Make A Baby Book Corner For Next-to-nothing…TODAY!

babybooknookfinal2

Ah. Beautiful, beautiful book corners. They hold such appeal for me, for two reasons really:

1  Children need a quiet, thinking space.

Every child needs a place where they can go and curl up and be drawn into their own little world where anything is possible. Children have such powerful imaginations and they need places to let their imaginations run free.  Of course, children will always end up finding their own ways of creating dens, but it is nice to start them off by marking out a little designated area.  Then, as they get older, they can customize it to their own taste – whether that is dinosaur, mermaid, princess or rocket ship themed – it is their space.

2  A book corner keeps the books organised and tidy.

I am a big fan of order and organisation (mainly because I am so disorganised that I cannot cope without my little systems!).   I believe in teaching children about order, right from the beginning.  So I have tried, where possible, to give all of T’s toys a place.  That way, he is learning early how to keep his toys and books organised, so that he can easily find them.  Having a book corner in his nursery means T knows that, if he wants to read, the book corner is where he needs to go.  And when he is older – that is where he will learn to tidy them away when he has finished reading (wishful thinking, I know!).

What I used for my book corner

  • Two spice racks from Ikea that I painted white – £6.  These things are seriously amazing.  For me, the most important feature of any book corner is that the books are VISIBLE and ACCESSIBLE to the child.  Books can easily get lost in baskets and boxes, and they look so much more inviting when you can see the entire front cover.  Who wants to delve into a dusty old pile of books?  It is also easier for the child to make an informed choice if they can see clearly what is on offer. So I knew I wanted some wall-mounted shelves, that would hold the books in place and when I found these spice racks, I got very over-excited!  I love cheap and simple solutions, and it is not often I come across them.  So very happy to be sharing this one with all of you book-loving playful parents!
  • A Moses Basket – free! We have already accumulated quite a few books and I know we will be accumulating more.  So I had to have somewhere to put the majority of T’s little library, to keep them contained.  I chose this in the end, purely because I had no other boxes to put the books in.  I started using a small box, but the books quickly outgrew it, and it looked a bit harsh there, instead of soft, comfy and inviting.
  • A pyramid-style bean-bag (made from an old blue bed throw and stuffed with an old single duvet) – free.  At first, I wanted a little chair for him to curl up in or crawl around, but I can’t find or afford one at the moment and I don’t think he needs it yet (if ever).  This was a good substitute!
  • A baby pram blanket for a little rugfree.  I think a rug is actually quite an important part of a book corner, because it instantly marks out the area clearly.  We didn’t have one so I chose this blanket instead.  T does tend to crumple it up clambering over it to get to the books, so I think in hindsight (for the sake of practicality and safety) that a larger rug would work better, with the baskets on top to hold it in place.
  • A basket for cuddly toys – £8 from Homebase.  Actually, I bought this for the books originally, but it is already too small!  So I thought I’d house the toys there instead.

I had always envisaged creating a tent-like affair, with net curtains hanging from the ceiling, giving the area a roof.  But this would be unsafe for T while he is still a baby, so it will have to wait until he’s a bit older.  I am sure there will come a day where he outgrows this one and we have to update it – then I can have another think about curtains.  I will be sure to post that up here too!

For now, this one seems to work very well and we both love it.  It was a nice little project for me: I like to do creative things, but, since T’s arrival, I have often found I just don’t have the time.  This was quick, easy and cheap and so I felt pleased to have actually achieved something at the end of a long and busy day.

I hope you enjoyed reading – now off you go and make your beautiful baby a perfect little book corner!  It’s a productive way to spend a rainy afternoon :).

What do you think of my little book corner?  Have you made a book corner yourself that you would like to share with other creative parents?  Just LIKE my Facebook page and then you can easily post your pictures and thoughts up there.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Make A Baby Book Corner For Next-to-nothing…TODAY!

  1. Hi Marianne,

    I love the book corner idea and enjoy reading books with my daughter (she’s 7 months). However, she always just wants to chew them! I don’t mind this at all but it makes it very difficult to read with her as after about 4 seconds she slams them shut and puts them straight in her mouth.

    How do you get around this with T?

    • Hello Mrs Hawes!

      Thanks so much for your comment :).

      You mustn’t worry about the book-chewing phenomenon – it is all perfectly normal and part of your daughter’s development. Babies like to explore things with all of their senses, and this includes their sense of taste. T did exactly the same thing when we first started reading with him. ‘The Touch and Feel Playbook’ has a red flap that is now a torn, chewed stump, imprinted with bite marks! I love it though because it reminds me of when he was that age – I find it quite endearing.

      My advice is, first, although it’s important to give your baby space and time to explore books in her own way, once she reaches around 6 or 7 months, don’t be afraid of gently guiding her to do things with encouragement and the reward of praise.

      With this in mind, I remember that there were two things that really helped T move on from chewing books:

      1 – We encouraged him to start turning the pages of the books, so that this was his focus, rather than which part of the book he wanted to chew. With each page, we would open it a little and say “can you turn the page, T?”. He naturally began to hit the page to the left, and soon learned that this meant he could see the next page. Every time he did it at first, we went over the top with praise, so he kept doing it to get the reaction. Then, after a couple of goes, he started to do it automatically. We then had the different problem of actually getting him to wait before turning the page, to look at and engage with what was happening on the page. He does this now, but it took a while. When he was learning to turn pages, we allowed him to do it whenever he wanted, but now that he has mastered it and is older, if he tries to turn a page before we have finished telling the story or chatting about the pictures, I gently hold the page back to prevent him, so that we can engage properly with the book.

      2 – At around eight months old, T learned how to lift flaps. It was the ‘Usborne Animal Hide and Seek’ that helped him. The pages were so interesting to him that he was really motivated to lift the flaps. Ah that was such an exciting day for us both!

      From then on, he just gradually dropped the chewing thing. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if that was just because he got older and past that phase, or whether these things made a difference. But it can’t do any harm to try gently encouraging your daughter to lift flaps and turn pages to re-focus her attention and get her to start being aware of what you do with a book. At seven months old, I think she is ready to do this.

      I hope that was useful?

      Good luck, and Happy Reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s