Today, I wanted to share some intentional ways we feature children’s books in our home, making them accessible to Lincoln and building them into his surroundings.
In the nursery. I recently shared a peek into Lincoln’s Travel Inspired nursery. I knew when planning for him that reading would be an important part of our lives, and wanted to ensure that books were visible and accessible to him in his room. In the nursery, the most obvious books are in small bins on the stand near the glider. This is where we keep books that we read before nap/bedtime. On his small bookshelf, he has another bin of books. Sometimes if he gets out of bed in the morning before I come to get him he will venture into this bin and bring some books into his bed or read them on the floor.
In the playroom. Our playroom is a relatively small room downstairs near the main living area. We don’t have a ton of space in there, but much of the space we do have is consumed by books! This shelf is Lincoln’s little “library” and has bins of books that he can pick through any time he wants. I swap these bins out periodically (and especially with changing seasons and holidays) with new books to keep things interesting.
In the main living space. In our living room, Lincoln has a little “workspace” for some of his tools/toys. On the tabletop, he has a small selection of books that are typically his current “favorites” or books we’ve recently checked out from the library. These are often his go-to books during the day because we spend most of our time here. In addition to a few favorites that he goes back to over and over, we often keep our library books here, or books on topics that Lincoln is currently interested in. For example, one week you might find several lizard books here, and another week the tabletop will be stocked with gardening books. In the car. I like to keep a bin of books in the car so Lincoln has things to read while we drive, and also so I can grab a book to throw in my bag when we go into a store or restaurant in case he gets bored. The reality is that this bin often also houses things like good ‘ole Mator, some crackers, and a spare diaper or two, but it’s main objective is to hold books.
Of course, all of the above situations make us look at least a little organized. The truth is that we have books (among other things) spewed about our home at all times. As a teacher I quickly learned that my desire for a perfectly clean and organized classroom was inferior to my desire for my kids to be fully engaged in a learning environment that they loved. Sometimes, fully engaged and learning isn’t pretty. The same has been true in our home. I do try my best to keep things organized. But if learning and loving our moments together means that books, noodles, and blocks litter the floor, I’m good with it.
These systems have evolved (and will continue to evolve) with each age and stage, but what really matters throughout that changing process is that books are present and accessible in Lincoln’s everyday life. There are LOTS of other ways to keep books available in your home – from having a bookshelf in your main living area or playroom, to keeping a small bin or stack of books on the coffee table.
Where are the books in your home? How do you make them visible and accessible for your children? If this post motivates you to try something new in your home, I would love to hear about it!