{summer reading program} with printables!

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 I posted this for the first time last summer, along with the printables. I’ve received several e-mails telling me that the place I updated those printables to is now requiring payment in order to download them.  I decided to go ahead and re-post it, and change the link for the printables to one that is free!  

This was one of our very favorite summer activities, and can’t wait to do it again! Since we’re moving this summer, and will be in between libraries, I think it’s going to be even more important.  Enjoy!
When I was growing up, summers were for reading.  I read all year long, but in the summer I could curl up with a book for as long as I wanted to. I absolutely {love} to read, and even now, it’s my biggest luxury.
Our local library only allowed 10 books to be checked out on a junior library card, and for a fast reader like me, that was just not enough.  I would read those 10 books in two days, and then beg my mom to take me again. I soaked up all my favorites, and I would read them, them read them again. The tooth fairy at our house also brought books, and by the time I was 8 or 9, I had read many of the classics—Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, David Copperfield, Little Women, Great Expectations, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and more.
I want to pass that love of reading on to my children, and share with them my passion of summertime reading.  Our library has a wonderful summer reading program, but it’s fairly short, and can be (and usually is) completed in four weeks. 
Last summer I decided to create our own family summer reading program, and it was wonderful!  We had a set time each day, where all grabbed our books (myself included, yay!) and sat down to read together.   The time of day had to rotate a little, depending on what we were doing, but it was something that we looked forward to every day.

Here’s how it works:
I punched out 2 inch circles in cardstock that say “I’ve read 20 minutes”, and “I’ve read a book!”.  I thought the easiest way to keep track of all the circles was to use one of my favorite things…tin buckets!  I already had them for each of the kids, and they’re super easy to keep out for long periods of time.

When they’ve completed either 20 minutes (my girls–preschool age) or have read one book (my oldest will take either one, but not both), they can take a circle and place it in their bucket.  Each week I’ll count the circles and award prizes for the totals. I want them to be able to earn something each week, with the prizes getting bigger as the weeks progress. I’m going to make the prize levels different for each of my kids based on age, in order to even out the playing field. Prizes will include:  candy, trips to get ice cream, renting a movie, date night with mom or dad, a “staying up late” coupon, and choosing a new book.

The beauty of this program is that it can span so many different ages, from the littlest to the biggest! Even last year, when my little boys were 1 year old, they loved reading, putting the circles in their bucket, and getting the prize. :) 

So, here are some of our favorites…just a few of the ones from our shelf that look the roughest on the outside, which means they are the most often read and the most loved.

{Ages 3 and under}

Jamberry, Bruce Degen
Tumble Bumble,Felicia Bond
Skip to my Lou, Nadine Bernard Westcott
Sheep in a Jeep, Nancy E. Shaw
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen
Go, Dog, Go!, P.D. Eastman
Barnyard Dance, Sandra Boynton
Pajama Time, Sandra Boynton
Big Red Barn, Margaret Wise Brown
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, Audrey Wood

{Ages 4-7}

Moby Books Illustrated Classics–the whole set! 
Frog and Toad books, by Arnold Lobel
Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish
Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey
Little Bear, Maurice Sendak
Chicken Soup with Rice, Maurice Sendak
Bread and Jam for Frances (and the entire series), Frances and Lilliam Hoban
Tikki Tikki Tembo, Arlene Mosel
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Virginia Lee Burton
The Story About Ping, Marjorie Flack
Town Mouse, Country Mouse, Jan Brett
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
Summer in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder (My First Little House series)
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

{Ages 8+}
Cherry Ames series, Helen Wells
Betsy & Tacy series, by Maud Hart Lovelace
All-of-a-Kind Family series, Sydney Taylor
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, Margaret Sidney
Peppermints in the Parlor, Barbara Brooks Wallace
Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates, Mary Mapes Dodge
Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Ryrie Brink
Strawberry Girl, Lois Lenski
Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Borrowers, Mary Norton
The Moffats, Eleanor Estes
The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
Heidi, Johanna Spryi
Nancy Drew (original series only), Carolyn Keene
The Hardy Boys series, Franklin W. Dixon
Trixie Belden series, Julie Campbell
The Bobbsey Twins series, Laura Lee Hope
The Boxcar Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner
Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
The Dark is Rising series, Susan Cooper
Fablehaven, Brandon Mull
Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan
Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan
Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh


Click HERE for the 20 minutes circle, and HERE for the book circle!

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About Simply Kierste Design Co.

Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and focuses on simple ideas and projects to make a house a home! When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.