Reading Fun in the Summertime!
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Reading Fun in the Summertime!

We had a happy ritual at our house on the last day of school. From kindergarten through high school graduation, we blasted out Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out for the Summer,” and we’d all do a happy dance. The celebratory moment was less about how we felt about school—although we were all glad to be done with homework and schedules—and more about how we felt about the coming freedom of summertime play.

Even though summer vacation meant sleeping late and time in the sun, it also meant we kept right on reading every day. An added bonus to our ritual was the summer reading program at the local library. Our kids got their names on a board and some trinkets when they’d read a certain number of books. But hey, recognition is recognition, right? And when you’re seven, a trinket can be pretty cool. These days, there are a host of reading programs that give kids even more perks for reading. Here’s a quick rundown:

Pack-n-Go Girls Reading Adventure:

The reading program we’re most excited about this summer is our own Pack-n-Go Girls Reading Adventure, which will take you around the world. When you sign up, we’ll send you a printable Passport to Adventure. Then, each week for five weeks we’ll send you an email with a list of book suggestions related to a Pack-n-Go Girls country: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, and Thailand. You’ll also get links to more information about the country, as well as a fun learning activity, recipe, craft, and coloring page. At the end of the week, we’ll send you the passport stamp of the featured country to put into your passport. Collect all five passport stamps and download our printable coloring and activity book for free!

Reading Rewards:

Create your own reading program with your own incentives at Reading Rewards.  Kids can log the books they’re reading, take quizzes, and even write reviews. It’s like Goodreads for kids, but with lots of added support for teachers and parents.

Barnes & Noble:

With Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program, kids need to read at least eight books and record them in a reading journal along with their favorite part of each book. Their reward is a free book from a predetermined list at a Barnes & Noble store.

Scholastic Reading Program:

In the Scholastic Reading Program, kids can enter individually and contribute to the number of minutes read this summer. The program started May 8, and already kids have racked up over 56,000,000 minutes of reading. Young readers love contributing to something so big. They can unlock activities to earn rewards and sign up to win prizes, as well. Schools can sign up and get resources too. There’s also a link for parents to download free activities and tips.

Sylvan’s Book Adventure:

Sylvan’s Book Adventure reading program runs year around, so readers can get some rewards for reading even in January. Kids read books, take short quizzes, and earn prizes. Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures are on the list and have quizzes, so you can get credit for the books you’ve already read and the ones you plan to read this summer.

Chuck E. Cheese:

Reading earns kids free tokens every time they read at Chuck E. Cheese. Just print out the bookmarks which are each worth five free tokens and bring it in to claim your free tokens.

Half Price Books:

Half Price Books reading program asks kids to read fifteen minutes a day and keep a reading log. After reading 300 minutes, kids can take their log into a Half Price store and get $5.00 in credit.


If you have a Kindle, Amazon always has a long list of free books. You don’t need to keep a list or write a report. You only need to hit the download button. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

Public Library:

And, of course, check out your local public library. They all have a summer reading program to get kids in the library and get them reading. If you’re new to your area, here’s a great site to find the closest library to you.

Whatever you do, we hope you–and your kids–have a fun summer of turning pages and discovering new worlds.