The Playful Parent


Reading over the summer is incredibly important for children; especial school aged kids in helping with their academic achievement. Summer reading programs encourages kids to read whatever they want, which helps instill a love of reading for recreation.


Program: I’ve Been Readin On the Railroad

Date: June 26, 2017- August 21, 2017

Details: A magical experience for children that takes them on a trip and teaches them new things about people and places! The magic of reading and the railroad takes your child on a special journey. Children who participate in the Summer Reading Program at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore or at Ellicott City Station earn a free book and a chance to win an engineer’s outfit when they read 10 railroad-related books and complete the reading journal. Pick up your child’s reading journal at either museum location, browse the children’s railroad books and start them on their reading journey. Completed journals must be returned to either museum location by August 21, 2017 for children to receive a free book and a chance to win an engineer’s outfit.

Age: 3 and Up

Cost: FREE

Information: B&O Journal Link


Program: Summer Reading Program

Date: May 16 – September 5, 2017

Details: The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program goal is to help encourage children to read books of their own choosing and earn a FREE book, simply by following these three easy steps:

  1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal. Tell which part of the book is their favorite, and why.
  2. Bring completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 16th and September 5th, 2017 to earn a free book.

Cost: Free

Age: Grades 1 to 6

Information: Barns and Noble Journal Link


Program: Summer Adventure

Date: Summer 2017 (while supplies last)

Details: Read any four books from the Books-A-Million summer reading challenge and receive a free Maze Runner water bottle.

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: Summer Journal Link


Chick-fil-A’s through out the area are passing out summer reading list bookmarks. All kids need to do is read three books, fill out the special summer reading list bookmark and turn it in to a participating location. Then, they’ll get a free small peach milkshake! We got ours in a kids meal bag in LaPlata, Maryland; ask your local CFA if they are participating.


Program: Reward Calendar

Date: On Going Year Round

Details: Download and print out Chuck E.’s Rewards Calendars. Mark the days off with a pen or sticker as your child accomplishes their goals; this can be summer reading, chore completion or good behavior. Bring in a completed calendar to Chuck E. Cheese’s and receive 10 free tokens as a reward. I love this idea; work before you play…right!

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: Chuck E Cheese Reward Calendar Link


Program: Time Traveling Kids

Details: Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum presents a free story time program that will take kids on a journey back in time! The Time Traveling Kids program runs throughout the summer in the Visitor Center’s new Discovery Room! The program features opportunities for young learners to experience everyday life of children at different points in history. Participants are transported to new settings and times through historical fiction picture books and hands-on crafts and activities related to the books’ settings. Pre-registration is required (

Age: 3 to 5 years old and an accompanying adult

Cost: FREE



Program: Mobile Library

Details: The Mobile Services Department supports this mission by providing home delivery of books, materials, and programs to those who are unable to travel to a branch. The Mobile Services Van is on the road 20 days of the month serving individuals and groups in Charles County.

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: Mobile Library Link


Program: Happy Camper

Date: May 8- September 8, 2017

Details: Scholastic has a summer reading challenge where kids read and then go online to record the minutes they’ve read this summer. They’ll also be able to take weekly challenges to earn rewards.

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: Scholastic Summer Reading Program Link


Program: Story Time On The Train

Date: July 14 (11:30) & August 9 (10:00)

Details: All aboard at New Freedom, PA for story time on a train. Enjoy this 45 minute trip to Seitzland, PA as the children will be treated to a stories by a special guest. The kids will learn about how a train engine works from a member of the train crew.

Link: Story Time Schedule


Program: Learning Book Adventure

Details: Sylvan Learning’s Book Adventure program lasts all year long. And it’s free! Kids in grades K–8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Prizes include chocolate bars, temporary tattoos, Highlights magazine, and more.

Age: Grades K-8

Cost: FREE

Information: Book Adventure Link



Program: Calvert Reads: Build A Better World

Date: June 10- August 26, 2017

Details: All ages are invited to participate this summer! Simply keep track of the number of books you read. Help Calvert County read the goal of reading over 30,000 books. Joining will encourage community building, fuel imagination and be lots of fun! Every book read increases your chance to win monthly prize drawings and the grand prize of $100 gift card your choice! Stop in all summer and explore the treasure box.

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: Calvert Summer Reading Link


Program: Summer Reading: Build A Better World

Date: June 1 – August 26, 2017

Details: Register for the program, claim your Blue Crabs ticket for registering, log your activities, earn 15 badges to earn a prize, once you’ve completed the program you will be entered to win door prizes!

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: Charles Summer Reading Link


Program: Read to Me: Build A Better World

Date: June – August 26, 2017

Details: Read to Me: Build a Better World (for kids who are read to, or who need help reading) runs June 1 – August 26. Complete any 12 challenges from the list on the back of your gameboard to earn your Finisher’s Medal and be entered to win the grand prize, a Kindle Fire. For each additional 12 challenges completed, earn one additional entry into the grand prize drawing (up to four entries total). Grand prize drawings will be held after August 26.

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: St Marys Summer Reading Link


Program: Build A Better World

Date: May 15- August 16, 2017

Details: Join your community in exploring great books and activities.

Earn prizes and entry into the grand prize drawing for toys, gift cards, and more!

Age: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Link: PG Summer Reading Link