Our oldest daughter is severely dyslexic. She’s struggled with reading for years and finally as she nears the end of 4th grade, she seems to be reading on level and actually enjoying books rather than dreading reading time. I wanted to really nurture her newfound love of reading as well as that of her little sisters so I decided we needed a designated reading area. I initially planned on a cute little teepee or something in the corner of the playroom with pillows and blankets (hint: hobby lobby is now carrying super cute teepees for $100 and you can use a coupon!) but our playroom looks over our living room and kitchen so it isn’t always the quietest of places. Then it hit me! The “secret” closet under the stairs. The door is in the laundry room and it’s pretty quiet with the exception of the lull of the washer/dryer when it’s on. We were using it as storage for our cleaning supplies and some boxes of Christmas decorations. The girls and I got started on clearing it out and moving the boxes up to the attic. We are so pleased with the way it turned out and it’s been used daily since. Aside from the little book rack and a new rug, it cost me next to nothing as we used items we already had around the house.
The only rules are to be quiet and have fun. Everyone has to pick a quiet activity while in there, doesn’t necessarily have to be reading.
The reading lounge seating is actually an old ottoman top that no longer matches my living room. It’s padded so pretty comfy to sit on and the back is a rolled piece of foam for a bed we had laying around. I had an extra set of queen size sheets that I used to cover both items and I used a little duct tape to secure them to the bottom without having to actually cut or sew anything. They’ve held up great so far! We had the battery operated lanterns and pennant banner leftover from a party and I got the rug from garden ridge on clearance for under $20. The cloth book rack is from Walmart.com. It arrived in days and was inexpensive. I used chalk pens to doodle a Dr. Suess quote on a chalkboard we already had and hung it for decor.
I wanted some color on the walls but didn’t want to commit to paint so I was ecstatic to find the little circle decals on clearance for $4 at target.
We filled the area with quiet activities like magnets and magnet boards, (an oil drip pan from the auto part store and cookie sheets from dollar tree), I-spy bottles we made a few years ago, and books.
We got the idea from Pinterest of course and the girls love them! Super easy and fun project. They’re made using voss water bottles, rice, and little trinkets from around the house. We took photos of the items before putting them in the rice, printed them out, laminated, and numbered them and the bottles as a key. They use dry erase markers to mark off the items as they find them.
The girls aren’t allowed to have electronic devices upstairs because I like to be able to monitor anything with internet capability so we created an “iStation” with all our iPads, iPods, and innotabs. We added headphones so that game and electronic stories didn’t disturb others enjoying the quiet space. We had such a fun time creating this reading nook together and the girls love having a secret quiet hideaway to unwind and enjoy a good story. Can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner!