A story corner is a place to read books in.
It doesn't necessarily have to be in a corner but it normal does end up there simply because the corner is often quieter than then middle of the room where there's a lot of other activity and noise happening.
An Irresistible Story Corner Is ...
... inviting, comfortable and quiet. It's the sort of place you want to crawl in and curl up with friends and a good book. It inspires reading.
It needs to be segregated away from the mad rush of the rest of the world. This can be done by the use of a low divider (such as a table, or book boxes). The separation doesn't mean that the area has high walls and a ceiling around it. It's more of a boundary around the story corner which stops noisy traffic and says "Come aside into this special reading area!"
The Best Materials for a Story Corner
Soft furnishings such as a foam mattress, cushions, curtains, carpet or a rug are perfect for creating a story corner.
An old bed would be a perfect place to set up cushions to read on. So would a couch.
However, you don't actually need big furniture to create an irresistible story corner. An oversize cardboard box (e.g., a fridge box) could be arranged to make a fantastic reading area.
An outdoor cubby, cleaned and lined with cushions can also be turned into an irresistible story corner.
This is a plastic cube that we picked up for a garage sale some years back. It has been used as a terrific story corner. We added:
- a foam mattress to the floor and then folded another so it could be leant against the inside wall.
- extra pillows which provided that 'snuggly' effect.
- a sheet over the top of the whole structure made this story corner into a hidey hole that beaconed for readers to crawl inside.
The beauty about this reading corner was that it had just enough room for an adult and a few children. Not too big. Not too small. Just right!
We hung Christmas lights over this particular story corner to help create an enticing atmosphere. The boys loved it. Who said Christmas lights can only be used at Christmas?
You could also drape things from the ceiling, such as the netting normally hung over a bed to keep out the bugs. This helps to create a sort of tent under which children can crawl, sit and read.
Of course, you could always use a small tent. Children love tents. Add a soft foam mattress and cushions and it's definitely ready for reading in!
Another way to help separate the story corner off is to hang crepe paper streamers from fishing line. To do this, attached a length of fishing line horizontally from one wall to another. Cut and drape crepe paper streamers so they form a loose "wall" divider.
Now if you're outside, try setting up a hammock; a tent; or a mattress with cushions in the shade of a tree. A blanket with cushions also works well.
Ensure the Story Corner has Good Lighting.
It's important to have good light to read books in. When setting up a story corner keep this in mind so that there is either a good natural light source (e.g. a window) or an alternative light source.
Extras for the Story Corner
We use sturdy plastic boxes to keep our books in. They are low enough for the children to access with ease and are very practical. You could also use baskets or book shelves.
Finger or hand puppets are also great in the story corner. They can be used to re-tell stories you've read ... or to tell stories you make up together.
A Final Word on Story Corners
A story corner can be created out of materials you have around your home. It doesn't really matter as long as they are arranged to inspire children to read.
We often change our story corner around by using different materials to create it. It's amazing how a change will spark renewed interest in the story corner.
The Magic Ingredient of Story Corner
I'll let you in on the secret of what makes the best story corner in the whole wide world. The secret is .... YOU! Your interactions with your child will make story time come alive in amazing and fun ways. Yes, creating an environment that inspires reading is important ... but it's your reading of the stories that's going to make your story corner irresistible!
Have fun creating a special, irresistible story corner today.
Read the articleHow To Read Aloud With Children for ways to make your reading experiences unforgettable!