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Literacy Corners for Toddlers that Inspire Reading

I am sure that many of us know how important reading is for the growth and development of our young geniuses. Sometimes our children take an easy liking to books and can’t get enough of them and sometimes children have a hard time sitting to read. I think most children are somewhere in the middle, like my son Cash. He LOVES to read books by himself in the morning when he wakes up early in his room and of course he’ll beg for “More reading?” when it’s bed time. But sometimes in the afternoon, or on rainy days {or even sunny days when dad’s outside} he is hard to convince….I know it may seem hard to understand for some, but he gets “bored” of reading the same books or just isn’t interested in sitting still.


Literacy Corners:

Do you know why they display cereal boxes for kids face out in the grocery store? You guessed it, they are more attractive and DESIGNED to grab their attention. Can you imagine how much less cereal would sell if they were stocked with their nutritional columns facing out?  No bright colors, no big character faces inviting their interest. Pretty boring right? Well, the same thing might be happening with your child and books. In 2001 this really awesome man named Jim Trelease {Literacy Expert and Author of The Read-Aloud Handbook} suggested using rain gutters to display books in your classroom or even home.

Read the results of his study and research HERE where 100% of the people surveyed reported an increase in reading
enthusiasm among their children and students.

I am a HUGE campaigner for Literacy Corner installation and I must admit that when I asked my husband to install rain gutters in my nursery before Cash was born  he looked at me a little funny! However, with them displayed this way Cash can see them all. We have conversations where he asks me to “reach” a top shelf book for him, where he may have just skipped over it had he not been able to see the cover!


Here is how we have set up our Literacy Corner:

  1. We used 8 plastic gutters that my husband installed with big washers to the wall studs.
  2. I spaced them 12” apart because that was the tallest/heaviest book I wanted to go on them. I didn’t want a book too heavy to fall on Cash while he tried to grab it so that is a safety precaution built right in!
  3. We left enough room between the floor and the first gutter to put baskets, pillows and a chair so that Cash can sit down and read or reach heavier books. He stands on the chair to reach the third shelf
  4. I put paper page books on the top shelf so he has to ask me for them since he still tears up paper pages when not supervised.
  5. He has full access to the lower 6 shelves and can access them in the night time or early morning. I often open the door to find him reading books quietly by himself!
  6. I put the heavier books in big baskets below the gutters. Now he doesn’t have to lift them to put them away.
  7. He CAN and DOES clean up his own books. I think it helps that he doesn’t have to align then standing upright in a bookshelf. That often takes two hands, and with a toddler…. He’s cool with just tossing them at the gutters and hoping they land inside one, and so am I! I’m happy so long as it’s clean by the end of the process… the process can be open ended.

If you have space and know-how to install them I highly recommend them!

If you don’t there are still plenty of ways to inspire reading and ignite motivation.


Extra Credit Read: 3 Ways to Spice Up Reading with your Toddler

*Kandice has a Master’s Degree in Behavior Management with an Endorsement in Special Education.  She did her Graduate work sample on Reading Literacy. She has Kindergarten, Learning Center and Substitute Teaching Experience. Read more about Kandice HERE

Welcome to Mom School! This post is one of many Homeschool Preschool Lessons with #MySweetandSticky {Cash & Wyatt} As a former educator, I wanted to give them their best start before heading into public schools. (Which we LOVE!) On occasion, and throughout the summer, we continue our At-Home Learning. Cash is my Science Guy and Wyatt can’t get enough Sensory Play. Join us for every Sweet & Sticky moment.

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