I’m a big believer in creating a bit of magic to make bedtime stories more fun – story time by candlelight, story time snuggled up in blankets, story time wearing silly hats. But I’ve found that having a special place to read together – a place that becomes your ‘storytelling chair’ – helps to builds anticipation most effectively.
For most of the year, our story chair is the corner of the sofa, but when the weather’s brighter, we head for the treehouse and I get to perch on my favourite blue story chair (a spruced-up second-hand find). It’s got a little drawer in the side, where I hide props, treats or activities.
For World Book Day and to inspire you to make your bedtime stories more exciting, I’ve gathered together some amazing storytelling chairs. Maybe a lick of paint, a brightly coloured blanket and some cushions is all you need to make your own extra-special chair for reading Storytime – and your bedtime stories?
Storytelling chairs for the garden
1. The Once Upon A Time chair by Forest Crafts is just begging to sit in a leafy corner of someone’s school grounds. They also make benches, engraved with literary sayings for the kiddos to sit on. I wish my daughter’s school had these.
2. For a more characterful and rustic storytelling chair, see Free Range Designs, who offer intricately carved chairs inspired by pixies, elves, giants and glorious Vikings, as shown here.
3. It takes a lot of skill to pull off a chair grown out of a tree, but that’s exactly what the people at Pooktre have been doing for years. One for keen gardeners!
Storytelling chairs for the home
4. When I look at this Storyteller Chair from Parker and Farr, I imagine C.S. Lewis sitting in it and telling us all bedtime stories. If only.
5. Hal Taylor designed the Story Time Rocking Chair when he needed an easy way to read stories to two kids at the same time. Those bits that look like arms are actually little seats. Nice one, Hal!
6. Don’t fall too much in love with the Proust Geometrica chair by Cappellini – it costs almost £10k, but do go out and make your own rainbow bright version. How could a child possibly resist?
Storytelling chairs for everyone!
7. In 2015, the local council in Kirkby, Merseyside, gave public art specialists, Working Parts, the go ahead to spruce up their town centre. The result was three magnificent winged thrones, each large enough to seat a couple of people. Apparently, the locals weren’t too impressed. Personally, I think these should be compulsory in every town centre.
8. You can always trust Seven Stories in Newcastle to provide you with a great storytelling chair and their latest perch is one of the best. The wonderful Bird Chair was created by story chair specialist Textiles by Gnomes and inspired by the vivid mind of Chris Haughton. Make sure you catch Shh! We Have a Plan at Seven Stories – it’s brilliant!
9. Finally, artist Jacqui Symons gave this old Parker Knoll a new breath of life for the Bentley Area Community Library in Doncaster. The patchwork Storytelling Chair includes artwork and memories from the local community and was Arts Council-funded. More of this please – storytelling chairs for all!
Do you have a favourite chair for bedtime stories or a great storytelling chair in your school, local town or library? We’d love to see your pictures so please share them with us on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – say hello!
Happy World Book Day all – and enjoy your bedtime stories!