5 Reading Challenge Ideas for Elementary Schools

Reading is an essential life skill, and it's important to start children early on the path to becoming lifelong readers. Reading challenges or contests can be a fun way to get your elementary schoolers to enjoy books and stories.

Try these reading challenge ideas to help make reading fun.


What is a Reading Challenge?


The goal behind a reading challenge is to challenge students to read all year long. Reading challenges can be tracked with a notebook, calendar, or another creative way that lets students check off each book they read. It's encouraging and fun for the children when rewards and prizes are given along the way.


1. Start a Book of the Month Program

Take some books that you think will be interesting to your class and make posters for them during the reading challenge. Their popularity will rise if you show them in the classroom and explain why they’re so good.


2. Have Students Create Reading Notebooks

To help make reading contests fun, have your students create a reading notebook. For each book they read, they can write down when they started and finished it, their star rating, and what they thought of it. If they don't like writing, have them be as artistic as they want to keep it fun. Drawings and stickers are always fun additions to any reading notebook.


3. Set Up Fun Reading Spaces in the Classroom

Make the reading challenge more fun for your elementary school students by creating a few areas in your classroom where they can read the same book or story together.

Set this up around your classroom by grouping three or more large bean bags or pillows together, or group chairs around small tables. Reading together can make reading more fun for students and help them improve their reading comprehension skills, too.


4. Encourage Independent Reading

Encourage your elementary students to read on their own for 15-20 minutes every day, at home or in the classroom—no matter where they are—as part of the contest. This makes kids more comfortable with reading and helps them learn to focus on their own.


5. Give Rewards and Prizes

Cool prizes can be given as a reward to keep students motivated. There are lots of ways you can help your students along the way so they'll be more likely to keep reading and improve their skills.



Prizes for Fun Reading Contests and Challenges


Everyone knows that a love of reading can start at a young age and last for a lifetime. Hand out bookmarks at your next reading contest or challenge to show how much you love reading!


We have bookmarks with messages of support and encouragement and cute bookmarks with characters like Dr. Seuss and Scooby-Doo to help students keep track of their books.



Looking for fun rewards and prizes for students? Our Toys and Gifts section has great things for students to get as rewards. We offer a variety of fun toys and novelties that students can play with, display in their lockers and desks, or take home.


Dr. Seuss School Supplies

Everyone loves Dr. Seuss. His books have inspired many people over the years. Shop our selection of Dr. Seuss-themed school supplies to have awesome prizes to award for your reading challenge!


Pete the Cat School Supplies

Pete the Cat is a very cool dude. Our Pete the Cat school supplies are sure to be a hit in any classroom because kids love this crazy cat. A poster of Pete the Cat is an excellent way to encourage kids to read a good book, and then reward them for their efforts with colorful bookmarks and reading certificates!


DogMan™ School Supplies

Kids love the DogMan comic book series—a New York Times best-seller with a main character who’s half dog, half human, and all crimefighting hero. Keep Dog Man certificates and bookmarks on hand to reward students for reading.


Order Rewards and Prizes from GEDDES

Visit the GEDDES website to shop our full selection of awesome reading prizes online, request our catalog today, or contact us to learn more about our products and mission.