Summertime Reading Game
Happy Canada Day! And welcome to the official start of summer!
Summer is the time I catch up on reading. No time is better to stretch out on a hammock/lounger/beach towel and lose yourself to a good story. (And keep on the lookout, because soon I’m going to post my favourite summer reads for all ages). If you’ve got your kids hanging around with you this summer, no problem – get them in on the book loving, too! This week I have a treat for parents hoping to encourage their kids to read this summer.
You may be aware that kids lose a lot of ground in their reading if they’re not diving into books over the summer break. A great way to entice kids to get reading is to make it a game – one with prizes! I had a similar fear for my kids when we went on our first covid quarantine two years ago. Both were just making inroads in their reading, and I worried they were going to lose that out of school, so I made up a little game to keep them interested.
I used to work at the St. Albert Public Library, where they have the most elaborate reading game you could possibly imagine – basically the perfect summer job for a kid obsessed with books, and wanting to share that with others. If you live in St. Albert with kids, you have to check it out. They are very fancy now, with their own website and trailers, and I wish I had gotten to work there during the era of social media!
On my own, I couldn’t possibly create that same type of game, but for my kids I made a basic board for them to keep track of what they were reading, and prizes along the way. It was a circus theme, and it completely worked! The kids loved it, and both of them moved ahead in their reading by a massive amount, actually. I was shocked by the results.
This summer I’ve created something equally as basic – a fantasy board where they can keep track of their reading through the summer. Adding in stickers and prizes makes it that much more exciting for them, and they will be begging you to go to the library.
These boards are a great way for your kids to keep track of what they’ve read over the summer, and are fun to decorate with colours and stickers. Recommended for kids in elementary school, although anyone interested can join in the fun. Preschoolers love to read with their grown ups, and it’s a great way to start a love of reading from an early age. The game can be as easy as writing down the list of books read over the summer, or it can be more challenging for enthusiastic readers (see Rules below).
A free downloadable copy of the board will be sent out with my newsletter on July 4, 2022, so make sure you are subscribed!
I am also working on a french version of the board, as well as a girl-warrior and a boy-sorceror. Why stop at just one board? If you’re interested in either of these board, DM me or email at cordeliakelly.com.
Every player begins as a novice. To reach the next level, four books must be read. All types of reading are encouraged. If your child wants to sit down and have you read a book to them, then consider it done. Don’t worry about having them read at their exact grade level – a child left to their own devices in a library will find the books that interest them, which should always be encouraged. A reluctant reader often gets into the game as they go, reading progressively more advanced (and interesting to them) book.
I encourage making the game more challenging if you have an enthusiastic reader. In this case, they need to find and read books of specific genres. All you need for this is a die. As you begin a level (eg. Novice), roll the die four times and keep track of the numbers, so they know what books they need to find.
Genre Dice Roll
- Graphic Novel
- Science Fiction
The reader must find books of the chosen genres and read them in order to move ahead a level.
The kids think they’re here for the prizes (but we all know they’re actually here for a life-long love of reading). I either give them stamps or stickers once they’ve accomplished a level (on the numbered potion bottle/shield). Also stamps/stickers on hands, notebooks and faces, because kids love that! If you choose to, you can also get them prizes for making it to each level (although it’s not necessary, stickers are awesome!)
- a slurpee or ice cream,
- a small treat at the convenience store,
- a bookmark, and
- a book of their very own!
I do encourage the last prize if it is within your means. Your kid will love that prize more than any of them.
Subscribe below for free downloadable copies of the boards. And let me know if you’re interested in other versions of the game in the comments below!
* Note, if you would like the board in French, or if you are seeing this after July 4, 2022, please DM me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will hook you up. I’m also working on a warrior-girl version, and a sorceror-boy version, so let me know if you would be interested in that!