Literacy is necessary to do well in life. Children need to read every day to hone their literacy skills. Teach your child the love of books by creating a garden reading nook in the corner of their room.
• Drop cloth
• Acrylic paints in a wide range of colors
• Paint brushes of various sizes
• Acrylic spray sealer
Creating the reading nook
• Choose a corner for your child’s reading nook.
• Paint the bottom of the walls sky blue and the bottom grass green.
• Use the acrylic paint to add a sun and clouds near the top of the room.
• Embellish the living space at the bottom of the walls with sunflowers, roses, and your child’s favorite flowers. Paint butterflies and birds flitting across the top portion of the garden. Add a moss-covered rock and a garden pond. Place rabbits, a snake, and ladybugs in the mural. Paint a butterfly chrysalis on a milkweed plant and a squirrel scampering beneath the flowers. Add a child sitting on a garden bench reading a favorite book, which is a joyful sight to young readers.
• Use your imagination and add other things to the garden that you know will delight your child such as a pile of books lying beneath a shade tree.
• If you don’t feel confident in your freehand drawing ability, use decals, foam stamps or stencils, or consider hiring a local mural artist or a student who is gifted in the arts.
• Once the garden mural is complete, spray it lightly with the acrylic spray sealer. Allow it to dry thoroughly and add another light coat — this protects the mural from bumps, scrapes and fingerprints. Be sure to open a window for ventilation when spraying the sealer.
• Add a table and chairs where your child can sit to read. Add piles of books to the area. These can be stacked on the table and a chair, or added to bookcases, or stacked neatly in a corner.
• Add a child’s garden hat on a hook for effect and place a vase or two of artificial or cut flowers in the area.
• Decorate a piece of board in a garden theme, add a piece of trim, and place measurements on it for a growth chart. This can be decorated with all types of gardening items. Use floral buttons to record your child’s growth.
• Drape artificial ivy from one corner to the other, or climbing flowers such as morning glories or roses.
• If desired, purchase a large bean bag chair in floral print. Children love to lounge in bean bag chairs while enjoying a favorite story. Another option is to decorate an air mattress where your child can lay on their stomach and munch an apple while exploring the world between the covers of a good book.
• Once you’ve created the garden reading nook, spend time there reading with your child. Not only will this teach them the love of reading; it will also be a great bonding experience for both of you.