Hillary Chybinski: How-To: Set Up a Home Library for Your Kids

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How-To: Set Up a Home Library for Your Kids

Easy Kids Home Library

Today, I am volunteering at Owen's school for the Fall Book Fair.  I love the Scholastic Book Fair, and I'm glad that we only had a small postponement after Hurricane Sandy.

While I was helping Owen make book selections, I started thinking about our own library here at home, and what "type" of books are important to have on hand, and most importantly, how to do it on a budget.

We all know the importance of fostering a love of reading with our kids.  We know how valuable reading aloud with kids of all ages (YES - even tweens and teens) can be.  One way to foster a love of books and of reading, is to have a simple home library.

It doesn't have to be a fancy room with floor to ceiling bookcase and a rolling ladder. . .but wouldn't that be amazing??  All it has to be is a designated space, with books and a comfortable spot to sit and read.  It doesn't even "have" to be a shelf - short on space - fill a small wash tub with a dozen books, let your child cover it with stickers and put it next to their favorite chair.  Instant library.

What kind of books should you have? It's been my experience that every house with kids need a physical kids dictionary.  Yes, we use dictionary.com too. . .but having a picture dictionary on hand can be very helpful.

Children's Dictionary

Besides this dictionary (we keep ours in our homework cart), you should have three levels of books: books right on your child's reading level, books just a little bit challenging for your child, and a few easy-readers or pictures books.

The best way to encourage your kids to read, is to let them read about things they like. . .thus the enormous amount of books about trains, trucks and mummies in our house.  Books should be Fiction and Non-Fiction . . .both types of books add to your child's comprehension and reading skills.

Where to get these books? Libraries are a wonderful and affordable way to expand your selection, but I believe you need a handful (or more) of books that are yours (or your child's).  We have a wonderful used book store in our neighborhood that allows you store credit for books you sell back to them.  It's like a library with no expiration date.

Book Swaps and tag sales are also great places to pick up inexpensive (or free) books. Have a friend with a similar aged child? Once a month, swap out five books.

So, now we've discussed what type of space you need, what to fill it with, and how to get them. . .the only thing left to do is settle in with one of those books and read. One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

catch you soon -


  1. I love this. I need to set up a library in my house!! Thanks for the great idea!

    1. Thanks Mellisa - both the kids have a small shelf and seating area in their rooms.


  2. It also helps to know homeschoolers who love to buy used books and pass them along to their friends. My friend Lori has supplied me with some fabulous books for my kids.

    1. Barb - that's an EXCELLENT idea!! Thanks for sharing!