We know reading is good for kids, but there comes a point when the piles and the bins of books get to be too much, it’s time to put up a kids bookshelf. Kids bookcases can do more than just provide cute storage for our growing home libraries, they can encourage kids to fall in love with reading while giving them a space that’s their own, even in the middle of our grown up living room decor. Whether it’s mounting shelves for books in the nursery or investing in proper kids furniture for the playroom that’s sized right for their height, our LOs will love having a place to store their favorites (that is until they rip them off the shelf and demand they all be read to them!).
Kids bookshelves can also work as toy storage by putting bins on the bottom shelves so all the books and toys are together. Or they can be a simple and decorative while doubling as a reading nook for bigger kids. The possibilities are endless for a concept that’s so simple! Our best piece of advice, buy in anticipation of things to come. If all of the books fit perfectly now with no room to grow their collection, by the next holiday or birthday the piles on the floor will return. We’ve compiled our favorite book storage solutions for all the rooms in the house— it’s not like they actually keep their books (or anything else) in just one place.
Best Bookshelf for the Nursery
When designing a nursery we want it to be a calming space for baby, but they don’t actually stay that small forever. By the time they’re big enough to be crawling and toddling they’ll have shown an interest in books (even if it is looking at them upside down). BB needs a space to store all of the stories for bedtime routines, but also one that’s cute and transitional beyond the baby stage. We love the Babyletto Tally Bookcase for this reason.
It’s a fresh modern design that melds nicely with the rest of our decor but has shelving at floor level for our LO. Plus Babyletto is known for high quality products that take both safety and chemical-free materials into consideration in all of their designs. One genius mama we know purchased four of these to line the wall of her baby’s room. Rather than buy a tall bookcase that creates temptation for climbing, baby can safely cruise around on floor level selecting reading materials.
This IKEA kids bookshelf is so simplistic in design yet extremely functional in the eyes of a toddler. How many times have we gone into their rooms and every book is thrown everywhere? They were just looking for one book mama! The FLISAT Book Display takes away this drama by showcasing books with the covers facing out making it easier for the Littles to see what they want without tossing them all on the floor. Designed at their height, it can easily be moved from reading corner to bedside and back.
One mama reviewer had this clever idea for the bookshelf that she claims holds more than we’d think. “My second one was purchased for the books that my daughter takes to bed and then dumped on the floor in the morning. I didn’t count the current number in that Filsat, but it’s probably in the 20+ range as there are a collection of board books and the thick 10 minute story books in there. I’ve even considered purchasing a couple more for the bathrooms where we are potty training. The bookshelves are thin enough to slide between the wall and a toilet.” Good thinking mama!
Compared to adult bookshelves, a kids wall bookshelf like these ones by Wallniture are smaller in size but still hold an appropriate number of books for BB. When we’re sitting in the recliner to read at night, it’s nice to just be able to reach over and grab a selection of books rather than have to bend all the way to the floor. Furthermore these come as a set of two, which makes for quick and easier wall decor while still providing function. They would also be perfect in the living room, playroom, or even bathroom (here’s looking at you potty training mamas!) for a little extra book nook space.
One reviewer shared, “These are PERFECT! Took 10 minutes to hang all 4. We have these shelves filled with books and only used the screws themselves. Seems to have a great hold. Love these!!”
Best Kids Room Bookshelf
By the time our kids are old enough to speak full sentences their book load is going to become comparable to ours. We need serious storage without taking serious square footage from the other bedroom furniture. RiverRidge’s 6 cubby corner unit maximizes space where we don’t usually use it without expanding far into the floor play space. Large enough to hold toy storage bins and books but compact enough to look like part of the room, this bookshelf is a sure thing.
One reviewer shared how she uses it in her house. “We bought this to use in our living room to hold toys. It looks great as part of the room, not too childish, and is better quality than some of the cubby organizers we have tried. Definitely needs anchored to the wall for safety, but we all love it! Also bought the veggie bin organizer to go with.”
A cozy reading nook is the perfect place for our kiddos to curl up with a good book. KidKraft, creator of all things awesome for kids furniture, designed this Bookcase with Reading Nook for our bigger kids to get a hideaway in their very own room. The bottom houses all the books and toys they have, while the top serves as the perfect place to read, complete with a backrest for curling up. We could even see this finding its way into the living room under a windowsill or into the home office as our kiddos workspace this fall. Available in white, espresso, and natural, it will be sure to work with any kids bed or furniture they already have.
One mama wrote, “I was looking for a bookshelf for my son’s room when I ran across this option. I got really excited because I was able to imagine it in front of my son’s window and can see him sitting there reading a book and just fell in love with it. My husband put it together quickly and I feel it met all of my expectations. Perfect fit, love it!!”
Best Bookshelf for Common Spaces
Sometimes we want to keep our space, our space, but we know we need to share just a little bit. Perfect for tucking beside the couch or arm chair, this UTEX Kids Book Caddy holds all their reading materials without compromising on our design aesthetic. We love the angled shape of the caddy making books easier to find whether the big or little people are looking for them. Available in navy or grey, this branches out from traditional furniture colors to bring a little pop to a space while also remaining quite neutral.
One mama commented on the quality noting, “Pleasantly surprised with the quality. It’s a sturdy little thing. My 4 year old climbed inside of it (against my protest) and it didn’t budge. Happy camper over here.” We know every boy mom is just imagining their LO doing the same thing!
This Bamboo Tree Bookcase from C&A Home is not actually a kids bookshelf, but it easily could be used as one in our living or family rooms. The virtual design takes up a relatively small amount of space but holds quite a bit of books. Even though this was designed for the adults with cool, city apartments, and not our tornado toddlers, it’s very stable and holds a lot of weight. The design is so unique that it makes us want it in our homes even with Elmo potty books on it.
One very pregnant mama reviewer wasn’t intimidated by this assembly. She did it 9 months pregnant by herself, but has these wise words to offer to make the process smooth for everyone. “Assembly just takes common sense, patience, and attention to detail. One thing that helped me initially was to attach the support triangle piece to the first shelf, then attach the triangle to the base before screwing the shelf to the base.”
Best Playroom Bookshelf
The playroom is supposed to be the most fun room in the house. What’s more fun than an animal print bookcase that brings our story characters to life? We can’t think of much. 3 Sprouts Storage Shelf Organizer comes in six different brightly colored animal designs, (we love the lion as much as the elephant!) and is sized right to encourage our LOs to engage in reading sessions and even clean up when playtime is over. Kids love to feel accomplished and the easy front pouches of this bookcase make putting books away a snap.
One reviewer commented, “This is a great book rack. The image is clear and cute, and it is super easy for kids (or parents whose arms are full) to put books back in. Just know it is on the smaller side, so you may want two if you have lots of books.”
Sometimes for the playroom our kids bookshelves need to do double duty and become toy bins as well. Viv+Rae clearly thought of this with their Nataly Combo Bin Storage Unit. Designed with plenty of shelf space for books and linen bins to hold craft supplies, LEGOs, or dolls, this is a no brainer for any play space. The bottom section can be used to store blankets and dolls or large oversized books that are always hard to fit in traditionally shaped bookcases. We love that it also comes in three finishes (white, grey, and espresso) to match whatever other decor we have.
One mama shared her appreciation for the attention to detail in this piece, “Very cute and functional. The book shelf part holds even the “tall” books (it’s 11”). Also the screws are painted the same color as the piece so it doesn’t look tacky. Exactly what I was hoping for!“
Kids love animals and brightly colored designs and Teamson has taken full advantage by creating the cutest, jungle animal bookcases ever. Teamson shares, “The Zoo Kingdom Lion Bookshelf is a fun, friendly, and unique piece that offers a neat and secure place for little ones to store their favorite books. Children will love stacking books on their lion bookshelf and play for hours with their very own lion.”
While we love the lion design, it does come in a zebra or a giraffe shape too if BB has a different preference. The fun design is engaging to kids but also manages to be quite functional with open storage and plenty of shelf space for all of their books. It even comes with a tip restraint kit, which makes mama as happy as baby in the playspace.
Looking for more great organizational ideas to create their perfect space? Check out all of our mom approved kids gear.