With school out and summer officially here, we’re enjoying more leisurely days with a bit more time to read. The kids love summer because they have more time to read the books they love to read. I love to see the titles they choose and am happy as long as they’re reading something. Anything!
It doesn’t matter if they’re re-reading favorites like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Magic Treehouse, or Harry Potter series, a new title that came as a recommendation from a friend, have opened the newspaper to find the comics, are reading The Washington Post Kids Post online, or on their Kindles. I just want them to be reading!
Whether your kids enjoy reading or are a bit more reluctant, sometimes they can be incentivized through summer reading programs that offer free books, movies, or cold hard cash in exchange for titles read. Here’s a roundup of 5 great summer reading programs for kids. Choose one or do all simultaneously! It’s your choice but all are fun ways to keep children reading over the summer months. Happy reading!
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge: Reading Under the Stars
- What it is: The free Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge online reading program for children is designed to beat last year’s world record of 176,438,473 minutes read and with many more months to go and the total minutes already surpassing over 152,000,000, kids are on target to set a new record well before the September 5 end date.
- Why kids want to do it: The fun of the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is about logging the number of minutes you read. Kids of all ages are encouraged to read as many books as they can and log minutes read. This can be done with a kitchen timer, bedroom clock, or the Scholastic Reading Timer app.
- How to participate: Register for a free account, log the number of minutes you read, and earn rewards from Scholastic. There’s lots of personal gratification seeing the number of minutes add up throughout the summer for kids.
- Other great resources: Since this year’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is Reading Under the Stars, kids will love this beautiful and fascinating star constellation guide that makes it easy to find formations in the skies above. Parents can enjoy the wealth of resources to keep their reading all summer long, especially if interest in reading starts to wane as the summer goes on.
Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge
- What is it: Pottery Barn Kids has put together two great reading lists designed to encourage families to read. Choose to read age appropriate titles from the Summer Reading Challenge Book List and get a free book at participating retail stores.
- Why kids want to do it: Kids love the incentive of a free book but each week local Pottery Barn Kids stores are hosting Weekly Store Times that feature snacks from Happy Family, character appearances, and activities and giveaways from PBS Kids. Use the Store Locator to see if your local store is participating and a listing of upcoming events and times.
- How to participate: Print out Pottery Barn Kids’ Summer Reading Challenge Book List and complete one of the book lists between now and July 17 for your free book while supplies last.
- Other great resources: Pottery Barn Kids has darling free printable bookplates and library cards are not only perfect for personalizing titles in your home library but the also ensure that you’ll get your favorite books back if you happen to lend them out. Tip: Print the printable bookplates out on Avery 8163 white shipping labels so they’re even easier to use!
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Imagination Destination
- What is it: A free reading program offered by Barnes & Noble bookstores that incentivizes kids in grades 1-6 to read with the offer of a free book when they read any 8 titles.
- Why kids want to do it: The requirement of reading 8 books is quite achievable for all ages plus Barnes & Noble always provides a great selection of appropriate titles for each age group.
- How to participate: Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal, bring the completed Reading Journal to your local Barnes & Noble, and select a free book from the age appropriate list of titles from the store before September 2 or while supplies last.
- Other great resources: Great for homeschooling families and parents who want to encourage their kids towards literacy based activities this summer, the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Imagination’s Destination free PDF of activities for kids provides great suggestions of things families can do together to foster a love of literacy.
TD Bank Summer Reading Program
- What is it: A reading program offered by TD Bank with a monetary incentive.
- Why kids want to do it: While some kids love reading for free books, others are incentivized by money. TD Bank offers to deposit $10 in a new or existing Young Saver account for kids who read 10 books this summer.
- How to participate: Print out the TD Bank Summer Reading Program form and fill in a line for each book you read. When the form is completed, bring it and Your Savings Chart into your local TD Bank by August 31 to receive a $10 deposit into a new or existing Young Saver account.
- Other great resources: The Your Savings Chart is a fun free visual that allows kids to keep track of their savings. Not only does it build in a little money skills into the summer reading incentive but it also helps be a little more conscious of savings versus spending.
Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays
- What is it: Bookworm Wednesdays is summer reading program offered by New England based Showcase Cinemas that incentivizes kids to read and complete a book report in exchange for seeing a movie for free.
- Why kids want to do it: The chance to read and fill out a short form sharing the title, author, and brief description of the story is worth the price of a movie admission for some kids. Kids can read a different book each week, complete the Bookworm Wednesday form, and see a different movie each week between now and August 13. Bookworm Wednesday summer screenings include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (July 9), Epic (July 16), Despicable Me 2 (July 23), The Croods (July 30), Turbo (August 6), and The Smurfs 2 (August 13).
- How to participate: Every Wednesday until August 13, participating Showcase Cinemas are offering kids the chance to bring a book report to select Bookworm Wednesday movies and exchange their report for the price of admission.
- Other information: Showcase Cinemas states on their website that children under six who accompany a participant and adults who accompany a participant receive free admittance to the Bookworm Wednesdays movie and do not need to submit a book report. No purchase necessary.
To get you reading this summer, I’m partnering with 7 bloggers to host a summer reading themed giveaway for a Kindle Paperwhite and a $50 Amazon gift card to help you load your new Kindle with tons of books for the summer!
Take a look at these great summer reading themed posts for some wonderful suggestions of books to add to your must-read list and enter using the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck and happy reading!
Images courtesy of Scholastic, Barnes & Noble, TD Bank, and Showcase Cinemas. Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. I am a member of the Scholastic Circle and a #PBSKidsVIP and receive products in exchange for my participation but all opinions are my own and no compensation was received for this post.