One of my very good friends is having her first baby this summer. And that’s got me thinking a lot about how raising child is so different than when we grew up. 1995 is roughly considered to be the year the internet really became a thing for the average consumer in America. I was five years old at the time. We didn’t get an internet-connected computer until I was eight. I grew up part of the last group of children that really didn’t have an internet-connected computer at home during their formative years. The last group where playtime meant books and toys and going outside. Yes, we had a tv. But it’s not like it is now, where families have multiple tvs, computers, tablets, and smartphones in the home and on their person. A recent NPR interview with Adam Alter, the author of Irresistible, a new book about how technology is designed to be addicting, featured a section on usage guidelines for parents of young children. You can listen to that interview here.
I always give at least one book as part of my baby gift. I think it’s important for babies to be read to and for the love of reading to start early so then when they learn how to read, they continue picking up books and reading on their own. It’s no accident that readers are leaders. Where this very long train of thought has lead me to is these lovely baby and children’s rooms and playrooms that use books almost as a form of art. Children’s books are often colorful and beautiful, so why not display them? I love the way the books are displayed in these photos, turning the child’s space into a reading space where books are all around. Children are little sponges who pick up many ideas about what’s valuable in the world from their parents. Having books and dedicated spots for a child to read teach the child that reading is a valuable activity and fosters a love of books.
All images via Houzz