Ideas for Teachers and Parents · Summer Reading Programs

Summer Reading Programs: Part Five, Reading Incentives

One of the things that makes summer reading programs exciting is the opportunity to earn prizes for reading. If you had the chance to read yesterday’s article, and are currently considering taking the time to create your own summer reading program for your family, you might be thinking about what kind of reading incentives you want to offer. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose rewards that will appeal to your unique readers. I recommend setting aside a little bit of time to brainstorm ideas as a family. I’m sure you’ll find that your kids have tons of suggestions.

But if you’re looking for additional reading incentive ideas, here are some possibilities…

  • Homemade Coupons: You can find tons of “kid coupon” ideas on websites like Etsy and Pinterest, or you can create your own. These coupons might be good for…
    • an extra half-hour of video game/screen time
    • staying up past their regular bedtime
    • an ice cream night (or another favorite dessert)
    • family movie night at home
    • family game night
    • a favorite home-cooked meal
    • pillow fort day
    • getting out of doing chores for a day
    • extra one-on-one reading time with a parent
  • New Books: If your child loves to read, the chance to earn a new book might be all the incentive they need to read over the summer.
  • Bookmarks: You can find a lot of really cool bookmark assortments on Amazon and the Oriental Trading Company website. Bookmark assortments tends to run between $4-20 (depending on the website, the materials used, and the number of bookmarks in the set). You can also let your kids create their own bookmarks as a fun reading activity.
  • Art Supplies: This would be a great incentive if you have an artist at home, and might include items like pencils, erasers, markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks, or books about drawing.
  • Larger Incentives: If you’re interested in providing your kids with an incentive that’s a little more expensive, you might consider giving them the option of “saving up” their reading minutes (or pages) for a larger reward at the end of the summer.
    • STEM Toys: For children who enjoy science and math, STEM toys are awesome! You can easily find items such as microscopes, construction kits, terrariums, and fossil dig kits on Amazon. These types of toys really encourage learning and exploration, and can be a lot of fun.
    • Book Series: If you have a child who is a voracious reader, a new book series would be an exciting reward for reading. Depending on the series you’re looking for, you might be able to find all of the books in a single-volume collection, or as a boxed set.
  • Donate To A Cause Your Child Feels Passionately About: If your children are passionate about conservation or helping others, they might prefer making a donation to their favorite charity as their incentive for reading. There are a lot of great charities and foundations out there that are making a big difference in the world! Some of my personal favorites include Pajama Program, 4Ocean, Compassion International, and Heifer International.

Do you have additional ideas for summer reading program incentives that you would like to share with our community of readers? If so, please leave a comment on today’s post. We’d love to hear your suggestions!

Want to take a second look at any of this week’s posts? The following schedule contains links to previous summer reading articles. This schedule may be subject to change:

Tomorrow we’ll be taking a break from this series of articles for our weekly POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to check out the progress I’ve made on the Reading Challenge this week. I’ve had the chance to read some great titles that I’m excited to share with you all!

2 thoughts on “Summer Reading Programs: Part Five, Reading Incentives

Leave a Reply