There's nothing quite like spending time at a library during the Summer Reading Program. There are always tons of exciting activities to keep my kids entertained while encouraging their interest in books and in the library. Plus, the Summer Reading Program is a great place for our entire family to spend quality time together and have fun over summer vacation.

How to sign up

You can sign up for your local library's Summer Reading Program online, at your neighborhood library, or at a bookmobile. Find the library closest to you here. It's completely free to sign up and attend each event!

How to participate

This year's Summer Reading Program theme is science related—the slogan for younger kids is "Fizz, Boom, Read!" and the teen slogan is "Spark A Reaction." Both themes boast tons of science-related activities that are sure to keep your kids busy this summer. Once you sign up you'll get a tracking sheet to record your child's progress. Although the official rules vary by library, at my local library your child earns prizes when she or he reads (or has someone read to her) for 20 minutes at a time.

Reap the rewards

Once your child has read the required number of books (or number of minutes), he or she will be able to pick out a prize from the prize box. Last year my daughter loved digging through a treasure chest full of necklaces, rings, stamps, candy and trinket toys. Keep reading (at least 20 days at my local library) and you'll earn a free book. My daughter was able to score two free books last summer for reading every day.

Additional summer activities at the library

Besides the reading log, the Summer Reading Program also offers story times, crafts and games. Many libraries also provide special summer events to entertain the entire family. For example, last year my library offered puppet shows, hands-on art exhibits, music performances and art projects that the whole family enjoyed!

Your Library's Summer Reading Program: Where Kids Get Rewarded for Reading