Summer Reading Program Buckets

Activities · May 26, 2013
Summer Reading Program Buckets - great idea! Get your kids reading while on summer break!
Hello, friends!! I’m Kierste, from Simply {Kierste}, and I’m delighted to be here while Miss Kristyn is snuggling her darling baby and moving with her family. I just love her, and I’m so happy to be here with all of you!
I’m a busy mom of six kids, including two sets of twins! I also have a brand new ADORABLE baby girl, so I’m loving all the snuggling right now, too. I believe that the simple things in life are what make it so enjoyable, and adding simple touches can make all the difference.
When I was growing up, summers were for reading. I read all year long, but in the summer I could curl up with a book for as long as I wanted to. I absolutely {love} to read, and even now, it’s my biggest luxury.
As a child, our local library only allowed 10 books to be checked out on a junior library card, and for a fast reader like me, that was just not enough. I would read those 10 books in two days, and then beg my mom to take me again. I soaked up all my favorites, and I would read them, them read them again. The tooth fairy at our house also brought books, and by the time I was 8 or 9, I had read many of the classics—Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, David Copperfield, Little Women, Great Expectations, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and more.
I want to pass that love of reading on to my children, and share with them my passion of summertime reading. Our library has a wonderful summer reading program, but it’s fairly short, and can be (and usually is) completed in four weeks.
A few summers ago I decided to create our own family summer reading program, and it is one of our FAVORITE summer activities.
Here’s how it works:

I punched out 2 inch circles in cardstock that say “I’ve read 20 minutes”, and “I’ve read a book!”. I thought the easiest way to keep track of all the circles was to use one of my favorite things…tin buckets! I already had them for each of the kids, and they’re super easy to keep out for long periods of time. Ours go on a ledge in the family room, where they are in plain sight, and are easy to add to.

Click HERE to download “I’ve read 20 minutes”, and HERE for “I’ve read a book!”...

Summer Reading Program Buckets - great idea! Get your kids reading while on summer break!

When they’ve completed either 20 minutes or have read one book (my oldest will take either one, but not both), they can take a circle and place it in their bucket. Each week I count the circles and award prizes for the totals. I want them to be able to earn something each week, with the prizes getting bigger as the weeks progress. The prize levels are different for each of my kids based on age, in order to even out the playing field.
Prizes can include: candy, trips to get ice cream, renting a movie, date night with mom or dad, a “staying up late” coupon, and a special trip to the bookstore to choose a new book. This can work for any age, and even my little ones can get in on the action, and have their own bucket. There are so many fabulous board books out there that are perfect for those chubby little hands, and they never get tired of hearing them over and over again.That’s one of my favorite things about this program–regardless of the ages of your children, from toddlers on up to teenagers and adults–it’s something for the entire family! It’s my goal for us to read even more every day, and making it a part of our regular summertime routine.
I have so many favorites from when I was young, and they remain so to this day. Many of them are series, which I loved, because then my enjoyment could go on a little bit longer. Trixie Belden, The Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew (original series), Laura Ingalls, All-of-a-Kind Family, The Five Little Peppers and many more were all a part of my childhood–LOVE them! I thought I would share just SOME of my favorite books…even though I could make this list much longer!
Looking for more ways to enjoy your summer and keep it organized? I’d love you to stop by and check out some of my other summertime ideas!
Thanks so much for having me!!!
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What a great way to encourage reading in the summer time! Thanks, Kierste!

Did you guys know that I’m moving super close to where Kierste lives?! I’m so excited! We’ve been emailing for years and have never met, so it will be so fun to practically be neighbors with this talented lady! 😀

For more Summer Fun Idea Crafts, be sure to check out these:

Summer Fun Activity Pack - 10 FUN activity pages for kids. Get the free prints on { }

Printable Summer Activity Pack

Printable Treasure Map Kids Activity - Free Coloring Pages and Scavenger Hunt { } Kids will have fun looking for their treasure using this map!

Printable Treasure Map Kids Activity

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Love your Summer Reading program buckets and all the tips for enjoying a great Summer!


Love the Reading Buckets!! Great idea. My girls are grown now, but we always were reading and did the library’s summer reading program. Barnes and Nobles has a reading program too.

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