After being home for a week with 3 sick kids, I was feeling stir crazy and at a loss for ideas of what to do to keep them entertained. For a few days everyone seemed to have a fever and they weren’t up for doing anything at all. Reading books together became the one consistent activity that allowed them to rest and be entertained. My daughters love creating forts and other cozy spots to play in, so I decided to create a special reading nook where we could all get snuggly together.
I searched around on Pinterest for ideas and eventually came up with a game plan that involved a quick trip to Target and the dollar store to get my supplies.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 Hula hoop ($1 from Dollar Tree)
- Ribbon (bought mine from dollar store)
- 2 - 84” sheer window curtains ($5 each from Target)
- Packet of Ceiling Hooks ($1.50 Home Depot)
Putting it all together:
First, hold the curtain from the top, where the slot for the rod is, and fold it in half. Cut a small hole at the top where the fold is. Repeat this step with the second curtain. This gives you a place to attach your ribbon so that it can be hung later.
Next, if you take the price tag or sticker off the hula hoop you will find that hoop can be pulled apart easily at that spot. (Be careful, some hula hoops have little beads inside that make a rattling noise, those can stay or go, I kept mine in).
Thread the hula hoop through the curtains, and reattach the hula hoop using duct tape. Then, use the two openings between the curtains and the 2 cuts you made to attach ribbon. I just tied a double knot at one opening then went to the opening directly across and did the same, leaving enough length so that the curtains reached the floor when hung from the hook. Where the 2 pieces of ribbon intersect at the top is where you should attach it to your ceiling hook.
Next, find a spot where you can set up your reading nook. We have ours in a corner by the window so it’s nice and bright for reading. Then, hang the ceiling hook up in the center of your desired location.
For a comfy place to sit, we bought a really soft papasan pillow on sale at Pier 1 Imports. You can also use a round dog bed, a bean bag, pillows and cushions, or even a comfy chair underneath. Add additional pillows to make it extra cozy, have some books accessible, and voila you’ve got your own reading nook!You can attach something decorative from the hook to hang down and add interest at the top of your reading nook. I attached ribbon and strung beads to an old plant hanger that I hung upside down, but a wind chime or lights could also be pretty.
The reading nook is not only a cozy spot to read or listen to stories, it’s also a nice space to send them to with a book or a stuffed animal for a little quiet time when they need to calm down. It’s not a punishment, just a suggestion, “Why don’t you go snuggle up in the reading corner for a few minutes until you’re ready to come out and play with your sister again?” or, “Come with me to the reading nook and we’ll read a story together” instead of, “Go to your room and don’t come out until I say so!”
There is something very calm and soothing about this space and it feels tucked away and private while still being accessible and visible. The kids love their new reading nook, and as a mom I love the peace and quiet it creates.