Jumpstart Your Child’s Reading:
Try a reading challenge!
This article was originally published in January 2020. It has been updated for 2021.
Tis the season for self-help projects of all kinds, because the New Year represents a new chance to be our best selves. (Cue Oprah!)
If helping your child become a better reader – or just exploring the joys of reading together more as a family – is on that list, there’s nothing better than trying out a monthly or even year-round reading challenge! You’ll find lots of challenges online with specific tasks and goals that give you great ideas and new ways to make reading a fun surprise.
Or you can use the following Tulsa City-County Library Reading Challenge for Kids. Choose a few ideas for each season, or just select your favorite 10 ideas to try in the next year!
Winter Wows: A January and February Reading Challenge
__Celebrate Jack London’s birthday (January 12) by reading “Call of the Wild” or “White Fang” as a family. (Bonus if you do it on a very cold night in front of a fire!)
__Read a book where the characters (or real people) go ice skating.
__Talk to a Librarian: Visit your library branch and ask your friendly librarian for books about winter sports or polar bears.
__Choose 10 books with a red cover. Read the first page of each and decide which one to read all the way through.
__It might be cold outside, but books can make you warm! Read a book set in the summer.
Spring Blooms: A March, April, and May Reading Challenge
__Read a book published the year you were born.
__Build a pillow fort and read a book inside it.
__Read a book where the main character is not a human being.
__Choose a different book for every day of the week to read at breakfast.
__Talk to a Librarian: Ask your friendly librarian about books that explain how the heart and circulatory system works.
__Create a reading corner that is just yours. Make a sign or banner so everyone knows that’s where you like to read.
__Try to read a book as you take a bath. (Be careful to keep the pages dry!)
Summer Reading: A June, July, and August Reading Challenge
__The 2020 Summer Reading Program begins on June 1. Sign up for it at any of the 24 libraries in Tulsa or Tulsa County!
__Read five books by the same author.
__Read a magazine you checked out from the library. (Yes, the library has magazines!) Did you learn anything new? Find a book related to that topic and learn even more!
__Find a cookbook for kids that looks good. Choose a recipe you’d like to try and ask for adult help in shopping for the ingredients and making the dish!
__Talk to a Librarian: Ask where the travel books are. Find out what country your friendly librarian would like to visit!
__If you have a pet, read a book about taking care of that pet. If you don’t, read a book about a pet you would like to own.
__Traveling somewhere together as a family? Listen to an audiobook in the car together!
__Be sure to finish the Summer Reading Program by July 31! Pick up your medal and coupons (and bonus prize!) at your library branch.
Fall for Great Books: A September, October, and November Reading Challenge
__Read a book about a character that is the same age or in the same grade as you.
__Dictionary Day is October 16! Use a dictionary to look up the definitions of five words that you don’t know.
__Read a wordless picture book. Narrate the book out loud (say what is going on). Bonus points if you can make some of the sentences rhyme!
__Read a book that is a game or uses games as part of its story.
__Talk to a Librarian: What was a book you loved when you were a child? If it sounds good, see if the librarian can find a copy of the book for you to read.
__Find the funny! Share a book with a sibling or grandparent that you found hilarious.
__November is Picture Book Month! To celebrate, read your favorite picture book from when you were younger.
Holidays Are Here: A December Reading Challenge
__Make a list of your favorite authors and kinds of books. Give them to your family for book gift ideas for you!
__Read a book with a delicious food in the title. (Bonus: make that food and eat it as you read!)
__Look back at all of the books you’ve read this year and decide which one was your favorite.
__Talk to a Librarian: Ask your friendly librarian what their favorite animal is and then to find a book about that animal for you to read!
__Read a book about a holiday that is NOT set in December.