Children’s Activities

23
Apr
2014

Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids 2014

04/23/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Cute little girl reading book outside on grass, relaxing outside in backyard



Every year we see several programs designed to keep children reading all summer.  Often these are awesome programs that are totally free and your child can earn prizes.

I know summer might be weeks away for many of you, but it never hurts to get started thinking about these programs.  Especially if there are certain books you need from the library.  You might have to wait weeks to get your books anyway.

You can see a summary of the programs currently available.  If anyone is aware of other programs please let us know!

 

American Girl. They have a free reading event all summer long.  The dates vary by location but it looks like most start on May 27th.  I’m sure as it gets closer they will have more detailed information. In the meantime, they have several reading resources and fun printables you might grab.

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 2014 program has been announced yet.  You might check back to this page through iVillage and see if more information pops up.  (I don’t think they did a program last year.)

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 quantities are limited for the books available.  This program begins May 20th and runs through Sept 2nd.
*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 5th.  The theme this year is Reading under the Stars and is aimed at children ages 4-14. 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 David Shannon and Gordon Kormon.  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 15-July 17th.  Children will receive a free book after reading 8 books from their recommended list. The book list is here.

It also says throughout the summer there will be a weekly storytime that will include Healthy Snacks from Happy Family, Character Appearances and activities and more.

NOTE: we did this program last year and at my store they just grabbed a bunch of random books and had them in baskets for the kids to pick from.  They did get really low on choices so this year we will go in much earlier.  We got a Fancy Nancy hardcover book last year.

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!

The summer information has not been updated but you can check back as it should be soon.

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.

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

I will keep this list updated as new ones pop up so be sure to check back often!

And if you are looking for more things to do with the family this summer, check out this Summer Fun List!

There is a free printable with 100 Ideas of Fun (and frugal) things to do plus a blank printable to make your own list.

Summer bucket list 2013

 

 

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22
Apr
2014

Barnes and Noble: Free Summer Reading Program

04/22/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

barnesandnoble

Barnes and Noble offers a free summer reading program for children.  They can earn a free book after reading 8 books and keeping track of them in a reading log.

Children can choose from select books as the freebie once they turn in their reading log.  The program begins May 20th and runs through September 2nd. Quantities are limited for the free book.

We did this last year and my daughter just brought her paperwork in and picked her free book.  Very simple!  

This is probably our favorite summer reading program because it is so easy to do.

Head over here to download the reading log and get more information.

 

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21
Apr
2014

Free Children’s Activities: Week of April 21-27

04/21/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

caterpillar

Here are some free or cheap children’s activities available this week to keep the kiddos busy.  I thought posting these now will help you plan your week.

These are all the things that are free to do this week with just a few that are very inexpensive.

Pottery Barn Kids: Every Tuesday from 11AM-11:30AM, kids of all ages are invited to story time. Times can vary slightly from store to store so you might want to call ahead to verify.  

The theme April 22nd will be about Earth Day.  There will also be an Earth Day Treasure Hunt week of April 21st.  Check your local store for times.

Lakeshore Learning:  Kids will make a Storytelling Puppet on April 26th. Stop by from 11am-3pm.

Michaels: Kids Club Event- Mother’s Day Duct Tape Heart Frame on April 26th.  Ages 3 and up are welcome to this event. Only $2 per child reserves 30 minutes for your creative kid. Sessions starting every half hour from 10am – 11:30am. See a store associate to join.

Barnes and Noble: There is a free storytime Tuesday and Thursday as well as Saturday of each week with books, a cookie and usually coloring pages and activities.  The theme this week is “It’s an Orange Aardvark!”.

And on Saturday, April 26th, there will be a special Very Hungry Caterpillar 45th Anniversary Celebration.  (ages 4 and up). Check your local store for time.

 

If you live near an American Girl Store, you might check out their events.  Times and dates vary.

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17
Apr
2014

Free Admission to National Parks April 19-20

04/17/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

national-parks

Looking for something fun and free to do with the family this weekend? You can get free admission to National Parks April 19th and 20th. 

This is a great opportunity to explore a local park or maybe take a road trip.

You can head over here to find a park near you.

If you can’t make it this weekend, there will be another opportunity in August. I will remind you as it gets closer.

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

 

 

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14
Apr
2014

Lowe’s: New Mother’s Day Build and Grow Clinic

04/14/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

lowes

 

Registration is open for the next Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic, which will be held on Saturday, May 10th at 10am.

It is always best to sign up for these right away because they do fill up really fast.

At this clinic, your kids will build a little Mother’s Day Flower Delivery Truck which is just adorable.

You must register before you attend. The kids should get an apron, all the supplies for the clinic and a few other goodies.

In my experience these are super popular so note once you register you will get a confirmation email with a form.  Make sure to print that out and try to get to Lowe’s as close to 10am as you can.

See some additional activities to do with the kids this week here.

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14
Apr
2014

Free Children’s Activities: Week of April 14-20

04/14/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

lakeshore

Here are some free or cheap children’s activities available this week to keep the kiddos busy.  I thought posting these now will help you plan your week.

These are all the things that are free to do this week with just a few that are very inexpensive.

You might also check with your local stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. I know many areas are having special Easter festivities for the children Saturday but this is regional.

Pottery Barn Kids: Every Tuesday from 11AM-11:30AM, kids of all ages are invited to story time. Times can vary slightly from store to store so you might want to call ahead to verify.  

The theme April 15th will be Peter Rabbit.

Lakeshore Learning:  Kids will make a Sunny Days Light Catcher on April 19th. Stop by from 11am-3pm.

Michaels: Kids Club Event- Custom Wood Canvas Event on canvas on April 19th. Ages 3 and up are welcome to this event. Only $2 per child reserves 30 minutes for your creative kid. Sessions starting every half hour from 10am – 11:30am. See a store associate to join.

Barnes and Noble: There is a free storytime Tuesday and Thursday as well as Saturday of each week with books, a cookie and usually coloring pages and activities.

April 16th is the monthly American Girl Club meeting. Check your stores for times.

April 19th the theme will be Spot the Dog.  Parents can bring cameras if you would like a picture with Spot.  Times vary so I would check with your local store.

If you live near an American Girl Store, you might check out their events.  Times and dates vary.

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07
Apr
2014

Free Children’s Activities: Week of April 7-13

04/07/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

legomovieevent

Here are some free or cheap children’s activities available this week to keep the kiddos busy.  I thought posting these now will help you plan your week.

These are all the things that are free to do this week with just a few that are very inexpensive.

Williams-Sonoma: Junior Chef Class on April 12th at 9:30 am. Children will learn all about Easter Cookie Decorating.  I would recommend calling your local store to confirm and register.

Pottery Barn Kids: Every Tuesday from 11AM-11:30AM, kids of all ages are invited to story time. Times can vary slightly from store to store so you might want to call ahead to verify.  

Lakeshore Learning:  Kids will decorate a Write and Wipe schedule on April 12th. Stop by from 11am-3pm.  

Michaels: Kids Club Event- Crafty Easter Fun Event on canvas on April 12th. Ages 3 and up are welcome to this event. Only $2 per child reserves 30 minutes for your creative kid. Sessions starting every half hour from 10am – 11:30am. See a store associate to join.

Barnes and Noble: There is a free storytime Tuesday and Thursday as well as Saturday of each week with books, a cookie and usually coloring pages and activities.

April 12th the theme will be Cat in the Hat storytime.  Kids can enjoy treats and other fun activities.  Times vary so I would check with your local store.

Toys R Us: The Lego Movie Building event on April 12th from 12-2 pm. Visit your local store to build Emmet’s car from the Lego Movie and transform it into something awesome!

 If you live near an American Girl Store, you might check out their events.  Times and dates vary.

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02
Apr
2014

Free Bowling for Children All Summer

04/02/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

kidsbowlfree

Kid’s can bowl free all summer long with the Kids Bowl Free Program.  Select bowling alleys offer 2 free games every day of the summer!  That works out to a $500 value so a great deal.

Head over here to find out if you live near a participating bowling alley.  Once you find one, sign up each child for the program. A coupon should be emailed to you each week to use.  It does not look like shoe rentals are included.

Dates vary by location so just be sure to read all the information.

Also, ages vary. I checked some locations and they were 18 and under but I also saw some areas that only allowed 15 and under.

Summer fun list_ blank

You might also check out the free Summer Fun List printables here.  It’s a great way to be intentional with your summer.

 

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