Summer can be such a great time for parents and their children. We all know that our children are ready for a break after a long school year, however we also want to make sure that they don’t lose any of the skills that they have learned throughout the year.
That is what I love about our teepee reading corner! I choose a teepee, because my children are familiar with tents, but have never spent time in teepee.
Now if your house is like ours, this teepee could easily go from a peaceful sanctuary to a crazy house very easily. So it is important, that before you allow your child to enter the teepee you let them know the rules of the teepee. I kept mine very simple:
1. The teepee is for reading only.
2. Stuffed animals, books and story props are the only things allowed in the tepee.
3. Friends are welcome as long as they are reading.
4. Are bodies are calm in the teepee
5. NO FOOD allowed in the teepee.
Setting the rules before the entered the teepee really helped, but we also review them often.
Set Up Materials Needed
A teepee of course:) I purchased this teepee from amazon. For those of you that are crafty I found this link for a no-sew tepee on youtube-you may want to check it out: (teepee link).
Next, I purchased these cloth bins from Target. I thought they were the perfect size for book bins. If your book bins are too large, they will be unorganized in a week…or less.
I also purchased soft blankets from the children’s bedding section in Target. I wanted to have something new that was soft and cozy.
After putting the teepee together, I placed a bean bag towards the back of the tent.
Then I tucked the soft blanket over the top. I was worried that the kids would lay against the back of the teepee and tip it over, so the bean bag will act as a chair or pillow.
First, print off the free labels below (find them here).
Laminate the labels for durability.
Add velcro to the center of the bins and to the back of the labels.
This will allow you to rotate the books and labels on a regular basis. I would recommend every two weeks.
Choose 6-8 topics that you think would really intrigue your child and get them hooked. Also, consider the books you have on hand. You may want to save certain themes until you get a chance to run to the library.
I have a two-year-old and a six-year-old. When I chose books for the farm bin, I kept both of them in mind. Blake is reading at around an E, so I made sure to include books at that level and just above. I also choose farm books that I knew an adult would have to read for extra cuddle time. I think it is important that my husband and I still read to him as well. You will notice quite a few board books as well for Miss Violet.
The bins and labels make the book area warm and inviting. I have noticed that kids take pride in this area and have done a great job keeping it tidy. After lots of modeling the two year old will even try to match the themes.
My kids love their reading buddies. If you are like our family you have a million stuffed animals. Put those animals to good use and have them join your book area. I choose animals that matched the book themes, and plan to rotate them when I rotate the books. You can also add story props to encourage your child to act out or role-play parts of the stories.
My kids have loved their teepee corner. I love to listen to my six-year-old read book after book to my two-year-old. I have heard that a child only needs to read three books over the summer to maintain their current level, so I am certain that Blake will achieve this!