Last Friday we had the amazing experience to visit the Children’s Reading Place by Calgary Reads in Calgary. Set up in a heritage house in the Inglewood community, the entire house is designed to inspire the joy of reading.
You can visit Thursday to Saturday by setting up a time on the Calgary Reads website. Each visit is for two hours and entirely free. There are beautiful spaces set up through out the house to read and enjoy books that are everywhere in this amazing house. Staff and volunteers are available to guide visitors and there are crafts for children to encourage learning. You can choose a book to take back home. All visitors can bring along books that they can leave as a donation to the Children’s Reading Place. This is one of the many ways in which this magical place ignites the joy of books and reading.
Here is the video of our visit (as compiled on Instagram stories) and then pictures and other details below.
I loved how every room in the house had a theme: the entrance, the Canada Room, the Kitchen, Living Room, Washroom, the upstairs Crafts Room and the Sunflower Room.
The Children’s Reading Place made my heart sing and experience little fireworks as I saw all the lovely little details and experienced the joy of books, imagination and the written word with my children.
I know many of my readers don’t live in Calgary, but I feel this place is a joy for anyone who loves books. I wish there was a house like this in every city and neighborhood. Maybe you can take inspiration from these pictures and set up a corner in your house just for reading?
Do you wish you could live in a house like this? Will you believe it, if I tell you that you can? The Children’s Reading Place has a lovely Readers-in-Residence program where you can actually live in the house, breathe in the books and show people around the house when they visit!
The current Readers-in-Residence, Bob and Jan McInnis, were extremely helpful and engaged my children in interesting conversations as we explored the house. Henna Viertio, is the House Mother, a part of Calgary Reads and is available to set up appointments, to guide during visits in her delightful way and to answer any questions.
The rooms have been designed by students from Mount Royal University and they have done an amazing job! I went back home with many ideas for my own house.
The stairway above was set up in the theme of the beloved book “Where the Wild Things Are”.
This was the crafts rooms with a little attic set up as a reading space complete with a tiny door and windows.
The room above was set up with a sunflower theme.
Loved the idea of keeping tiny book characters along with the story book.
The room above was the Canada room to help children learn about their beautiful country.
I have heard the backyard is beautiful and we can’t wait to visit again in the summers.
The Children’s Reading Place is different from a regular community library because you can only visit by appointment and take back one book. The book you take is yours to keep. This place is set up to inspire reading and has lovely ideas and tips for parents and caregivers throughout the house.
There are many ways in which you can help the Children’s Reading Place to continue their amazing work in the community available for free:
- Visit with your children if you live in Calgary and help spread the word.
- Take books with you to donate.
- Have a birthday and collect books for the various Calgary Reads programs that help get books to children in need.
- Donate to Calgary Reads and the Chidren’s Reading Place.
- More details on the Calgary Reads website.
The Children’s Reading Place got a big thumbs up from us and we can’t wait to visit again! If you live in Calgary, you must definitely go!