With the Kids

How to Keep the Kids Reading This Summer!

My children think I’m so mean. I make them READ in the summer. I know. 30 minutes a day, minimum. Between Spongebob and neighborhood kids calling their name, it can be an uphill battle. But, if I can just get their rear-ends sitting down with that book in their hand, I’ll often find them completely absorbed, loving it. And, I love that. I’m a big fan of reading and think it’s so great for their little minds (and mine!) So, in an effort to motivate the little cuties and make reading extra exciting, I made a chart.  What??  Me, make a chart?  Crazy.  It’s not cute. In fact, it’s as boring as can be. I used to make cute stuff….oh, maybe 3 kids ago…and, really cute stuff about 5 kids ago. Not anymore. And, that’s okay. Just don’t call me a geek-a-zoid for being a mommy-blogger and not putting a fancy Photoshop chart together for you to download and share on Pinterest. Just know that I can. (disclosure: can’t.)

Sometimes I motivate my kids with a fun date, other times it might be a ‘good job, dude.’ But, sometimes they just get excited about money. If you’re thinking of emailing me and telling me that it’s inappropriate parenting, someone already did, and I’m pretty sure I said something really awesome/kind and she totally backed off. So, all opinions aside, this is what we did, and it’s working…

It’s called, ‘I Love Me Some Ten Bucks.’ There it is, in all it’s glory, taped onto my kitchen cupboard.

Motivational Reading Chart Printable

As you can see, it’s numbered from 1 to 100. I picked a number to keep secret in my mind. Do you want me to tell  you?? It’s 76. Shhhhhh…. Every time the kids read 50 pages in a book they get one guess as to the number I’m thinking of. If they’re wrong, they just cross it off the chart. If they’re right, they get the ten bucks. Look at that 77! Pretty dang close.

Motivational Reading Chart Free Printable

This has been more than motivating for them, it’s been fun! And, the minute they finish this chart, we’ll be printing off another. Print it out here: I Love Me Some 10 Bucks Printable

Wanna hear what books my kids have been reading (and loving) this summer?? Stop by ‘Or so she says…‘ today, and I’ll tell you!


  1. Thank you so much for posting this idea. We had tried doing a star chart so many times before but it never took off because we weren’t consistent with filling it in. I’m tired at the end of the day and never really feel like doing it and my daughter didn’t have any real motivation to remind me. Enter the $10 and we haven’t missed a day yet in over a month. The first day she didn’t get a pick of the board was an interesting experience, but we’re starting to see some real improvements around here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. I like this idea. The guessing part is fun versus just having to read a certain number of books to get the money.
    My husband upped my daughters allowance if she writes in her journal everyday. We joined the summer reading club at the library so I’m hoping that will encourage her too but it’s hard with a busy summer. She’s only 6 and reading and writing are the 2 things she struggles with.

  3. Wow, this idea is fantastic! My kids are going to be rich! I see LOTS of these charts in our future – reading, chores, doing things without being reminded 17 times… Thank you for the genius idea!

  4. What a great idea and it is so easy to adapt to what ever suits your family. I find it very sad that people in general can be so judgmental I think as a parent you have to find out what works for you and rewards are a great way to get that. I have 8 children and am exited to try this although I think we will do 1 – 200 I also know about never having enough time or energy to make things as cute as you would like but hey it is better to just do it then worry about it being cute. Thanks again.

  5. I love this idea.. how fun! I am going to do this for my little girls!!! I am also going to share this idea.. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Awesome idea! Filing this away for when CJ gets a little older. At two, he’s not really understanding the dollar thing. He gets more excited over a penny than over a dollar. A penny gets to go in his piggy bank.

  7. Love, LOVE this idea!!! I’m starting it with my kids! I must be a terrible mom because I don’t have any problem ‘bribing’ my kids to do things that are good for them. Thanks Mariel!

  8. Have you tried your local public library? Most libraries have Summer Reading Programs and often they give prizes for reading.

  9. Well add me to the bad mommy club too, because I pay my kids to read in the summer! I have a very unglamorous chart where they record the books read and the number of pages. Easy readers earned $1 every 100 pages and chapter books earned $1 every 50 pages. Total money was paid in Border’s gift cards, however, we all know where that idea ended up (thanks for nothing, Borders…) Now it’s just good old fashioned cash!!!

    Loving your idea though, probably will steal it!!!! Enjoy your summer!

  10. I love this idea and I think I will add piano to encourage three of my kids to practice this summer. To me it’s not bribery but incentive. Kids need a kick in the pants so they know what’s good for them.

Make and Takes more recent posts