May 25, 2015

Themed Browsing Boxes for Home

My job as a teacher librarian often carries over into my home life. Aside from conducting frequent story times for my daughter by reading aloud our favorite children's literature, my home is full of books. In fact, our home library grows on a weekly basis - my husband truly believes I have a book shopping problem! What I'm most proud of is how I organize the books in my home. Like a true librarian, I make themed browsing boxes similar to classrooms and libraries.

Last November Colby and Alaina Sharp posted a blog on Nerdy Book Club outlining a formula to raise readers within your own home. Some of their tips include modeling reading as a parent, celebrating books and authors, visiting the library, and bedtime reading.  Not only do I follow many of the Sharp's suggestions, but I'd like to promote and influence the organization of home libraries with themed browsing boxes. 

Themed browsing boxes are a great way to show case a collection of books and keep books fresh and interesting. My daughter has a box for nonfiction, Disney princesses, Mo Willems, Fly Guy, and a seasonable collection. It’s important to keep the books moving and provide a variety of fresh and exciting books.  Every few weeks the books in my daughter's seasonal browsing box changes. They change for each season and holiday, and even include back-to-school books and birthday books. I own many books to build collections but I also get books from the public library. The seasonal books that I own are stored away and only brought out once a year making these books exciting and an annual tradition to enjoy together. It’s also important to keep the books easy to access.  I keep browsing boxes in my daughter's room, the playrooms, and even in our family room. Wherever my daughter plays, there are books. They are easy to grab and enjoy often. As a result, books and reading have become a daily habit for my daughter. She often chooses books over toys, something that warms my librarian heart.

If you're looking for a way to organize your home library or create excitement for books in your home, I highly recommend themed browsing boxes. If you'd like a collection of titles, below is a list for books about “summer” to get you started. Periodically, I'll add more themed suggestions throughout the year on my blog so check back often.

The bottom line, themed browsing boxes are not just for classrooms and libraries. They're for readers no matter where they exist, creating habits of mind and growing young readers page by page.

List of books about “summer” – for toddlers to tweens
Froggy Plays T-Ball
Froggy Learns to Swim
The Night Before Summer Break
The Penderwick's: a Summer Tale
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Beach Bugs
Olivia Goes Camping
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Rainbow Fairies: Joy the Summer Vacation Fairy
Let it Shine
I See Summer
Mouse's First Summer
A Day in the Sun (Frozen)
Magic Tree House: Stage Fright on a Summer Night & Summer of the Sea Serpent
Summer According to Humphrey
Biscuit's First Beach Day
Biscuit Goes Camping
Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves (My Little Pony)
Micky Mouse Clubhouse Minnie's Summer Vacation
Welcome Summer
Dora's Summer Parade
How Do You Know it's Summer
Lego Friends: Summer Adventures
Hello Kitty: Hello Summer
Baby Loves Summer!
What Happens in Summer?
Mr. Sunny is Funny
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown
Camp Rules! (Katie Kazoo)
The Baby-sitter’s Club: The Summer Before
Lawn Boy
The Summer Vacation from the Black Lagoon

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