As a new school year begins for most students, I believe it’s a good time to renew our commitment to our children. This includes ways to include daily literacy activities for our youngest children. This month on Literacy Toolbox, I will share ways parents and educators can work to create their own little bookworms.
One very important way to create a bookworm is access! If we want to create bookworms, we must provide our children with plenty of reading materials. One way to do this is to provide them with their own “library” at home. Here are a few tips for setting up a home library (previously posted in March):
- Make books accessible for your child. Keep them low and easy to reach.
- Consider placing books in easy to move baskets, instead of standing them up on a bookshelf. Placing them in baskets makes it easier for your child to find a book he/she may be looking for. It’s much easier for a child to choose a book by looking at its cover, rather than the spine. If you need the space, consider placing some books upright and others laying flat, as seen below.
- Consider organizing books by genre or topic. This is also made easier by baskets. Each basket can hold its own genre of books! If your children are old enough, consider having them help you sort books and determine genre.
- Include periodicals in your home library. Children love receiving mail and periodicals provide additional opportunities for children to read for different purposes.
- Don’t feel confined to one area! Place “mini-libraries” on every floor of your house. We have small book holders in our basement playroom, bookshelves in our first floor family room, and each child has bookshelves (overflowing with books!) in their bedrooms.
Over the summer, my children and I rearranged the books in their rooms (again!). This time, my four year old could help me organize the baskets by topic or theme. She now has a princess basket, an animal basket, and plenty of miscellaneous books standing upright or laying flat on her bookshelves. My seven-year old has baskets of Easy Readers, chapter books, graphic novels, and still plenty of picture books scattered throughout his bookshelf.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides Message in a Backpack for families. For the Love of Books provides families with great tips on how to build a home library.
Do you have any innovative ways you organize your home library? I would love to hear how others use their space for books!
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