Easy Summer Reading Challenge For Kids


School vacation is upon us and I’m faced with my latest challenge: how to get my kindergarten graduate to keep up his reading practice at home. Play is essential for kids, but summer is long and I don’t want him to lose skills he’s worked hard to gain this past year.

Enter my Easy Summer Reading Challenge For Kids! A reward based schedule that will (hopefully) motivate my often reluctant kiddo to work on reading. Will this be happening like clockwork each day? Probably not! It’s vacation and if we miss a few days, then we do. But, we’re going to make a good attempt, because reading each day is so important

Here are the challenge details and how you can easily implement them at home with your kids.

Easy Summer Reading Challenge For Kids

How It Works 

Outside of bedtime reading, this reading challenge sets dedicated practice times for developing readers. It can also work for more advanced readers by simply individualizing the tasks and amount of time spent. 

The challenge is limited to weekdays only in hopes of making it less overwhelming for my young son. Additionally, giving him the freedom to select two reading practice activities allows ownership and flexibility. I suggest selecting a reward that is highly motivating. My kindergartner will do pretty much anything for a chance to play the Nintendo Switch, so I’m using that to my advantage. 

Here’s what our reading challenge chart looks like. 

Easy Summer Reading Challenge

Week: June 19-23

easy summer reading challenge chart⭐️ =  15 Minutes of Nintendo Switch (for my kiddo)

Reading Activities – YOU pick a reading activity. Options: Teach Your Monster to Read, ABC Mouse Reading, PBS Reading Game, IXL, Starfall, Bingo Words, Scrabble Junior, Boggle, Silly Sentences puzzle, The Fidget Game Sight Words, Word Search, read or listen to someone read, Audiobook, Storyline Online, etc.

Click here to download a blank reading challenge chart to fill out and use at home with your kids. 

What To Read

What your child should be reading depends on their particular reading levelIf you’re not sure what a “just right” book looks like for your kiddo, reach out to their teachers for help. My beginning reader loves the Half-Pint Kid decodable books, the Usborne Start to Read books, and National Geographic Kids Guided Readers.  

Find “just right” books that your child enjoys reading.

Click here for book suggestions for readers of all ages. And don’t forget to ask your local Seacoast librarian for suggestions

Activities: Make Reading Practice Fun

While my end goal is to maintain and increase my son’s fluency, I also want him to fall in love with reading. One of the best ways to hook kids is to make reading fun! Encourage genres that spark their interests and find books that they truly enjoy. Offer a variety of entertaining activity options like Audiobooks, word puzzles and games, Storyline Online, or letting them be the “teacher” and show what they know. 

Online reading games like Teach Your Monster to Read, ABC Mouse, IXL, PBS Reading, and Starfall are fun and allow for independent practice. Check with your child’s school to see which technology apps and subscriptions they offer students for free. 

Outside of the summer reading challenge, bring additional fun by going to the library together or picking out a new book at a local bookstore. You can also try setting a later bedtime for reading, selecting a special reading spot or snack, using interactive books like Press Here by Herve Tullet or I say Ooh You say Aah by John Kane – just to name a few!

Interactive books make reading fun!

Need Extra Help?

Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help if you feel like your child needs it. Speak to your child’s teacher about options for appropriate reading programs or tutors. For example, a first grade teacher recommended this summer reading home support for kids

Will you try this reading challenge at home with your kids this summer? How do you make reading fun? Let us know! 

Previous articleSix Seacoast Splash Pads
Next articleLife Skills Camp for Kids
I’m a Maine native and after a long stretch of time living in Chicago, I feel lucky to again call the Seacoast my home. I currently live in Kennebunk with my husband, two sons, and a spaniel mix who truly believes he is a furry big brother to our boys. I hold a Master of Education degree from the University of Maine and as a certified English and Special Education teacher, a passion of mine has always been helping students and connecting them to reading and writing. Free time is best spent in the sunshine with family and friends, curled up with a good book, eating my husband’s incredible cooking, or creatively writing for the kids in my life. Being a mom is the most challenging and amazing job I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.