have an outlet or extension cord handy to charge devices. Finally, designate a space for paper and pencils nearby so kids can write or draw as they read or use chalkboard or whiteboard paint to create a space to write on the wall! – Lindsay Beth Lyons

Having a dedicated library/ reading area in your home has been correlated with future academic success. Be sure to stock a good selection and wide variety to choose from. Kids especially gravitate to non-fiction books full of fun facts about their topic of interest. To maintain interest, rotate books every few months and include some holiday and seasonal titles! – Stop & Play

Comfort is key

Ensure you have a comfy space for your child to read in. Think of a den with cozy cushions for them (and ideally you!) to sit in so you can share their reading experience. Lighting is key, if you can’t see the words you can’t read them, but we are not suggesting bright overhead lights, but some small desk lights or clip lights will add a soft atmosphere and a feeling of relaxed comfort.  Our final suggestion is to ensure you include some child-friendly storage. Give them the chance to browse their collection of books. Kids are never too young to be read to, or with, so good height shelves or a book sling where they can recognize their favorites works really well. – Your Employee Wellbeing

Creating a cozy spot in your home that encourages your child to read doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive! A bean bag, a pile of cushions, rocking chair, or even a sleeping bag can be an inviting place to curl up with a great book. If finding a quiet location is a challenge, a white noise machine or some quiet background music can help drown out distractions for your reader.  Add in some snacks and a blanket on a chilly day, and your child will be ready for her reading adventures! – NC School Library Media Administration

Comfort is key

Get creative with everyday items

Every child deserves a reading nook – a special spot where they can curl up and read! Start by making a book bin from a cardboard box or plastic tub. Let your child decorate it with markers, paints, or other craft supplies. Then fill it with lots of books – variety is important! Finally, create coziness by adding a rug, blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal. Happy Reading! – The National Center for Families Learning

Turn reading into an experience

Create an immersive reading space in your home to foster a lifelong love of reading through learning-based play that connects stories and literacy to real-life and imaginative experiences! At the Waltham Public Library, we often center our play space design around cardboard box creations— turning recycled boxes into rocket ships, jungle trees, or castles. Transform a corner or small room into a cozy nook to read in with recycled materials and household items, such as fabric, cardboard, twinkly lights, stuffed animals, old keyboards, or colored paper to create the perfect background for an affordable yet exciting adventure through literacy and play! Whether you alternate these interactive features seasonally or switch-up the theme monthly, your child will build critical background knowledge to support their education and learn that reading, play and joy are intricately connected! – Waltham Public Library

Originally published on Redfin