Top Ten Summer Reading Programs for Kids

Did you know the number one way to prevent summer slide is for your child to read every single day during the summer?

Below are my Top 10 Summer Reading Programs to keep your kids from slipping down the summer slide.  All of the programs offer terrific incentives to keep them reading all summer long!  

While I don’t like making my kids feel like they have “schoolwork” during the summer, I do want to help keep their minds sharp.  I don’t want them beginning a new school year and needing refresher courses in all the things we worked so hard to learn during the previous year.  So once thing they do every single day, even on vacation, is read.  I read to the ones that still need help and the ones that can read on their own do.

I also get each of them a workbook that they work in every couple of days that contain mostly math skills.  They both work on IXL and I also got Lucky an AWESOME workbook from (details on those things coming soon)


Barnes & Noble Imagination Destination –  We do this program every summer and the boys look forward to it every time. The program began May 20st and runs through Sept 2nd. Pick up or print out a reading log and once your child logs eight books they’ve read they get to choose a free book!  Grades K-5.

Book Adventure – This is a free program is sponsored by Sylvan Learning. Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, and then take a quiz on what they’ve read. Of course, they’ll earn cool prizes for their reading success!

Half Price Books – Kids who read a total of 300 minutes each month can earn $5 Back to School Bucks with the Feed Your Brain program. Parents may read to kids who are still learning. Download a printable reading log. This program runs through July and the HPB Bookworm Bucks coupons are valid through August 27.

HEBuddy Summer Reading Club – Kids can pick 10 books to read and log them on the Reading Club form. When kids log ten books, fill out and mail in the form to get a free t-shirt!  (It’s pretty cool, too!)

New York Times Summer Reading Contest – Every week from June 13 to August 15, teenagers age 13 to 19 years old are invited to choose any piece in The New York Times and write about why it interested them. The blog will choose a weekly winner to feature. Not a subscriber of The Times? has a digital subscription system that offers readers  free access to ten articles per month.

PBS Kids Summer Reading Camp – PBS teamed up with to offer a fantastic Summer Reading Camp. They have everything you need to host 10 fun weeks of reading camp. There is a new theme each week with topics like bugs, heroes, music, animals and more!  Perfect time to start that local book club with the neighbor kids!

Pottery Barn Kids – We don’t have a Pottery Barn near us but a friend of mine did this program last year and said they gave some really beautiful books as prizes.  Read 8 books from the Pottery Barn Kids recommended book list and kids will receive a free book.  They also have weekly in-store activities including story time, activities, character appearances and snacks. During the story times the sometimes even invite families to read the books during the program.  Fun, huh?  Story Time Tuesdays are from 11:00-11:30.  Stop in for their Super Hero Celebration on June 28th!

Public Libraries – We take part in both our local library’s program and the program at the library near my parents house in Ohio while we’re there each summer.  Check your local library for more free reading programs with activities and incentives for kids of all ages. Most libraries also have story times and other reading themed activities.

Scholastic Summer Challenge – Children can log in their reading minutes and earn rewards. Students can participate individually or as part of their school. This program runs through Sept 5.  So far kids have read a total of 138, 993, 077 minutes this summer.  Their record is 176, 438, 473.  I think they’ll beat it this year!

Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays – Kids can earn a FREE movie ticket from National Amusements Theaters when they read a book, fill out the book report form and turn it in!  Find a theater near you.

What are some of your favorite ways to prevent summer slide?

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