How to Use Interior Design to Encourage Your Kids’ Reading
DESIGN, Living, Motherhood
'Mummy, books are just like toys, but even better, right?' Lidia, 4 years old.
If you are reading this, chances are you enjoy reading with your child and you’d love them to become an independent reader. There is lots of general advice available for parents to encourage reading. Today, I want to focus specifically on how interior design can help.
We all know how beneficial reading is for children of all ages. It comes with so many proven benefits. Reading stimulates our kids’ curiosity, develops their brain and social skills and sparkles their imaginations to name a few.
Recent studies confirm the unarguable bond between the space we live in and our emotions. Scientists have been hard at work researching this topic in depth and their findings are most incredible. They are showing the ability of interior design to bring out positive or negative emotional response in people. These findings open doors for us to consciously manipulate decorative elements with a certain goal in mind. We can work with light, colour and space planning to encourage peace and happiness and achieve a more positive outcome.
As an alternative to your child’s room, consider using a part of your family’s common area. You might use it even more often as a result. Another plus is that if your child is little, you will be easily able to keep an eye on them. Some homes come with awkward nooks and crannies, which might work surprisingly well as a reading area. Just make sure it is away from distractions (switch off TV, etc).
No matter what you decide, you can reserve a dedicated comfortable space for reading / relaxation. The idea is to evoke positive feelings and encourage your child to spend time reading.
When thinking about creating a perfect reading nook for your child, look for soft comfortable seating which will allow your child to relax. There are so many possibilities! Think cosy rug or play mat on the floor with lots of comfy cushions or big comfy armchair for cuddling up together. Bean bags and colourful floor mats also work really well.
Next step is to make the reading corner inviting. Think about wall colour wisely, choose timeless neutral / pastel shades that won’t have to be changed soon. This will allow you to update the space by a quick change of accessories rather than a major repainting as your child grows. To make it fun for your child – invite them to pick a colour by giving several options to choose from.
The key element to your success is a collection of good books. Not only should they have interesting text but a plenty of colourful illustrations to look at. Make sure they are easily reachable for your child, not too high and not stacked one on top of the other. Front facing book shelves work really well for smaller kids. They can be even more inviting if the books are rotated on a regular basis.
Think about personalising the space. Make it look more welcoming with displaying your kids’ favourite artwork on the walls. You can frame and hang their favourite book covers too.
Experiment with decor – many kids I know are just unable to resist a inviting nook below a canopy!