A cosy book den for autumn

What can’t you do with a cardboard box?! We’ve had a great giant box sitting in our living room for a couple of weeks that ToddlerGirl has been scribbling on and sitting in with various toys. I thought it was high time we did something a little more creative with it, though, so its latest incarnation is as a den in the corner of the room.

Cosy autumn book den

I just love dens, both indoors and out. There is something wonderful about creating an enclosed space to play in. ToddlerGirl definitely seems to feel the same way and particularly likes it if the den is covered over completely to make her own private place.

For this den, I simply propped one side of the box up against the wall and then used the giant flap to create a roof. Inside, I added a mat and some cushions and a couple of ToddlerGirl’s soft toys (a mouse and two rabbits, for a sort of woodland theme). I covered the top with a duvet, added her soft toy robin on the roof and, hey presto, a lovely cosy book nook for the dreary autumn afternoons we’ve been having this week.

ToddlerGirl’s been making good use of this, piling armfuls of her soft toys inside and carefully arranging and rearranging them, talking to them and reading them some of her books.

I’ve left a selection of books just outside the den, loosely themed around autumn and woodland bugs/animals. These include:

  • Ferdie and the Falling Leaves – a lovely read for autumn, about a little fox who tries to rescue the leaves that start falling from his favourite tree. He has a wonderful surprise though when he wakes up one morning to find the tree bare and covered in frost. ToddlerGirl was glued to this on our first reading, although I did edit some of the text as it’s maybe still a little bit too long for her at the moment.   Autumn – an autumn favourite for us, this is a simple picture book with no text, just illustrations showing various aspects of the autumn season. ToddlerGirl will often pick this one out of the book basket for us to read together and will also sit poring over the pictures by herself.
  • Mad About Minibeasts – a great introduction to poetry for toddlers, featuring short poems about a variety of minibeasts, from spiders to centipedes. ToddlerGirl doesn’t like to read this one cover to cover but does enjoy it if we just dip into it and read a couple of the poems at a time.
  • Owl Babies – three little owls wake one day to find their Owl Mother isn’t in the nest with them. This is a sweet story showing the anxiety little ones feel when separated from their mums, with the important message that of course the Owl Mother comes back after her trip. ToddlerGirl, when reading this to her toys earlier, condensed it down to these two sentences: “Oh no, I miss my mummy. There you are mummy, mummy is back.” Haiku Baby – a small collection of haiku poems based on the weather/nature. The three line poems are matched with lovely illustrations and ToddlerGirl seems to find this a very calming read, perfect for some quiet time.
  • Incy Wincey Spider – the well-known rhyme with a finger puppet spider in the middle! ToddlerGirl loves Incy Wincey and is really taken by this book, despite its simplicity (and the fact it’s probably aimed at much younger babies!)

I’ll keep our snuggly book nook up until I think ToddlerGirl is starting to loose interest in it, although I might rotate the book selection to keep it fresh. What would your top cosy reads be for the autumn?

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