Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids 2013

Here is a list of free summer reading programs for the kids.  These programs are a great way to keep them engaged and stimualted through the summer break.

Some of you might be thinking- hey it is barely spring and she is already talking summer but my kids actually have about 6 weeks left of school!

That time goes by fast so you might want to pin this page or bookmark it and you will be all set for summer vacation.

American Girl. They have a summer reading program that starts May 1st and runs through Sept 3rd. The 2013 information is not totally updated but they offer free downloads- like little bookmarks and some stores also offer free reading events. The site says “Reading Challenge coming soon” so you might want to check back on this one to see what else is offered.

Book Adventure – This free program is from Sylvan.  Your child will select a book and read it.  They take a short quiz to see how much they understood and how much they remember.

They collect points based upon the answers of the quizes and then they can cash the points in for prizes.  Some sample books included in the program would be Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter, Dr Seuss and other books that children might want to read anyway.

The prizes include free chocolate bars, temporary tattoos, Highlights magazine and more…

PBS Kids Summer Reading Challenge – Typically PBS offers a summer reading challenge starting in June. Children can win prizes but it doesn’t look like the 2013 program has been announced yet.  You might check back to this page through iVillage and see if more information pops up.

Barnes & Noble Imagination Destination – This summer reading program through Barnes & Noble gives your child the ability to earn a FREE book after reading 8 books and keeping track of them in a reading log.  They can choose from a handful of books as the freebie and quantites are limited for the books available.  This program begins May 21st and runs through Sept 3rd.
*If you have little ones, my Barnes and Noble also offers free storytime twice a week. They read books and get cookies and there is usually coloring and sometimes special appearances from characters in the book.  You can enter your zip code here to see a list of events at your store. There is also free online storytime that is perfect for small children.

Local Public Library – Check out your local libraries to find out which programs they’ll be offering this summer.  My library has a free story time for little ones and some libraries offer specific incentives and prizes to children for reading.

Chuck E. Cheese – Earn 10 FREE tokens every time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row.  Just fill out the form and bring it in to claim your free token.  A food purchase is required and you might call ahead just to confirm participation.

Scholastic Summer Challenge –  This begins May 6th.  Children can log in their reading minutes and earn rewards. There are free booklists to download by age group.  It looks like entire schools can participate and the school that logs in the most minutes reading will get a visit from the author of the Captain Underpants series of books (these are big time in my Kindergartener’s class).   Parents can also download free learning activities printables.  You can also download the free reading timer app for Android or Apple devices.

Pottery Barn Kids– Free storytime for little ones on Tuesday at 11am.  You get a little passport and once you attend 5 storytimes, you get a free gift.  (Just double check the time by calling ahead to your store.)

They also have a specific summer reading program.  The program runs from May 16-August 26th. Families are invited to read the books included in the summer storytime mentioned above.  Children will recieve a prize once they finish all the books.  The details and books have not been released yet on the Pottery Barn site but last year they did post them and also had little bookmarks in store that were free listing all the books.  (Update:  the list of books your child needs to read is located here.)

Pizza Hut Book It! Program. This program has free reading adventure packs for parents to download, read and do activities, recipes for children that tie back to certain books and more…  You can enter your zip code and see if your local school has requested participation. It looks like schools can win free pizzas for participating.  Homeschoolers can also enter this program!

TD Bank: Read 10 books this summer and keep track on the free printable reading log.  Take it in to your TD Bank and get $10 deposited into your new or existing young savers account. (Thanks Catherine!)

So there are lots of options to keep the kids learning and engaged during the summer!

Does anyone else know of other programs for 2013?  I will keep this list updated as new ones pop up so be sure to check back often!



  1. Deanna says has a summer reading program that includes a free book!

  2. Maxine says

    I was suggested this blog by means of my cousin. I’m not positive whether or not this post is written via him as no one else know such designated about my trouble. You are incredible! Thank you!

  3. Noelle says

    Last year, TD Bank offered a $10 banking bonus for kids who participated in the TD Bank Summer Reading Program

  4. Charlene says


    I checked for that program and couldn’t find it listed anywhere. I also emailed them and didn’t get a response. They might still have it but it looks to me like they may have stopped the program.

  5. says

    Mensa for Kids offers:

    Earn a commemorative certificate in recognition of your outstanding achievement and get an Excellence in Reading T-shirt, too!

    To participate in the Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading Award Program, follow these steps: 1.Find the grade-level segment that best fits your reading level from the list of books provided. You’ll receive recognition for each segment read! Remember to read to the level of your ability, regardless of your age or grade level.
    2.Print the appropriate segment and track each book you read.
    3.Once you’ve completed an entire segment list, you and a parent will need to sign the list as verification and return it and your order form to the Mensa Foundation at the address provided. Once we’ve received your signed list, we’ll send you an award certificate and T-shirt! Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.


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