Although our kids are doing a little schoolwork through the summer, their lessons are relaxed enough to allow for lots of extra-curricular reading. That’s why summer book clubs are always popular at our house. Keep reading for our complete list of the best reading reward programs out there for kids, newly updated for 2022.
Kids earn freebies by reading — all year long
With as little as 15-30 minutes of reading a day, children can earn a treasure trove of free prizes this summer, including:
- free books from Barnes & Noble
- free movie tickets to Showcase Cinemas
- game tokens from Chuck E. Cheese
- $5 in bookworm bucks to spend at Half-Price Books
- free ice cream from Braums
- free pizza from Pizza Hut
- lots more free stuff from local businesses and public libraries
- free water bottle from Books-a-Million
- $10 gift card to Timberdoodle
These reading rewards will inspire your child to curl up with some good books all year long. I’ve listed them in alphabetical order for easy reference. Read carefully, then follow links to sign up.
Some of the programs are only offered during the summer months. Others are valid year round. A few require early registration. (If you’re too late to register this year, mark your calendar now so you won’t miss signing up next.)
If you know of any reading rewards program I’ve missed, please let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to add it to my list. Thanks!
Best 2023 Reading Reward Programs for Kids
Barnes & Noble – Free children’s book
Kids in grades 1-6 can earn a free age-appropriate book this summer when they read eight (choose your favorite prize book from a predetermined list). Download a reading journal to get started! The journal is also available in Spanish.
Timberdoodle – Free $10 gift card
One of my favorite companies of all-time is sponsoring a brand new family reading program this year where each family gets to choose their challenge. To participate, simply choose one of the three challenges below:
1) STEM Reading Challenge: read 20 books consisting of five from each of the four different STEM subject areas
2) Read-Across-the-USA Challenge: read 20 books, each set in a different state, or
3) Read-Around-the-World Challenge: read 20 books, each set in a different country
Families who successfully complete any one of these challenges will get $10 in store credit to spend on whatever they like. They will also be entered into a drawing for a $500 gift card to Timberdoodle.
You have until Monday, September 4, to finish, so better get reading! But first, visit Timberdoodle to download a free reading log.
A reading challenge ebook is also available to purchase for those who’d like a suggested reading list (organized by STEM subject).
Books-a-Million – Free Water Bottle
Read any 4 books from BAM’s summer adventure reading section in-store or online. Record the title and author in BAM’s summer reading notebook. Then redeem your completed log at your local Books-a-Million store for your reading reward — a free water bottle.
Braum’s Book Buddy Program – Free ice cream
Children in grades 1-5 can earn an ice cream treat for every six books they read. The program provides reading logs with fun stickers for tracking progress. Kit includes coupons for two free cones, two free sundaes, and two free frozen yogurts. The prizes are to be earned during the school year, but the coupons are good through June 30. Enrollment for the coming school year will open August 1. For more information, follow this link or write: Braum’s Book Buddy Reading Program/ PO Box 25429/ OKC, OK 73125.
Chuck E. Cheese – Free game tokens
Kids can earn 10 free game tokens from Chuck E Cheese by reading every day for two weeks. These rewards are available all year long, with a limit of one reward certificate per day per child. Visit their website to find charts for helping your kids establish other good habits, as well.
Family Reading Club – Design your own program
You might consider hosting a “Family Reading Club” during the months of summer. Help foster in your children a continued love and preference for reading. This is a fun alternative to traditional clubs, especially if your children have grown too old to participate in the other programs.
Print reading logs for each of member of your family. Kids keep track of minutes or pages read, and parents determine the prizes. Follow this link for more ideas for making summer reading fun. And for great book recommendations (plus another fun printable), follow this link: Summer ABC Reading Challenge
Half-Price Books – Enter for chance to win prizes
Half-Price Books has completely revamped their Summer Reading Program this year. Kids can still earn $5 in bookworm bucks for reading, but you’ll need to register online, then visit the store to pick up a reading map and get further details.
HEB Grocery Stores – Cool Prize
Kids who live in Texas can get a cool prize from H.E.B. when they read 10 books before October 1. In past years, the prize has been a free “Reading Club” T-shirt, but the website doesn’t say what the 2023 prize is. Visit HEB to pick up a reading log, or download one here: HEB Reading Log.
Local Public Libraries – Programs and prizes vary
Many Public Libraries offer all sorts of programs aimed at fostering in kids a love for books and reading, including book clubs with prizes, weekly story times, guest lectures and performances, craft days, tea parties, and fun family-friendly films.
For those of you who are local, you should check out all the great programs being offered by Tyler Public Library this summer, including their 1KB4K (1000 Books before Kindergarten) program and prizes. Others can follow this link to find a library near you and learn what programs are available in your area.
Pizza Hut’s Book-It Program – Free pizza
Children can earn a free personal pan pizza by completing Pizza Hut’s Summer Reading Challenge. Visit their website to download free reading logs, book marks, door hangers, book plates, and lots of free printable activity pages for kids.
Pizza Hut also sponsors a reading program through the school year called “Book It.” Children who meet their monthly reading goals earn free personal pan pizzas to celebrate. This program is also open to homeschoolers. Enroll by September 1 for the upcoming school year by filling out this form.
The Rusty Bucket – Free Kid’s Meal
Kids who read five books can earn a free kids meal. Sadly, there are no Rusty Bucket restaurants in Texas, but you can find them in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio.
NOTE: If you don’t live near a Rusty Bucket but would still like to get free meals for your kiddos, check out this list: Kids Eat Free in the USA
Showcase Cinemas – Free movie admission
Bookworm Wednesdays are normally held in July, so I don’t yet know how COVID regulations are going to affect it. In the past, kids who brought a book report with them to select Showcase Cinemas could exchange it for a free admission ticket. Check your local theater in July to see if they plan to host Bookworm Wednesdays this summer.
Book-loving moms deserve freebies, too!
Reading rewards aren’t just for kids! I’m a bit of a bookworm and love freebies, too. If you feel the same way, you’ll want to make note of the following offers:
- My Reader Rewards – Earn points for completing a variety of easy tasks (sharing tweets, answering polls, joining email lists). Exchange points for free books and Bibles. It’s fast and easy. You can purchase books with as few as 10 points. Use my referral link, and you’ll earn your first 25 points just for signing up!
- More Free Books – Here are a few more of my favorite sources for free books, whether you prefer print, digital, or audio.
- Reading Challenge for All Ages – Download our this free printable and challenge your spouse or child(ren) to see which of you can read a book from all twenty-six categories first. There’s one for each letter of the alphabet.