Keeping a bookcase in your child’s room is a great way to encourage your child to read books, and it develops a love for collecting favorite books because it gives her a place to exhibit her collection.
The first step is to decide where the bookcase will be placed. You want it to be in an area to allow for easy access to the books, and it should be visible from all parts of the bedroom. You want room in front of the books so your child can sit or stand while choosing which book to read. As well, the height of the bookcase will depend on the height and age of the child.
Once the bookcase is in place, it is time to begin adding books. For toddlers, it may be a good idea to situate the books so the covers face forward, enticing the toddler to explore what is inside. Also, include a few favorite toys and stuffed animals to hold the child’s interest. Changing the bookshelf every so often will also help the toddler to keep interest in what the bookcase may hold.
Older children should be allowed to set up their bookcase however they would like, but parents should continue to be involved to help the older child maintain an interest in books. Surprise book gifts help generate interest in reading and the upkeep of the bookcase. Collecting books in a series are another great way to keep children interested and keep you involved.
As children grow, tastes in books change. It is important to occasionally sort through the books to make room for more books, either donating or storing the old books. By keeping room on the shelves, your child will more likely find new books to read.
Susan Matherly is director at A Children’s Place, a service of Ephraim McDowell Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science and a master’s degree in public health education. She can be contacted at (859) 236-7176.