Did you have a spot where you spent countless hours reading when you were a child? I found solace in my bathroom closet atop all the extra linens and towels. It was and still is an awesome space. The area I loved was directly under our attic stairs, leaving the ceiling sloped and one corner of the closet at a much lower height than the rest of the closet. I loved (and I’m sure I still would to this day) to pile up in that corner atop all the extra linens and read a book. More times than I could count, my mama would find me in the said closet taking a book nap.
You may be familiar with some of the age-old methods utilized since the dawn of the written word to encourage readers. These methods such as being a good role model, introducing them to libraries, reading with and to your child, etc., are tried and true. However, a method I believe is often overlooked, is creating a space conducive to reading.
Recently, I cleaned out a large cabinet that I had repurposed into a bookshelf. The large bottom cabinet was left empty. My youngest son took some toys and hopped right in that bottom cabinet. He played quietly for well over an hour. Racing his hot wheels, reading books, and playing with legos. Extremely basic, an empty cabinet with leftover Christmas lights, a blanket, and a pillow to sit on, but to my five and seven-year-old it was a bat cave, a spaceship, and a fort.
That very same night I gently broke the news to my husband, I had officially farmed out more space for our children. That’s right, my mama heart could not fill that cabinet back up with books when my sweet babies had found a space they love. And to be quite honest, I love their space too. I love the giggles, and how their eyes lit up when they saw their newly completed space, and how they can create a fantastical world inside of a cabinet in our living room.
My whole point is to step outside of the lines and get creative when encouraging your child to read. Instead, take a moment and get creative! Make a blanket fort, put up a small tent, keep that refrigerator box and grab some crayons, let them lay in your extra large suitcase with a blanket and their teddy bear. Wherever and whatever it is, encourage them to find their space and help create it. In the words of perhaps the most well-known children’s book author, Dr. Seuss, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!”
Like and follow our Facebook page to stay up to date on all of the library news and events. Look for our new monthly early literacy calendars and check out one of our book kits! Book kits contain children’s books with a common theme and fun activities related to the books. Join us at the Andrew Lewis Middle School craft and vendor show on Feb. 18 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. where we will have free books and dip sales. Admission is free.