Firstly, it is important to note that each school will have a different reading corner suited to their pupils and teaching style, varying in terms of themes, furniture and equipment. Below are a few visual ideas followed by a few of the most basic yet important things to consider are.
- Comfortable seating including cushions, bean bags, Carpets and a snuggly chairs
- Good lighting using natural or artificial light to create intrigue and ambiance
- Practical book storage
- Decorative personal touches and accessories to draw children in and keep them interested
In relation to storage, it completely depends on the size of the space you have and the age of the children; easy access, low level boxes and baskets with front facing books work more effectively for younger children. If spacing is limited, consider wall hung book racks whereas if the space is larger, rotating book centres allow children to gather round and select books together.
Alternatively, if you are thinking of dividing a space, there exist some great curved units in a subtle ‘s’ shape which have shelving on one side and writing boards on the other for a dual purpose. Book trolleys are also useful for transporting books around. There are some lovely furniture pieces that can be used as both cosy dens for quiet corner seating combined with book storage, some can easily be personalised to your space.
Regarding decoration, there are many different themes that can be adopted to make a reading corner appealing to children. A few examples include:
- Jungle theme – use animal print fabrics and a leaf canopy. See our fantastic themed image backdrops – Forest and green artificial grass rugs and carpets
- Sea theme – textured rugs help to create a coral underwater effect. See our fantastic themed image backdrops – under the Sea
- Outdoor theme – artificial grass mats are super for this.
- Western theme – use a wigwam or build a tepee-like den for children to read in
- Readers Clubhouse – for older children, where they can post their work, drawings and book reviews on bulletin boards on the walls, adding new vocabulary to look like trees are growing outside of the clubhouse
Additionally, referring to today’s advanced technology, Jan Ward from TTS explains:
Creating the right atmosphere and environment, as well as subtly incorporating modern-day technology is pivotal in the aim to get more children interested in reading.
With tablets now a part of everyday life, although they certainly should not replace books, they can definitely be used as a tool to engage and appeal to children who may not be as enthusiastic about traditional reading books. TTS also have some fantastic resources for this which allows children to listen to audio books using their Easi-Listener CD Player and Easi-Ears headphones which includes 6 wireless headsets and plays from MP3 recordings.
Finally, we’d love to hear about the different reading corners you have at your school and about the success you have had with them. Share your pictures with us in our Facebook Reading Areas photo album. Full of your inspiring photos. Check it out here and let us know what you think.