What to Look for When Buying a Child’s Bookcase

What to Look for When Buying a Child’s Bookcase

27 Feb

If you want your child to do well at school, one of the best things you can do is encourage a love of books. Children who read for pleasure on a regular basis generally perform better academically than kids who rarely pick up a book.

Learning to love books starts at a very young age. Researchers see clear benefits of shared book reading for child development and this starts when your baby is in the womb. Start early and the benefits can include language and cognitive development, honed conceptual development, and increased vocabulary and pre-reading skills.

As your baby enters the toddler phase and starts to move around their bedroom or playroom, the next best thing you can do is provide an open bookcase or shelf.

The importance of a bookcase

A bookcase is one of the most basic pieces of furniture in a child’s room, but it’s also one of the most important. The right bookcase is equal parts storage, stylish design and convenience.

Having a bookcase or bookshelves in your child’s bedroom or playroom provides a useful place to store your kids’ books. At bedtime, on a rainy afternoon, or any time your child feels like it, your child can choose their favourite book, cuddle up with you, and enjoy some special reading time together. The gift of their own bookshelf puts your child in the driving seat of their learning experience, allowing them to read what they like, when they like, and for however long they like.

How a bookcase supports your child to read

A bookcase supports individualised learning. Your child knows what they are ready for and will learn to read in their own unique way.

When it comes to learning to read, the unique needs of your child are not just functions of differences in brain hardware. Your child’s needs vary from day to day and moment to moment based on their specific experiences, wishes and whims. A bookcase or bookshelf lets them read at their own schedule.

Denis Waitley, author of books such as Seeds of Greatness, Raising Confident Kids and The Winner’s Edge,famously said:

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

What to look for in a bookcase

A good rule of thumb when choosing a kid’s bookcase is to have low-to-the-ground storage - a height no more than three feet tall. This way your child can easily reach their favourite books without the risk and fear of the bookcase tipping over. Size is another important factor to consider, since it will determine the look and function within your child’s space.

Book display cases allow you to display the entire cover of a book, a great way to entice young readers. There’s nothing more tempting than a colourful illustration and our Oscar Chalkboard Bookshelf with bonus drawer showcases book covers in the best way possible. Featuring four front facing shelves with a chalkboard tab on each, you can store books, games and even your child’s most prized artworks. The drawer has a chalkboard drawer face on one side and a white drawer face on the other.

Prefer an open drawer that allows your child to share their books with their toys? Our Billy Bookcase/Toy Storage Unit has a semi-closed bottom compartment providing convenient storage for balls and other toys.

Don’t need the extra storage? Our Jessie Bookcase Caddy complements any decor with its sleek style. At 45cm from the floor, it’s the perfect height for independently reading their favourite stories.

There’s no right or wrong style of bookcase for your child’s bedroom or playroom, but you should aim to purchase something specifically designed with age and safety in mind. All of the bookshelves and bookcases from HipKids are stylish, super practical, sturdy and safe.

What to put in your child’s bookcase

There are so many wonderful books to choose from that deciding what goes into your child’s bookcase can be difficult. As a broad rule, young children enjoy books with the three R’s - rhyme, rhythm and repetition.

Choose books that are the right length for your child and that match your child’s changing interests. Vary the books and printed materials they read and look for books with:

  • Animals and animal noises
  • Cars, trucks, fairies, castles, trains, princesses and other favourite topics
  • Relatable themes and activities
  • Lift-the-flap and moveable pieces

As your child enters the pre-school age swap the books out for books with:

  • Alphabet, shape, size and counting themes
  • Simple stories about families, friends and going to school
  • Quirky characters and children roughly the same age
  • Humour and a sense of silly (sometimes ‘naughty’) fun
  • Dinosaurs, the ocean, inventions, culture and other particular interests

Making the most of your child’s bookcase

As long as your child grows up in a literate society and has access to books on a bookshelf, they’ll learn to read. They may ask questions along the way and get pointers from others who already know how to read, but for the most part they will take the initiative and orchestrate the entire process themselves.

That said, there are things you can do to encourage the regular use of your child’s bookcase.

  1. Make it routine and try to share at least one book each day.
  2. Place a teepee, comfy chair, bean bag or cushions next to your child’s bookcase.
  3. Make reading extra fun with animal noises and animated reading.
  4. Involve your child by asking questions, talking about the pictures and repeating familiar words and phrases.
  5. Let your child choose your shared books. No rolling your eyes if they choose the same one over and over - this is their preferred way of learning so just go with it!

Ready to shop bookshelves and bookcases for your child’s bedroom or playroom? Check out the wide range of quality furniture at HipKids. We’ve got everything you need for giving your child the best start to life - and we’re 100% Australian owned! Shop today.

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