Create an Early Childhood book library

Do you have a community library outside your Early Childhood setting? Why not rescue an unwanted cupboard, Rabbit hutch, filing cabinet or bedside cabinet etc and fill with books, to gift away, lend or donate to your local community and the families who attend your setting. What a great way to promote love of books and create something that’s budget friendly too. At The Curiosity Approach® we are a modern day pedagogy for modern day times.Promoting Sustainability and eco literacy to recycle, up cycle. Understanding the importance of looking after our planet and empowering children and adults to be stewards of this fragile world.

At The Curiosity Approach® we look to be creators not consumers and see the beauty in unwanted items. To salvage unwanted items and create powerful rich play spaces for children and families.  By fostering a love for books in the early years, we are nurturing a curiosity for learning that will stay with children throughout their lives. Research has shown that children who are exposed to books and reading from a young age tend to perform better academically, develop stronger language skills, and exhibit greater creativity and critical thinking abilities. Another reason we encourage Early Years settings to offer a community book library, is that this will promote a sense of belonging and community, families feel the benefit of this addition to your setting and with the unfortunate closure of many public libraries across the country, this may be an ideal way for children to have different stories at home or for their bedtime routine . Finally, we believe they can create spaces where children, families, and educators can come together to share stories, explore new worlds, and bond over the joy of reading. These libraries not only enrich the learning environment but also strengthen the relationships within families and the community. Parent partnership is being promoted. 

In the spirit of the Curiosity Approach®, community book libraries encourage children to take the lead in their learning journey. They empower children to choose books that pique their interest, follow their own unique paths of exploration, and engage with stories in ways that resonate with them personally. By honouring children's natural curiosity and imagination, these libraries become vibrant hubs of discovery and growth.

Here are some ideas to create a book library for your Early Childhood setting 

An unwanted cupboard, filled with books. The drawers have been used to grow spring potted plants and the top displays a selection of natural and authentic resources. If you’re worried about books becoming damp, secure a small piece of shed roofing on the top to make it weatherproof. 

Jack in The Box Nursery have used a rescued rabbit hutch. Once again to ensure books don’t become spoilt in damp inclement weather, you may need to provide a waterproof cover. Or situate under a covered area. 

Little Sparkles Childminding have used some wooden crates. This is a great idea that can be transported and moved with ease. At The Curiosity Approach® we look to create powerful rich play spaces, to understand the importance of transforming all areas within Early Childhood provision. To recognise the importance of promoting Early Literacy and love of books within our settings. Books are not confined to the book corner or book box. This idea is simple and effeClive and will allow parents and children to select a box on arrival and departure at the Childminding setting. 

 Ask parents and carer if anyone has an old vintage suitcase. This makes another easily transportable book library. It can be situated outside on dry days. 

Stepping Stones have rescued and reused an unwanted filing cabinet. This can be locked at the end of the day and wheeled into place.

worried about books getting ruined? Book Libraries can be in your entrance way or foyer.

Finally Alphabet House Day Nursery have rescued an old fridge. This is a great way to ensure books stay dry if situated outside. We recommend risk assessment and to dispose of responsibly when no longer needed. 

We recently put a post on our Face Book page and Kate Allen commented, see a screen shot of the impact of her Community Book Library.


We recognise that it may become disheartening if books don’t get returned, however we urge educators to recognise the power of the Community Library, take the pressure off yourselves to keep track of books. The Library should be open for books to be taken, borrowed or replaced. By removing expectations, we may remove any restrictions to its use. At The Curiosity Approach® we keep our book libraries topped up by continually asking the wider community for unwanted books and regular donations. 

The National Literacy Trust has some details here https://nlt.cdn.ngo/media/docu...

We hope you have enjoyed these ideas and thank all our our Curiosity Approach® Academy members and accredited setting for sharing their ideas and inspiration. Want more ideas like these? Did you know we have a Curiosity Approach App that offers a wealth of knowledge, examples and practical hints and tips to improve your Early Childhood provision and practice. See the link here and gain your 7 days FREE. https://curiosityapproach.lpag...

Want to learn more from us? We have a wealth of mini courses and our signature programme which allows all your team to join and work towards their accreditation. See the link here https://the-curiosity-approach...

Copyright protected

Copyright Disclaimer: All content on the Curiosity Approach platform is protected by copyright law. unauthorised use or reproduction of materials is prohibited without written permission. Legal action may be taken against infringers. Please contact us for authorised use. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property rights.