As a child, 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 ummer reading program, but it’s fairly short, and can be (and usually is) completed in four weeks.
A few summers ago I decided to create our own family summer reading program, and it is one of our FAVORITE summer activities.
I punched out 2 inch circles in cardstock that say “I’ve read 20 minutes”, and “I’ve read a book!” (see free printable below), then distressed the edges using Distress Ink. To keep track of all the circles they earn, I thought the easiest way was to use one of my favorite things…buckets! I already had them for each of the kids, and they’re super easy to keep out for long periods of time. Ours go on a ledge in the family room, where they are in plain sight, and are easy to add to.
Here’s how it works:
Each week I 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. The prize levels are different for each of my kids based on age, in order to even out the playing field.
Prizes can include: candy, trips to get ice cream, renting a movie, date night with mom or dad, a “staying up late” coupon, and a special trip to the bookstore to choose a new book. This can work for any age, and even my little ones can get in on the action, and have their own bucket. There are so many fabulous board books out there that are perfect for those chubby little hands, and they never get tired of hearing them over and over again.That’s one of my favorite things about this program–regardless of the ages of your children, from toddlers on up to teenagers and adults–it’s something for the entire family! It’s my goal for us to read even more every day, and making it a part of our regular summertime routine. You can totally adapt this program for the ages of your kids, and prizes that you’d like to incorporate.
I’m including the free printable for you to download, if you’d like to use it! Just save the pdf file to your computer, then print. I used a 2 inch circle punch (Fiskars) to cut them out. I made a lot—based on the amount of kids I have, and how many circles I think they’ll use. If you run out, you can always print more! ☺
This Summer Reading Program is honestly so fun, and it keeps kids interested and excited in reading throughout the summer. Some of my kids LOVE to read, and others not so much, and this works for all of them.
If you’re looking for book ideas, I’ve got a couple favorite book lists that I’ve created–one for girls 8-12, and one for boys 8-12. I’m working on a children’s book list and YA list now–hopefully I’ll have them finished before school is out!
Looking for more ways to enjoy your summer and keep it organized? Check out some of my other summertime ideas!