Reading Corner Ideas: A Complete Guide for Primary School

We all know the magical feeling of curling up somewhere cosy with a good book, ready to be whisked off into a world of our imagination. Finding the perfect spot, comfy and free from distractions, is a vital step to making this experience the best possible. 

For children, this is even more important. Young children are still in the stages of learning to read, practising their concentration skills, and the classroom is undoubtedly a more chaotic space than the staff room! Finding a good corner reading nook conducive to quiet reading or story time is essential. 

Not only that, but setting up a reading corner in the classroom early on helps kids to foster an appreciation for learning and a respect for books. 

Lots of elements play into making a thriving class reading corner. This guide will cover everything you need to consider to get yours set up easily with lots of classroom reading corner ideas. Teachers looking for classroom ideas, reading corner ideas, reading nook inspiration, or advice on how to improve an existing reading space—you’re in the right place. We go through all the fundamentals for school reading corner ideas in this article—from reading corner ideas for small classrooms to libraries and shared learning areas in your building.

What is a reading corner, and why should you have one?

A school reading corner is a space in your classroom, usually in a corner or against a wall, dedicated to reading and listening to stories. Your reading corner acts as a kind of mini-library, for your classroom, with books suited to your students’ ages and levels of learning. Your reading corner might also be a place where students can carry out quiet activity work like filling in worksheets, building things, or playing games. 

If your students are very young, your reading corner classroom space might be used for group story or circle time. Whatever the area is used for, it should be large enough to accommodate everyone and should be filled with comfortable surfaces and furniture. 

Giving children access to books from a young age has a great many benefits, not only in helping them become literate but maximising their potential in education. Here are six statistics from The Reading Agency and The Literary Trust:

  1. Children who struggle to understand language concepts by the age of five are five times more likely to fail to reach the reading standard expected by the UK government at age 11.
  2. 175,000 five-year-olds in 2019 started English primary school without the literacy level expected of them by that age.
  3. 19% of readers reported that reading reduced feelings of loneliness
  4. People who read for pleasure have higher self-esteem and a better ability to cope in difficult or stressful situations.
  5. Just 35% of ten-year-old children reported liking reading “very much”.
  6. 16-year-olds reading for pleasure outside their curriculums are more likely to secure managerial and professional jobs later in life.

Reading skills can trickle down into all sorts of aspects of life growing up, from building confidence to learning about different perspectives and even understanding yourself better. Here are some articles about the fundamentals of a good reading corner school space.

Reading Corner Decorating

In creating a reading corner in the classroom, you need to capture the imagination of your students’ young minds. Create a different world in another part of your classroom that kids can escape to. Let’s look at some reading corner decorating ideas


Often it’s a good idea to pick a theme when decorating your reading corner to tie everything together. The ‘nature’ theme is highly popular, thanks to the many possibilities. Create a reading corner forest, a secret undersea cave, or even outer space. Choose topics your students are learning about or, even better, something they’re about to learn in lessons to get them excited about discovering new environments.

Other decorating ideas/reading corner ideas could centre on the theme of books. Unsurprisingly, this is a great way to encourage your students to feel excited and positive about books and reading. Choose a book you’ve read together as a class that was a success and recreate a scene or environment from that book, or simply use the characters and quotes to decorate the reading corner.

Setting the Scene

The walls of your reading corner can be the backdrop to whatever theme you choose. Get creative with art and craft supplies like poster paper and poster paint, mosaics, fabrics, and glitter. Put up plain paper and paint directly onto it, or get the entire class to contribute to the decor by adding something of their own.

We love classroom reading corner decorating ideas that use 3D effects to really come out, looking dynamic and unusual. Use scrunched-up tissue paper, pipe cleaners, pom poms, feathers, and streamers to create shapes that jump out from the walls. Build out sturdy tree trunks and or hang green and turquoise streamers as floating seaweed. Create fluffy clouds from cotton wool and hang them from your ceiling. Speaking of the ceiling, creating a reading corner canopy is an excellent way to lower the height of the space and make it cosier. Read on to find out more. 

For an easy reading corner, or if you just need to fill some space, use free classroom reading corner pictures and book cover art, downloadable from the internet. We cover many places to find these resources free in our blog, The Best Places to Find Printable Reading Corner Display Posters.

Don’t forget to top it all off with a reading corner banner. Your banner will show everyone that this reading corner is the property of Class __. Help your students feel a sense of ownership for the space that will help them respect and take care of it.

Our top classroom reading corner display ideas:

  1. Pick a theme to keep your reading corner cohesive. You could even ask for input from the class.
  2. Use your little helpers to create a reading corner that is more exciting, engaging, and less work for you!
  3. Think outside the box and find ways to make your reading corner ‘pop’ with 3D effects.
  4. Finish off with a stunning reading corner banner saying which class your reading corner belongs to.

Browse our art, craft and design supplies for schools and get inspired to make your reading corner the best yet. 

If you’re unsure where to start or just need a little creative push, look at our articles about classroom reading corner decoration. We’re brimming with ideas.

Reading Corner Furniture

Furnishing your reading corner correctly is vital to kids wanting to visit the space and stay there for any time. Let’s look at how to set up a reading corner in a classroom with furniture.

Getting Comfy

Your classroom is a busy space, with many energetic children doing various activities throughout the day. In primary school, your classroom has to transform into an art studio, a laboratory, a theatre, and many other things to accommodate lessons. Classroom reading corner design should focus on being comfy and cosy to help facilitate the calm and peaceful mood needed for reading and focus.

We can achieve a cosy reading corner in the classroom with lots of soft furnishings like a thick reading corner rug, bean bags, and cushions. This type of light seating is ideal for its versatility. Bean bags and cushions can be picked up and moved around even by young children because they are quite light, meaning kids can grab a seat or make a little nest to read in. Cushions and bean bags are also easy to store away if you need to be conscious of space.

Another essential thing to consider is posture. Giving little ones enough support in the spine and neck enables them to concentrate for longer and feel more energetic. Here are some excellent reading corner furniture ideas that provide more support for sitting:

  • Reading Corner Seat with Cushions: a corner reading nook chair set made with wood and padded with cushions. The unit also comes with extra storage for books.
  • Bean Bag Reading Chairs: shaped to give full lumbar support and cushion the user from all sides.
  • Tree Stump Stools: good for perching to keep legs comfy. This set comes with a larger stool for a teacher to use. All these stools are made with realistic bark pattern fabric. 


Giving Structure to The Space

Cosy reading corner ideas centre on the feeling that the space is a little more enclosed and separate from the rest of the classroom. The aim is to develop reading book corner ideas to create a space where kids can retreat to feel peaceful.

A quick and easy way to achieve this is to invest in a reading corner structure like our Treehouse Library Corner, Forest Reading Den, or Maple Reading House. These units can be easily slotted into a classroom or library, and provide a natural separation from the rest of the space, similar to a wendy house.

But you don’t need to invest in a pre-built structure for your reading corner if it’s not in your budget or if you don’t have the space. You can DIY small reading corner ideas easily with arts and craft supplies. Use smartly positioned furniture like filing cabinets and storage units to create the walls of a reading corner, use a table covered in fabric as a reading corner cave, or even drape fabrics from the ceiling. 

A reading corner canopy classroom can easily be achieved with some sheets of fabric, pegs, a staple gun, and a glue gun. Visit our den-making supplies page to find lots of den-making kits like our camouflage den kit and fabric selections to suit your theme.

Our top reading corner ideas for classroom furnishing:

  • Opt for versatile soft floor seating that can be easily moved around and stored away. Even better if it’s water-resistant.
  • Find ways to create a separate, enclosed space in your reading corner, either by using pre-built structures or DIY solutions like draped fabric. This will make the space cosy and peaceful.

Take a look at our reading corner furniture page to browse versatile and reliable items to furnish your reading corner.

Get inspired with our reading corner furnishing advice tips and tricks:

Reading Corners By Age

Naturally, your reading corner should be a space that sparks your students’ curiosity and pushes them just enough to continue to learn and develop. It’s essential to look for KS2 reading corner and KS1 reading corner ideas that complement these stages in the national curriculum.

Year 1 to year 5 reading corner ideas should follow the skills and themes your students are learning in their lessons. Don’t just stick to literacy lessons, either. You can also incorporate science, history, geography, art, music, and maths. 

Here are some classroom reading corner ideas KS2 and KS1 based on topics on the curriculum. Maybe try combining a few of them.

Reading corner ideas KS1:

  • Phonics
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Plants and animals
  • Seasons
  • 2D and 3D shapes
  • Telling the time

Reading corner ideas KS2:

  • Vocabulary and handwriting
  • Justifying yourself and debating
  • Chemical reactions
  • The habitats of living things
  • Light and shadows
  • Geometry

Reading corner ideas for preschool should focus on sensory development and curiosity. Your reading corner will likely be the area where storytime happens, so ensure there’s ample space for everyone in the class to sit or lay down comfortably. Our Giant Sag Bag Floor Cushions are excellent if you’re looking for preschool reading corner ideas, with enough space for one child to nap on or two or even three to cuddle up.

Reading corners

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