Do your kids go through books like crazy during the summer? Or is getting them to read a struggle? Either way, this Summer Reading chain is a fun, simple activity for the whole family.
Most chain type activities we do at our house are countdown type activities, but this chain is different. Instead of taking off strips to count down to an event, we build the chain over the summer to work towards a reward.
Making A Summer Reading Chain
Putting this activity together takes just a few minutes. All you will need is this printout and some paper of your choice.
Here’s how to make your own:
- Print out the Summer Reading chain topper and cut it out.
- Choose your paper to use for the strips. You can use construction paper or scrapbook paper, or simple plain white printer paper. Cardstock or standard weight paper both work. We chose some bright, happy colors of cardstock to celebrate the fun of summer!
- Cut out the strips. A paper cutter makes this quick and easy if you have one. We used standard sized letter paper and cut them to an inch and a half wide, so they measured 1.5 x 8.5 inches. This was the perfect size. The number of strips you will need will depend on how long you plan to make your chain.
- Attach the first chain to the sun chain topper with a stapler, then attach this to the wall where you want to start your chain.
- Set a goal of where you want your chain to end. Will it go from the ceiling to the floor? Or across the room from one wall to another? You can plan to make it as long or as short as you’d like!
- Keep the other strips to fill out as you complete reading books. For each book read you can write the name of the book on a strip and add it to your chain.
- Once your chain reaches the goal spot, it’s reward time!
- While you don’t have to have a reward, it’s fun to have something to work towards. This can help kids set goals and feel a sense of accomplishment at finishing it.
- If you choose to do a reward, it’s best to set the reward before starting so your child has something to look forward to and keep them motivated.
- If you have younger children, it’s a great idea to post a picture or some type of reminder of the reward for them to remember what they’re working towards.
- You can choose the reward for completing your chain to be anything you’d like. It can be a new book, a trip to the zoo or another fun adventure, going out for ice cream, a movie night – anything goes!
Here’s some different ways you could change up this activity to fit different need in your home
- Have one chain for the whole family to work on together, or have individual chains for each family member to complete.
- If you have chapter book readers who might need a little more frequent motivation, consider doing a chain for a set number of chapters read or pages read. (ie – they can add a chain when they read 3 chapters or 100 pages, etc.)
- Instead of setting a goal to reach a specific length, instead have everyone make secret guesses of how long they think the chain will be the day that school starts. Keep these hidden, then at the end of summer, see who is the winner!
If your kids love to read, this will keep them wanting to read more. And if your kids are in the other group – and getting them to read leaves you feeling like you want to pull your hair out – then this will help motivate them.
I love that it’s so simple and maintenance free. When they’re done, they add the chain and that is that. It’s also great that the progress is so easy to see. The chain can build quickly if they work at it and it’s obvious to see that they are making headway on their goal.
So, what are you waiting for? Print out your chain topper, get some strips cut and then head for the library!
Then … send everyone off to get some reading done and grab your OWN book to enjoy.