How to Furnish a Children’s Reading Corner: Ideas from Classroom Experts

A little imagination goes a long way when it comes to the classroom reading corner. Small but thoughtful, creative decisions about reading corner furniture and decoration can be all the difference in making a space your students are itching to visit to get whisked away by a good book. 

As school supply specialists, the team at Springboard Supplies knows a thing or two about furniture that works. We always aim to offer solutions that not only spark your students’ imaginations but offer functionality and usability tailored to little ones. If you’re aiming for a reading corner that will give your students all the positive reinforcement they need to build a great relationship with literature, we can help!

Here, we’ll look at how to furnish your children’s classroom reading corner the right way. Don’t forget to look at our blog for other helpful information about reading corners in the classroom.

Creative Book Storage

Storage takes up considerable space in your reading corner to keep all your books safe, organised, and protected. Leveraging storage in the reading corner not only allows you to come up with creative methods to save space. By storing books in imaginative ways, you can encourage children to explore the reading corner and take notice of the books available to read.

Incorporating fun storage for books also encourages the children to take care of them, and take more pride in keeping the space neat and tidy. 

Storing books front-facing with their covers on display, you can take advantage of the cover art to decorate your walls. This also means your students will be able to see the vibrant covers instead of the spines and might be more likely to pick one up. We recommend the Horizontal Wall-Mounted Book Rack or the Floor-Standing Book Rack, both of which save a lot of space compared with standard bookshelves.

For more traditional book storage units, you’ll want to look for a bookshelf which has shelves your students can reach easily, and one with individual shelves that can house all your books, large and small. We recommend looking for a bookshelf with adjustable shelves meaning you can change the height in between whenever you need to rearrange your book collection. 

For younger children, the Snail Cabinet is a perfect example of a great bookcase for the reading corner. The unit has three deep shelves and stands at only 149cm in height. There is also a top-loading section that can be used to store toys or cushions. The happy snail design also features built-in a spiral maze game, ideal for mental stimulation. 

For older children, a unit like the Maple Reading House ticks many boxes: doubling up as both a storage unit and a reading structure the kids can sit inside. The frame acts as a wendy house with an opaque perspex roof, two desk spaces, seating space, and bookshelves on either side. Slot this structure against one classroom wall and virtually complete your reading corner in one go.


Flexible Seating Options

Your reading corner must be a comfortable, cosy space, so your students are drawn into it, and once there, they want to stay. Providing comfortable seating options helps kids keep their focus on reading or other activities for longer periods of time. 

From our experience, the most important aspect of reading corner seating is flexibility. Giving students lots of options for where and how they want to sit, lie down, or curl up means they can choose the best seating for themselves. Here are some toddler reading corner ideas for seating.

Bean bags are one of the best types of seating to fulfil this purpose, capable of holding enough form to provide support while being easy to move around and fluff up. We like the Nursery Bean Bag Chairs that offer good lumbar support. Larger bean bags like the Floor Bean Bag Cushion or the Round Sagbag Giant Floor Cushion can be easily lifted and moved around, even by younger children. These bean bags can be shared by two or even three kids doing a group activity or used for a nap by an individual child.

It’s also good to spot your reading corner with smaller cushions like the water-resistant Round Story Cushions or the fuzzy Back to Nature Story Cushions. These more compact cushions come in multipacks and can be grabbed instantly for activities on the classroom floor, for circle time, or even to make a big comfy nest in the reading corner.

From reading corner rugs to tips for cosy furnishing, we cover many kids' reading corner ideas in our blog.

Making a Cosy Space

Building an atmosphere of cosiness and privacy in the reading corner will help your students get swept up in a story more easily. It’s also an excellent way to reduce distractions, especially if people are doing other things in the classroom at the same time. 

A way to achieve this is to make the reading corner feel ‘separate’ from the rest of the room by creating the illusion of barriers. It’s something we touched on in our article about creating reading corner canopies. Lowering the height of your reading corner artificially with a canopy makes it feel more secret.

Here are some reading corner ideas for kids that create new, enclosed spaces:

  • Tree House Library Corner: a structure perfect for classrooms that need to be space-conscious. This unit slots into a corner easily and features a canopy over the top.
  • Reading Forest Den: ideal for little ones, this den has a soft, padded floor and walls inside and half-enclosed walls with a fabric top. Add cushions to this den to make it even comfier.
  • Role Play Teepee: easy to put up and take down; this teepee can be used as a group activity and stored away when you’re not using it. 

If you don’t want to, or can’t, commit to installing a whole structure in your reading corner, use some sheets of fabric, clothespins, or staples to add make-shift divides and separations to your space. Browse our den-making kits and supplies for reading corner ideas for toddlers. We stock many different types of den-making fabric, including camouflage netting, glittery pink and white sheer fabrics, and even a blackout sensory den kit.

Furniture is only half the way to a successful space. Your kids will be inspired by imaginative reading corner decorating too. Find easy DIY kids reading corner ideas to decorate your space in our blog.

Reading corners

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