Even though I’ve got a couple of avid readers in my house, I’m always looking for ways to continue to encourage them to pick up a book. Thankfully, there are no shortage of summer reading challenges that offer kids a little incentive for their participation.

Whether you’re trying to give your reluctant reader a little motivation summer, or just want something to reward your voracious book lover, here are 5 free summer reading challenges for kids that you’ll want to check out, all of which offer participants prizes.

Related: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to get your kids excited about reading


1. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon

We’ve participated in Barnes & Noble’s summer reading challenge every year because let’s face it, we love getting free books. To participate, you’ll need to print their reading journal off their website, then have your kids complete it. Once it’s all filled out, bring it to your local store to get your free book (from a selection of various titles). Simple!


2. Summer Reading Adventure at Books A Million 

Free summer reading challenges for kids: Books A Million Summer Reading Adventure

If you’ve got a Books A Million near you, your kids could snag a James Patterson Middle School lunch bag just for reading 3 books off their summer reading list. Head over to their site to print the reading log (and to check their reading list), and once your kids read the books and complete the form, they can turn it in for their prize.


3. TD Bank Summer Reading Program

Kids can earn $10 for their new or existing TD bank account this summer. All they need to do is print out the summer reading form and add the titles of the 10 books they read. Then bring that form to your local TD Bank to get $10 deposited into their account or into a new one. What a cool way to encourage kids to read and perhaps get them started learning about saving money too.

Related: The ultimate list of best kids’ books of 2015

4. Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program

Feed your Brain Summer Reading Program helps kids stay engaged when school's out

For those of your with Half Price Books near you, definitely check out their summer reading program that’s for little kids up through teens. Once you print out the form, your kids will want to track their daily minutes (15 per day, including reading aloud by parents if they’re too young to read yet) because once they reach 300 minutes, they can turn their completed form in for Bookworm Bucks that can be used toward the purchase of new books. Teens don’t need to track minutes; they’ll need to read from HPB’s recommended reading list and write a short review. Then they’ll visit HPB.com for info on how to claim their Bookworm Bucks.


5. Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Free summer reading challenges for kids: Scholastic Be a Reading Superhero

While your kids will earn virtual rewards for their participation in Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge, they will also get access to some pretty fantastic content, led by Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey. This year, it’s a superhero theme, encouraging kids to become strong, independent readers by logging their reading minutes (either individually, or toward a school goal) all summer long.

And of course, don’t forget to check your local library or local bookshop for other awesome summer reading programs, contests, and more.

(top image via John Morgan/Flickr Creative Commons)

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