As the school year is winding down, parents can get a head-start on slaying that dreaded “summer slide” and keep kids’ minds as active as they are! With these fun Summer Reading Challenge Programs, your super readers will have a greater chance of maintaining reading levels gained over the last year and will better prepare them for the school year ahead. The summer reading programs will be packed with fun activities, exciting games, free printables, parent resources, and a chance for some pretty neat prizes! Happy Reading!
Note: Kids of all ages and reading levels can participate in these programs, even non-readers! Reading to your child is just as important as independent reading is at any age. Children learn to listen to the flow of the language, the “characters” in conversation, the narration of the scenes, and the cadence and tone of the reader’s voice help to bring the story to life! Children who are struggling with reading, are learning a new language, or those who are not reading yet shouldn’t miss out on the joy of reading while they are still figuring out the patterns of the language.
This list is for U.S. residents, but be sure to check your local public libraries, book sellers, and kid-related businesses to see if they offer a summer reading program!
(The website information for many of these programs has not been updated yet for 2016. Check back as the summer approaches!)
California State Fair – Read to Ride program: Kiddos in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade can Read to Ride! For every 2 books read, kids can earn 2 FREE ride tickets! Our local county fair is offering free kid’s admission for reading. Be sure to check the websites for your local state and county fairs to see if there is a “Read to Ride” program available.
American Girl: (5/1 – 8/26) This summer, are you excited to escape into a story? Or learn about yourself and the world around you? American Girl can prep you for pages of fun with ideas, quizzes, events, and more!
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon: (5/17 – 9/6) Kiddos can earn a FREE book after answering a few question about books they have read recently and keeping track of them in a reading log! Check your local B&N store for FREE story time sessions!
Chuck E. Cheese: Kiddos can earn 10 FREE tokens for reading for 2 weeks! Just fill out the calendar and bring it in to claim your FREE tokens. A food purchase is required though and this offer is valid through 12/31 at participating locations.
Family Christian Stores: Kids who read 6 books from the recommended list and fill out a mini book report will receive a FREE $10 savings pass good toward any purchase of $10 or more at Family Christian!
Half Price Books: Kids ages 14 and under earn $5 in Half Price Books Bookworm bucks and get a chance to win a $20 gift card for reading just 15 minutes each day during the months of June and July!
H.E.B. Summer Reading Club: Kids read 10 or more books and earn prizes!
In-N-Out Cover to Cover Club Reading Program: (3/5 – 4/16) Many public libraries in Southern California are partnering with In-N-Out Burger® to provide this fun reading incentive program! Children ages 4-12 who read five books at their reading level may earn a “Cover to Cover Club” reading certificate, along with a coupon for a free hamburger or cheeseburger from In-N-Out Burger®. Each child may earn up to three certificates during the program, while supplies last. If a child between the eligible ages is unable to read themselves a parent may read to them to participate.
If you live in an area that has an In-N-Out location, be sure to ask your local library if they are participating!
Local Public Library: Check the calendar of events at your local library to find out the types of reading programs they’ll be offering this summer. Many libraries offer a free story time as well!
Pizza Hut Book It! Program: (REGISTRATION OPENS MAY 1ST) We LOVE this program! Homeschoolers and schools can both sign up for this FREE reading program. Kids in grades k-6 (ages 5-12) log their reading progress and get FREE pizza coupons when they have met certain reading goals! Sign up is ONLY for Teachers (ONE representative PER school) or Individual home-schooling families! Note: In years past, if a school teacher registered their class alone, the rest of the school was unable to participate, so coordinate with your staff and get the whole school signed up!
Scholastic Summer Challenge: (begins 5/9) Children ages 4-14 (parents, teachers, and schools can sign up!) can log their reading minutes and earn rewards. There are free book lists by age group, free learning activities, and more!
Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays: If you live near a Showcase Cinema, your child can earn a FREE movie ticket from National Amusements Theaters when they read a book and complete a book report!
Six Flags Read to Succeed: K-6 students complete six hours of non-school-related reading get admission to the nearest theme park. Looks like registration for this program has closed for this school year unfortunately.
Sylvan Book Adventure: Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Start your reading adventure today!
TD Bank: Kids in k – 5th grade can read 10 books this summer (by August 16th) and get $10 added to their Young Saver Account FREE!
And, don’t forget to check out these other fun and free summer activities for the kiddos:
- Free Summer Bowling
- Free Summer Roller Skating
- Regal Cinema’s Summer Movie Express
- Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse