It’s interesting how parenting roles change as your children get older. One minute you’re doing everything for them, the next they’re starting to do things for themselves... and before you know it there are things they definitely don’t want you doing for them – like taking them shopping!
Now that my two are in their teens they’d be mortified if I tagged along on their shopping trips. But it doesn’t seem that long ago that they were hanging around my ankles, bored and fractious, while I tried to grab kids’ clothes off the rails and get to the tills before one of them had a meltdown.
I have to say I don’t miss those stressful shopping expeditions. And today when I see parents trying to shop with kids I really feel for them. I’ve been there and know what it’s like! Which is why it’s great to see that some shops have introduced reading corners to keep kids occupied while their mum and dad shop.
A reading corner to entertain kids while parents shop
While there are retail outlets that cater for kids with soft play areas, touch-screen games and interactive entertainment, I like the idea of a little reading corner where children can sit and quietly read a book. The last thing you want when you’re out shopping is your kids running around getting hyper or spending more time staring at a screen.
With a reading corner, kids can pick a book and lose themselves in a brilliant story for a while. Instead of getting bored and rushing their parents to go, they’re more likely to want to stay. And if it inspired kids to read more at home, that would be a real bonus.
It would be brilliant if more shops provided a book corner. It wouldn’t need to take up much space – some shops already use Tidy Books to create a reading space using our slimline bookcase and portable book box – yet it would make such a difference to the shopping experience. And how about a book corner in cafes, too? That would be perfect for shopping breaks when you have the kids in tow. Just imagine it – happy customers and happy kids... and no tantrums!
* Would you like to see reading corners in shops? Let me know what you think in the comments below
Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile. She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids. Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.