Mindful family


A blog about mindful living, health, parenting and money.

A few months ago, our local library hosted a book reading contest for kids under 12. Our kids Caleb, 7 and Mia, 5 decided they wanted to participate for the chance to win a prize. At the end of the contest, they didn’t end up winning a prize, but they were so motivated they wanted us to do one at home. So the next month we agreed that we would do a reading challenge and they would receive prizes based on how many pages they read. (This was more motivating for them than counting books read). 


By the end of the month, Caleb had read 128 pages, and Mia 32. We hadn’t decided on prizes yet, but this was a good gauge to figure out how much prizes should cost.  And since I wanted to keep this challenge going for a while, we decided on prizes that didn’t cost much and that they’d enjoyed in the past. Here is what our prize list looked like:


  • 25 pages read - an hour one-on-one time with a parent (free)
  • 40 pages read - a movie night with mom and dad and a snack (free)
  • 60 pages read - a donut of choice ($1.70)
  • 80 pages read - a prize of choice from Dollarama (up to $4)
  • 100 pages read - a sleepover with mom and dad (although this is free, it costs them the most because we don’t sleep well when there is a child kicking and moving in our bed, but they love it so it’s still a prize!)


After they saw the prize list, both kids had set a goal for the next month; they wanted to read 305 pages so they could get all the prizes! By the end of the second month, Mia had read 180 pages and Caleb had surpassed his goal and read 557 pages!


They wanted to keep going for another month, so we added a few prizes to keep motivating (mostly) Caleb. He added a sleepover on the couch (I’m not sure why that’s fun) and us taking him out to lunch or for ice cream. We also changed his challenge back to the amount of books read and adjusted his prize costs. 


This challenge and prizes were so simple but have increased their reading skills, reading confidence and love for reading so much! I will keep this challenge going for as long as they want, the benefits are so worth it!

mindful parenting 
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