A Reading Nook

Monday, September 11, 2017

I have made no bones about the fact that reading has been a real struggle in this house. And I am beside myself with worry, frustration, and impatience. All things that are not conducive to creating a peaceful environment for learning. But all of that changed last week when I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a peaceful space for McKinley.

I browsed Pinterest one afternoon for inspirational reading nook photos and found tons! If you have a lot of time, and money, and space on your hands, you can create some magnificent spots for your children. But as luck would have it, I had a limited budget and space to work with, but in the end I think it turned out just right.

McKinley's room always seems to be a work in progress. Remember when I was trying to decide where to create a good work space for him? Did I go with the tradition kitchen table or go for a space that was just for him? Well, I turned a small corner in his room into that work space and guess what? He uses the kitchen table for all activities for school. And that table in his room became the catch-all for literally everything! Just like it did in the basement. So I cleaned off the table, carried it back downstairs (where I'm sure it will catch all the toys), and began my work in his room once again.

He hasn't used his changing table in quiet sometime. Or at least for its true intentions. I made it a mini library awhile back and it worked out really well. We read books to him every night and all of his favorites, and then some, were always on hand. And aside from the library shelving, we also have his underwear, socks, and pajamas in the drawers and storage baskets. We still use the table for several purposes. However, it's a huge piece of furniture and takes up a lot of room. My mom had the brilliant idea of putting the table inside the closet. Brilliant I tell you. Until I had to clean out the closet. 

You see, I have a lot of clothes and I utilize two closets in our house. However, because I'm not really working outside the home these days, I don't really need the corporate America wardrobe that is housed inside both. So, I did a major purge. Some things were donated while others were stored in a flat wardrobe box and it's currently stored under one of our beds. I still have several things that need to be stored elsewhere and I may bribe my mom to let me use one of her closets.....again! Oh, and I had to clear out all the shoes that were in that closet as well. And clear out I did. I donated a huge box of shoes and I'm prepared to sell the others. I still have more shoes than I actually need, but what woman doesn't. But I did it! And the transformation is perfect! (And yes, there is still a small portion of my stuff in his closet. I truly can't purge it all....)

From there, it was time to create the peaceful reading nook. I knew I wanted to use the corner of his room for a portion of the space, but I wasn't really sure how to execute it. I thought a bean bag would be super cool based on the photo above. But did you know that right under my nose was McKinley's Pottery Barn Kids chair? This poor chair has been moved around and around our house, but I think it finally has a good home. I found a build it yourself bookcase at Target and it will work for now. I would like to find something a little bigger and one that runs horizontally versus vertically. I would like it to house his art supplies in addition to all of his books he will eventually be reading. For now, the books are arranged according to paperback versus hardback. All Little Golden Books are on the same shelf. His larger books are on the bottom. And all the paperbacks are on top. He's got his art caddy, Jingle Pup who is super integral when reading Jingle Pup, and his albums and record player for when a little light music is needed. Isn't it sweet?

The top of the bookcase needed a little something so I went scouring around the house. I found his seashell collection and sand from the Outer Banks. I added his favorite antique car which was my dad's when he was little. We have our marbles for the marble reading jar. And what six year old doesn't need a Lava Lamp? That was mine and it was time to pass it down. All things have meaning which makes the space complete!

When I first showed McKinley his new space after school last week, he immediately asked if he could have his afternoon snack there. Of course! And he asked if he could have a basket of books next to the chair so he could lean over and grab one. Absolutely! I wanted him to know that this was all for him. He used the extra floor space this weekend to color and I loved seeing that. And, he did read there last night, with a little coaxing by me, and then he "read" a Richard Scarry book called Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. At least he used it!

We need a little artwork on the large open wall space and I think I'll fill it with his school artwork as it comes home. What a perfect way to showcase those pieces that aren't on display in my office. I'm hoping this space becomes one of a haven of opportunity for him. The opportunity to become a successful reader. A space for listening to soothing music to help fuel the soul. And a place that's all his own to feed his body, mind, and spirit. 


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