DIY Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading Program

As a preface, I originally wrote this post at the beginning of summer for a guest post, but it was never used.  I know summer is half over, but there is still time to squeeze in a book contest before the start of the new school year!

When our older children were younger, we participated in our local library’s summer reading program.  The library we went to at the time gave new books out as prizes for completing their program.  We didn’t care for the selection of books the library had for awards, so instead of participating in the library’s summer program, we made up our own.

I set levels to be accomplished and had a prize for each level. I usually let the kids help me come up with ideas for the prizes.  It gets them even more excited about reading through the summer.

They can read books we have at home or books from the library.  This is our first year with a Kindle, so we are now including ebooks too.  The older kids usually have to read 5 chapter books to complete each level.  For the younger kinds, I either have them read 2 books a day for a month to complete a level or read for a set amount of time.

Here is an example of some prizes we have done in the past (they select 1 prize from each level):

  • 1st Level Completed – pick out something from Dollar Tree, go to a movie at the local $1 theater, get a pop & candy
  • 2nd Level Completed – $5 gift cert. to Target/Walmart, go bowling
  • 3rd Level Completed – go out for special ice cream treat, a new book of their choice

To make it more economical, you could come up with fun free ideas, like a trip to a local free petting farm, or free museum, somewhere that the kids would get excited about, but doesn’t cost anything.

If your local library offers prizes that don’t fit well with your family, or your kids aren’t interested in them, doing your own program can be a great alternative.  Also, I know as a young mom, it wasn’t always easy to get to the library, if that’s the case, you can still enjoy summer reading with your own contest!

I love reading, and I am trying to instill that love in my children, I think doing a summer reading program either with your local library or on your own is a great way to help cultivate a love for reading.

Do you have ideas for encouraging extra reading during the summer?

2 Comments on “DIY Summer Reading Program

  1. Thanks for the idea…pinning it for when the kiddos are a bit older! :)

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