book nook.

04 February 2012

My preschooler has entered the magical season where he is 'getting it!' I'm grinning like a crazy person from ear to ear and snickering over my crafty techniques. He's laughing and smiling and begging for more. It's the magic of early reading.

We read a lot in our house and a few months back I started to put a few new-to-our-house reading ideas in place. Here's one idea that my seven and five year olds are both loving.

My husband and I are avid readers and have always read to our kids, but I wanted to really encourage my kids to experience the feeling that comes from curling up with a book and sitting still with it for a bit on their own. There's a certain sense of well being and peace that I've always found from the moments spent reading quietly and I have been trying to figure out ways for them to each start to experience this as individuals—rather than with me guiding the story.

So, with that goal in mind, I created a cozy little space in a corner of their room with a few pillows. I then strung some empty pieces of embroidery floss overhead-- creating a canopy of sorts. Next, I grabbed two small canvas boxes and affixed the initials of my kids names onto them with a bit of felt.* On a nearby surface, I placed a jar filled with stars that I cut out of felt. And, finally, I presented the game to my kids. “Take a book out of your box. Curl up in the new book nook. Read it in the way you know best.** And, when you finish the book, take a piece of tape and a star and attach it to one of the strings overhead. Let's create a starry sky for your reading nook! The more books you read, the starrier the sky will get.” 

Smiles started, independent reading flourished and a very starry sky has been created.

*With the kids help, I replace the books in each of their boxes with ones that are at an appropriate level for each of their abilities.

**Since my goal is to encourage a love of individual reading time, I wanted my kids to understand clearly that they could practice their level of reading-- whether that be sounding out some of the words, all of the words or purely looking through the pictures. The important thing to me, for this activity time, is that they learn to sit with a book from beginning to end and enjoy the quiet and time to be absorbed into the activity.

Linked at Today's Creative Blog.


Margaret said...

What a perfect idea!! Too bad my girls are so old. The older one has always loved to read and the younger is coming to enjoy it more than she used to.

Naomi said...

That is THE cutest idea!

Ken Benny said...

Ah ha! There is a teacher inside of you!

Anonymous said...

Reading under the stars. Love it.

Unknown said...

That's a fab idea!

Jeanene said...

I love this! And so easy! Thanks for the idea!

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