We’re thrilled to share the first story from our newest Contributor, Courtney Gault, Founder of greenwich play! Mom to two young boys, Cooper and William, Courtney worked in early childhood education before launching greenwich play, a consulting service offering preschoolers and their caregivers the professional support, guidance and age appropriate resources to help them thrive both in and outside the home. “What happened next was unexpected, but the best things in life often are! I received countless requests from clients asking for help designing fun, engaging and purposeful play spaces. ‘Who better to do it?’ they would say,” recalls Courtney. Today, she combines her professional background and passion for early childhood development to offer full-scale design services focused on beautiful spaces that encourage play and learning.
For her first story, Courtney shares her tips for developing a book nook—a cute and cozy space that can grow with your child from toddler story time to independent reading.
How to Create a Book Nook
Fall is the perfect time to find a cozy spot at home to create a book nook. You may be thinking to yourself, “We have books, and bookshelves, and a chair we read in… we’re good.” Well, that is not a book nook!
A book nook is a designated space that, by virtue of its setup, invites a child to independently relish a book, whereas a chair and books on a shelf are not explicitly for reading. A book nook is a cozy spot, like a warm welcoming hug, a place where your children can snuggle up with you, or by themselves, and enjoy a great story.
Too often we assume that our children will perform the desired outcome just because we’ve given them the tools for success. You have a comfy chair, you have books, you have a bookshelf! But, that doesn’t mean your child is going to explore reading.
The goal is to carve out a cozy space for your child to feel welcomed, comfortable and inspired. Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” Make the book nook in your home that place.
There are a few key ingredients to creating a successful book nook. You will need:
- cozy cushions + blankets
- lovey/stuffed animals
- books (of course!)
- a little space
Get creative with the space you choose for your nook. I converted our unused fireplace into a book nook. I used things we already had in our house like pillows and blankets and childproofing tape. It wasn’t fancy, but it was perfect. Every family has something special that makes them feel safe, cozy and home – all the feelings of a great book nook. Whether it’s a blanket, a pillow, a picture or even a smell, try to incorporate as many elements as possible.
I always encourage families to make room for a book nook. I also love using pieces that can function in multiple locations, and are easy to maneuver, like a little bookcase on wheels (so versatile and can literally go anywhere).
About greenwich play
greenwich play provides early-childhood focused interior design services to parents looking to incorporate style, function and fun into family friendly homes. Through local and remote services, they conceptualize space plans that promote imagination, independence, and confidence in children, while incorporating clients’ unique styles and vision into the overall design.