Lazy summer days are made perfect with a glass of lemonade and a good book.  One of my fondest memories as a child is heading to the library with a stack of reading slips to hang on the wall as a symbol of my summer accomplishment.  Libraries all over the country are trying to figure out how to challenge our kids remotely this summer and while they figure it out how to serve the many, we can start in our own homes.

First decide a theme for your Summer Reading Challenge Theme.  We chose Treasure Island.  Other options could be Space, Camping, Fairytale, Superhero…pick a theme that interests your children.

Together create some way to track your accomplishment.

We created this beach scene.  As we finish a book, we are going to write the title of the book on a coconut for our tree, coins for our treasure chest or seashells for the sand.

Next create a list of goals to reach this summer or add to this one:

  • Read 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 books (individually or as a family)
  • Read a book with a color in the title
  • Read multiple books by the same author
  • Read one of Mom or Dad’s favorite childhood books
  • Read 100, 200, 300…1000 pages
  • Read a non-fiction book
  • Read a book and then watch the movie
  • Read a book together as a family
  • Everyone in the family reads the same book (on their own) then over dinner discuss it
  • Read a book on the best sellers list
  • Read a book that your friend recommends
  • Read a new release
  • Read a book that is related to your summer reading theme
  • Read a book in unique places ( in a tent, on a beach towel, in a hammock, in a tree…)

Reward your children (and yourself) as you complete a goal.  Pick prizes that appeal to your children and that fit your theme.  We are giving away leis, sunglasses, chocolate gold coins, beach themed temporary tattoos, etc.

One of my family’s favorite ways to track goal progress is with BINGO Boards. Print off my remade goals card or the blank one to add your own goals.  Then as your child complete a goal, cross off that square.  When they reach BINGO, reward them with a bigger prize.  I see lots of Lego sets in my future this summer.


Print The Populated Summer Reading Bingo Card


Print The Empty Summer Reading Bingo Card

Finally, find ways to keep everyone in the family engaged in your summer reading program, work together on a themed craft, create a special snack, watch a theme related movie, and most importantly participate with your children.  Have Family D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) Time.  Listen to an audiobook together.  Read to your children.  At the end of the summer have a party to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.  Most importantly have fun!