With all of the programs and incentives in metro Atlanta, reading during the summer can be fun. In fact, kids can meet goals that will earn prizes. Need book ideas? See what made the cut for our favorite books. Here are some summer activity books we love. Also a list of local bookstores to explore this summer.
Atlanta Public Libraries: A ton of family-friendly events in conjunction with summer reading programs will be held throughout the summer. Take your kids for magic shows, storytimes, face painting, movies, arts and crafts and more. Check with local library for schedule.
Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Journal: Download and print a free copy of this journal for your kids. Read any eight books this summer and record them in the journal. Take it into your local Barnes & Noble for a free book (the list of options is included in the journal).
Books-A-Million: Read any four books from the Summer Reading Adventure section in-stores and online to receive a free pencil case with pencils.
Atlanta Hawks’ Check It Out Reading Challenge: Students in grades K-12 who successfully read at least five books will receive: A Check it Out Reading Challenge bookmark (while supplies last) and a free youth ticket with the purchase of at least one adult ticket to a 2018-19 Atlanta Hawks regular season game.
Chuck E Cheese: Get 10 free tokens for reading for two weeks. Be sure to take a look at the other rewards charts to keep your kids on track all summer long. Kids are limited to one chart per child, per day.
Half-Price Books: With the “Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program,” download and use the online reading log in July. Add up minutes and have a parent or guardian initial each week. Once a child has reached 300 minutes or more, bring the reading log into your local HPB store to claim your Bookworm Bucks on or before August 30.
Little Shop of Stories: “Wee Read” is for families with young kids. Keep track each day your family reads over the summer, and win free Little Golden Books, ice cream from Oakhurst Market, and other family fun for every 20 days that you read together. “Sweet Reads” is for ages 5-12, win coupons for every 10 hours you read and get coupons for use at Revolution Doughnuts, Greene’s Fine Foods, and Butter & Cream. If you make it to 40 hours, you get to attend the pizza and awards ceremony. View the rest on their website.
Mayor’s Summer Reading Club: The program designates a city-wide book choice for infants and for children ages 2-4 to share with families at no cost to them. Throughout the summer, libraries, museums and other institutions in Atlanta will hold “book club reads” and enrichment events based on the stories.
Pizza Hut BOOKIT! Program: has lists of books, challenges, and rewards upon meeting goals. The school program runs October 1 through March 31 each year, but you can do a version at home this summer.
Summer Reading Road Trip: Join Scholastic as they tour the country with authors, illustrators, and characters. In July, they are partnering with bookstores and libraries, hosting reading festivals for families with kids ages 0-12. They come to Marietta on July 20.
Book Adventure: an online book club, allows kids to log-in, choose books and then select prizes after successfully taking quizzes. Parents get a separate log-in for checking on their kids, and to help choose books that are age-appropriate.
Junie B. Jones: has a Kids’ Club that includes a newsletter about new books, fun printables, games and special activities.
Magic Tree House Kids’ Adventure Club: Earn rewards for the pages read of “Magic Treehouse” books, take quizzes, collect online passport stamps and more.
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge: Students can log reading minutes online to earn digital prizes as they complete weekly reading challenges and gain access to 18 reading activities (one per week), including games, quizzes, and videos based on the Harry Potter series. The Challenge will close on Sept. 7.
Tips for Reluctant Readers:
- Don’t get stuck on making your kids read for educational purposes. Incorporate activities that go along with what your children are into. If they’re visiting outer space in a book, make a fun, messy papier-mâché craft of the solar system, or watch a space movie. Camp outside and incorporate stargazing (search online for when planets are visible in the night sky).
- Start early. Read to your children when they are small to promote family time, word recognition and comprehension, and maybe, just maybe, a love of books. Whenever possible, read in such a way that the book scenes and characters come alive. Or try audio books, which usually have a dynamic reader.
- Get books on subjects they’re already into. Does your child love superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs, tea parties or a cartoon character? Use that to help you find books that he or she is more likely to want to read. Take children to the library or bookstore, letting them browse and choose what they would like to have.
- Schedule time around activities to sit down and share a book or read different books, but in the same room. Family-wide quiet time is often a rarity, but it doesn’t have to be if you put it on the calendar. Turn off all electronics and unplug for awhile.