It’s summer! And you know what that means: splashing in the water, playing in the sun, spending more time with the kids, and hearing them say they are bored within the first week of being out of school. Well, now is the perfect time to have limitless adventures and rack up a long summer reading list.
Okay, most kids won’t initially get excited about a reading challenge during summer break. However, it doesn’t have to feel forced for them or for you. Make it fun for your and the kids!
And the best part for you? You can find tons of free printables online!
As in other areas of life, some kids might need an incentive to accomplish a reading challenge, particularly if your child struggles to read. One summer while growing up, my husband became a reader because his mother “made” him read like crazy. And thank goodness she did.
Whichever tracking method you choose, I strongly recommend attaching a reward to the end goal or small rewards to small goals. Go out for ice cream when they get to a certain number. Buy them some toy or something when they read even more. Sure, we want our kids to read for the pure joy of reading, but it doesn’t hurt to give them an additional incentive to shoot for.
Even the funnest games have rules. Make sure your children understand what reading material qualifies for their reading challenge, so they don’t try to pass off video game subtitles as a book. Kids are sneaky like that! If you decide to include magazines or other content in the challenge, great! Just make sure the kiddos know what does and doesn’t count. As a matter of fact, I recommend including them in that decision. If your child enjoys graphic novels, add those to the list. You want to set them up for success, learning, and fun!
Now on to tracking options.
1. Punch cards
Ice cream and pizza places do it for rewards. Why not you for a reading challenge? Plus, it doubles as a bookmark. Fun!
2. Tower of books
Dr. Seuss wrote, “Fill your house with stacks of books in all the crannies and all the nooks.” I hope he would approve of this space-saving book tower to represent visually the number and titles of books your kids have read.
3. Book bucks
No, it’s not real money, which I know your kids would probably prefer, but you could put a price on privileges to encourage them to earn book bucks and the privilege. Reading and learning financial responsibility. Win-win!
4. Reading bingo
Who doesn’t love getting to shout, “Bingo!” at the top of their lungs? You can choose different genres, surroundings, people to listen to your kids reading, or listening to audio books. Sounds like fun, right? Just get comfortable for potentially the longest game of bingo ever.
5. Library reading programs
Most libraries will have a summer reading program, where they offer age-appropriate toys or other prizes for each small set of goals. This year’s theme is “Build a Better World.” What I find interesting is that most local library incentive programs allow you to count activities other than reading, like building with Legos, If you don’t want to have to decide your own reward system, or you want to use both theirs and your own, use the library’s!
Your kids can see their whimsical book worms grow with each book they read. Or if you want to do a reverse countdown to Christmas, you can use paper chains.
7. Coloring pages
For every book your kids read, they can color a book spine. The trick will be keeping the kiddos from coloring the whole page all at once.
8. Log sheet
If your kids prefer a more straightforward approach to tracking their reading, you can always opt for a simple form, where they enter the titles of the books or the amount of time they spent reading. With this simple approach, you can find tons of free printables online that are still cute and fun.
9. Book passport or map
Just like with a real passport, for every adventure they embark on, your children can earn a stamp or sticker. To add another layer of fun and diversity, choose books from around the world for a “traveling experience.” Another global option would be to provide a book map and then mark the countries from which your child reads a book. They can learn about other cultures and probably inspire future travels.
Regardless of the tracking option you go with, make it fun! You may help your children fall in love with reading, or introduce them to a book that changes their lives. Make it a summer to remember.
How do you keep track of summer reading for your kids?
YouTube Channel: Scholastic
Featured image via: Todd and Erin Favorite 5