It’s hard to believe summer break is almost here! At the end of the month, my kids will be out of school and summer boredom will begin.
I never really know just what we’ll do over the summer. I mean, we’re in Florida. On the one hand, it’s too freaking hot to do just about anything outside, making indoor activities rather appealing. On the other hand, there are usually plenty of water and outdoor activities if we wanted to suffer through the heat.
Two thing’s are for sure though.
- I always have my kids participate in at least one summer reading program!
- I have the oldest write in a summer journal
Since I worry about the summer slide and I need some downtime, reading is an important part of our day. It’s especially important that the oldest take some time to read while the little one is down for a nap. And, I require some reading time before she gets to indulge in screen time.
If you’re anything like me, and value reading time, you’ll love this list of summer reading programs for kids. I mean, getting your kids to read for more than just screen time is a bonus for everyone!
Summer Reading Programs for Kids
Check with your public library, either in person or online, to see if they’re offering a summer reading program for your kids!
Our library has a summer reading program that encourages kids to read so many books (or so many hours) in order to earn a free book. Plus, the reading program includes extra prize entries based on certain criteria (like number of books read or minutes read) depending on the program for the year.
Generally, I like our public library summer reading programs for kids because they also set up special activities and events throughout the summer to keep them entertained.
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading For Kids
Barnes & Noble offers a summer reading program where kids earn a free book for reading a certain number of books. In 2018, a child had to read a mere 8 books to receive a free book from the dedicated list of freebies.
The free book selection was broken into grade levels so that you could help your children make the best choice for their reading level.
Check out the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Lists then download the summer reading log.
Chuck E. Cheese’s Reading Rewards Program
While not exactly a summer reading program for kids, Chuck E. Cheese does offer incentives with special reward calendars! Included is a reading rewards calendar. When your child reads for 2 weeks, they will receive 10 tokens for game play (purchase is required to redeem free tokens).
Please double check to make sure you get an up-to-date calendar to participate.
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
Scholastic brings your children a themed summer reading challenge every year, and it’s going into it’s 13th year in 2019.
In 2018, in order for children to participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, all children must have been registered by an educator, public librarian, or community partner organization leader.
Children ages 4-14 can long reading minutes, however, if you read aloud to younger children, you can log reading minutes for them.
The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge in 2020 started on May 4, 2020.
Books*A*Million Summer Reading Adventure
The Books*A*Million summer reading adventure in 2018 allowed children to read any 4 books in the summer reading adventure section (in stores and online). Once completed, children were given a free pencil case with pencils.
Check out what the Books A Million summer reading adventure will consist of this year.
Six Flags Read to Succeed
While Six Flags offers a free summer reading program for kids, it’s not without a special set of rules. Important to note, a traditional school or homeschool must register for the program for your children to be able to participate. Additionally, this program is only available for grades K through 6.
So, if you fall within the parameters and qualify for this summer reading program through Six Flags, your child can log 6 hours of recreational summer reading to earn a free ticket to Six Flags in the Six Flags Read to Success program!
Check the program eligibility rules and see if your school will participate in the program.
Half Price Books Summer Reading Program
Half Price Books offers a free summer reading program for kids called “Feed Your Brain.”
The Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program is segregated into groups ages 14 and under and the second group for teens.
Kids 14 and under log 300 minutes in June and July and have a parent or guardian initial the reading log for $5 Bookworm Bucks. Teens have to read one book from a selection and write a short review in order to earn Bookworm Bucks.
Be sure to check out the Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program page for full details and up-to-date reading log and requirements.
Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays
If you’re around Showcase Cinemas, look into Bookworm Wednesdays. The program appears to have been cancelled for the time being, but definitely worth a look for the future.
Participating in this program entitles kids to free admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Cinema de Lux, Showcase, or Multiplex Cinemas box office.
Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six years of age receive free admission and do not need to submit a book report.
Pottery Barn Kids Book Club
This reading program may be temporarily cancelled due to the Pandemic.
Pottery Barn Kids has a weekly story time at 11 am. (there’s a different schedule for the NYC location) and is not a summer only program. The weekly event includes reading, activities and more.
By joining the Pottery Barn Kids Book Club, you’ll receive a special surprise after attending 5 events.
H-E-Buddy Summer Reading Club
H-E-B is offering children who are Texas residents a summer reading program called H-E-Buddy Summer Reading Club. It’s for children ages 3-12.
In 2018, the rules were that children had to read 10 books and have the parent initial the log to receive credit for the books read. Once complete, children would earn a t-shirt.
Parents, you have to mail the log in to the address the website provides.
Lifeway Stores Summer Reading Quest
Lifeway Stores is offering the Summer R.E.A.D (Reveal. Explore. Amaze. Discover.)
In 2018, the program was geared towards toddler aged kids through 6th grade, but all ages were welcomed to join the adventure.
To participate in the program, you go into the store to grab your FREE summer reading journal, bookmark, and pencil.
Last year’s challenge was to read 6 books and memorize six Scripture verses. Once complete, you bring your summer reading journal back to the store to pick up a book and new bible.
Other Summer Reading Programs for Kids
Pizza Hut Book It! Summer Reading Program
TD Bank Summer Reading
Junie B. Jones Reading Club
Have you ever participated in these summer reading programs for kids?
What other ways do you pass the time in the summer?