22 Classroom Reading Nooks We Love (Seriously, So Cute)
Our favorite part of setting up a classroom is creating the classroom reading nook. As you design your classroom, you can help inspire a love of reading in your students by creating a reading nook they can’t wait to visit. Energize the space with pops of color, playful patterns, and special reading nook furniture that brings out the joy in cozying up with a good book. In return, they’ll get lost in a story and the space. We’ve gathered some of our favorite classroom reading nooks from around the web. These are seriously cute!
1. Welcome to Camp
Your students will love to “Camp Out With a Good Book” in this reading corner. Set the scene by creating a tent using a frame covered with bulletin board paper. Then add some woodland friends and a campfire. Finally, inspire your students to read by creating a camping theme bulletin board with this free app from Creative Teaching Press. Now that’s what we call glamping! Get the woodland friends jumbo cutouts, rock cutouts, and woodland friends “READ” cutouts.
Source: Creative Teaching Press
2. Say Aloha to Reading
Give your reading nook a luau feel with a thatched tiki umbrella anchored in a bucket of cement. Surround it with colorful kid-sized Adirondack chairs and hang paper lanterns above. Real or artificial palm trees complete the blissful oasis.
Source: Schoolgirl Style
3. Set Sail on a Reading Boat
We’ve seen different versions of reading boats, so the WeAreTeachers team decided to create our own. This reading boat was made from two big cardboard boxes. We used one box as the main seating area for the boat. Then we used the second box to shape the front of the boat. Next, we added a sail by using a PVC pipe, canvas (which came from drop cloth), and pipe insulation for the edges. Of course, we know students can be hard on pieces like this, so we made sure to safely secure the sail at the bottom of the boat with tape and extra cardboard. The entire piece really shows what you can do with the magic of cardboard!
4. Reading Rainbow
Create a scene that’s both visually appealing and practical. These space-saving classroom reading nooks are ideal for classrooms with limited square footage. Design from the top with a fluffy gem-filled cloud to add dimension.
Source: Little Illuminations
5. Upcycled Space
What teacher isn’t looking for a way to save money? These upcycled tire seats are a great way to do it. Paint the tires and make simple padded seat cushions. The cushions lift off so books can be stored underneath.
Source: Grillo Designs
6. Jungle Gym
Bring the outdoors in with a jungle-themed reading corner. A large tree is tucked into the drop ceiling and supported by the classroom wall to create an anchor for this design. Now all you’ll need are beanbag chairs and a patterned rug to make the room come alive.
Source: Eberhart’s Explorers
7. Chill Out With a Book
More upcycling, this time with milk jugs. Rescue these ubiquitous plastic containers from disposal and use them to build an igloo. Decorate it with paper snowflakes and toss some pillows and blankets inside for a comfortable finish.
Source: Gillette News Record
8. Once Upon a Time
Kids of all ages want a net for their bed. Think back to your childhood—am I right? These simple white nets make a budget-friendly statement for the classroom too. Hook this to your ceiling and drape paper star garland from the rim to create a fairy-tale escape.
Source: Mama Papa Bubba
9. Pretty and Practical
Maybe simplicity is your style. A patterned rug and bright-colored pillows will entice your students’ senses. Design the space around a library shelf to create a unique open-concept reading corner.
Source: Dandelions and Dragonflies
10. A Magic Tree House
Every kid dreams of a tree house where they can read and dream in private. This peaceful corner is slightly elevated, but not so high that you need to worry about safety. Build an artificial tree above to add to the fun.
Source: Tommie’s Tools
11. Starry Night Reading Fort
Create a twinkling corner of your classroom with this nighttime idea. Drape blue fabric (bonus points for blue fabric with stars) from your classroom ceiling, creating a fort. Use a strand of white holiday lights to produce an ambience you’ll appreciate as much as your students will.
Source: Natural Beach Living
12. Construct a Reading Hut
We’re not saying your classroom is a jungle, but if it sometimes feels that way, this reading corner might be just what you need. Knock together a simple frame structure and deck it out as a reading hut. A comfy chair and bins of books nearby, plus some plush animals for snuggling, make this space a natural hit.
Source: Trendy Teacher
13. Pirate’s Cove
This theme can be easily customizable depending on the fabrics and craft paper you have on hand. A friendly skull cutout acts as the base. Or ditch the skull and rework the idea to fit your needs by choosing different words for your banner.
Source: Clutter-Free Classroom
14. Rub-a-Dub Reading Tub
Classroom reading nooks with bathtubs have been popular for years, and there’s a reason why: Kids love them! Visit architectural salvage shops to find an old claw-foot tub, then fill it with plump pillows and snuggle on in. Feeling crafty? You can paint the tub in vivid colors or even decoupage book covers all over it.
Source: Aileen Hower’s Blog
15. Let’s Play House
We know, not every teacher has time to build a house structure for their classroom, but you can still pull inspiration from this creative example. Keep your eyes peeled the next time you’re out thrifting—maybe you’ll find an inexpensive existing structure that you can repaint to fit your needs.
Source: K Is for Kinderrific
16. Milk Crate Cozy
All you need are bright cushions on plastic milk crates to create a comfy corner that’s ideal for reading. Color-coordinate them with storage baskets full of books and add a few vibrant accents for an easy setup your students will love.
Source: Tupelo Honey
17. Grown-Up Space
Think about your own home: Are there any pieces of furniture that you can repurpose for your classroom? Maybe you have a chair that no longer fits in your living room or an ottoman that gets very little use. Grown-up furniture isn’t off-limits—tailor it to your students by adding colorful patterns and fun fabrics.
Source: Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits
18. Reading Superpowers
Reading is a true superpower in our book! Kids will think so too when they settle down in this corner of Gotham with colorful cushions and beloved superheroes all around. (Bam, zap, kapow … they can learn about onomatopoeia too.)
Source: Brooke Butler/Pinterest
19. Color Me Happy
You simply cannot go wrong with color in a classroom. Think complementary colors, but don’t stop there. Classroom reading nooks are some of the few places you can really push boundaries when it comes to pairing different shades and tones. Go bold or go home!
Source: Teacher Bits & Bobs
20. Fort Imagination
A little quiet goes a long way when creating a good reading space. This DIY fort is surprisingly easy and inexpensive to build from PVC pipe and fabric (get the complete how-to at the link below), and it gives kids a place to block out distractions and focus on the book at hand.
Source: Little Miss Kim’s Class
21. Go Wild
Fill your reading nook with wild stuffed animals as a cuddly incentive for students. Throughout the summer, keep your eyes peeled for animal-print rugs, blankets, and pillows to accent your space and start the school year off with a roar.
Source: Polka Dot Teacher
22. Dive Into Reading
Head under the sea and make a splash with this fun reading nook! Blow up a colorful inflatable pool and add a few beach balls for cushions. Throw in a few play sea creatures and an ocean background, and you’ve got a vibrant space perfect for floating off with a good book.
Source: Pixie Chicks
What does your classroom reading nook look like? Come share your photos in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out this list of our favorite read-aloud books.
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