Super Summer Challenge 2012


Do your kids come up to you multiple times during the summer whining, “I’m bored”? This summer they don’t have to if you start a Super Summer Challenge for each of them.

This is my second year of doing the Super Summer Challenge.  I started it last year with Rylan who was 3.5 years old at the time.  He did surprisingly well and liked it.  It was a lot of work though because I had to read everything for him and tell him what he could do to earn points.

It helped me be more intentional about teaching him the things we wanted him to learn though, and I was glad to have a focus throughout the busy summer months.

Rylan got so excited about doing the Super Summer Challenge this year that we started it in May.  It has been going really well so far and he has already earned several prizes and learned lots of things!  What a joy it has been teaching him!

super summer challenge linda wicks

The Super Summer Challenge will inspire your children to cheerfully do many things you previously only WISHED they would! When they participate in the Super Summer Challenge they will:

  • learn new skills
  • be motivated in areas of self-discipline
  • discover how to look outside themselves
  • mature in sibling unity
  • form great habits that will last a lifetime

My mother-in-law and her friend Linda Wicks started the Super Summer Challenge when their kids were young.  So many people asked them about it, that Linda decided to put together a book on it in recent years.  To read more about the Super Summer Challenge and to order the book go to

Game Plan:

1. Create a list of challenges and assign points to the challenges.

Here are the projects I gave Rylan this year and last year and what points he can earn by completing them.  Some of them are a one-time-thing and others can be repeated over and over again to earn points.  Make sure to make some of the activities fun so that they enjoy doing the Super Summer Challenge and don’t just see it as another type of schooling.

Assign more points to the tasks that are difficult for the child.  For instance, you may have a child that likes to read so finishing a 100 page book may be worth just 1 point but for your child who hates to read, finishing that same book may be worth 3 points.  Your activities and points should not be the same for all of your children.

how to keep your kids busy summer

Rylan's Super Summer Challenge Activities for this Summer

super summer challenge pointssuper summer challenge points

how to keep kids busy in summer

Rylan earning points by completing workbook pages

2. Figure out your reward(s).  Find rewards that would motivate your children.

  • money for a certain amount of points earned
  • a big trip if they earn so many points
  • small toys with predetermined points marked on them (kind of like Chuck E. Cheese)
  • one big toy

My mother-in-law usually had money as the reward for my husband and his brothers.  Linda usually had a small trip planned that if all the kids earned the set amount of points they got to go on it.  I decided to buy several different toys worth different amount of points because my four year old wouldn’t be able to save his points up forever.  My thought is he can earn a toy or two about every week and that will keep him motivated.

I put stickers on the toys with the number of points he has to earn for that toy.  It is still really hard for him to save up his points and not spend them right away but that is a lesson is also learning through the Super Summer Challenge.

super summer challenge rewards

The box of toys that were Rylan's challenge rewards from last year

how to keep your kids busy in the summer

Rylan's prize box this year

how to keep kids busy in summer

Rylan worked really hard the first two days to earn his "Tormenter" truck

3.  Create a way to keep track of points.

With older kids, just writing the number of points at the end of the day or using tally marks should be fine.  With littler kids, it is probably best to use a visual representation, for example stickers on a chart or poker chips placed in a jar.  I  use stickers on a chart for Rylan because we already have lots of stickers on hand and then all I had to do was make a chart using Excel.

how to keep kids busy summer

This is our setup this year for the Super Summer Challenge

super summer challenge rewards and challenges

This was our setup for last year

how to keep kids busy in summer

I mark through the stickers with a marker after they've been used to buy a prize

4.  Put together a busy basket with all the supplies needed for the challenges.

In my son’s basket I put:

  • envelopes stamped and addressed to loved ones
  • new books to read to his brother or on his own
  • worksheets I made on the computer with letters and numbers for him to practice writing
  • scissors
  • paint
  • paint brushes
  • new lego set
  • new puzzles
  • crayons and gel pens
  • coloring book
  • activity books
  • spelling flash cards
  • stickers
  • wooden toys to paint

how to keep your kids busy during the summer

keep your kid busy during summer

Rylan's Busy Box for this year

how to keep your kids busy during summer

super summer challenge linda wicks

Rylan's Busy Box from last year

5.  The only way to lose points is to say “I’m bored.”

Since Rylan doesn’t have the word bored in his vocabulary yet (thankfully) and doesn’t really understand what it means to be “bored” we have established the rule that the only way to lose points is to say “I can’t do it” or “It’s too hard!”

There is so much to tell about this project but I hope this is enough to get something started for the summer or motivate you to buy the book.  It is only $10 and provides you with lots of resources and examples.

super summer challenge busy basket

Rylan with his busy basket last year

What do you do in the summer to keep your kids busy and learning?

1 comment to Super Summer Challenge 2012

  • Thanks, Brady!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. You’re the BEST!!! You girls just run circles around me….Bless you and good luck to you and Rylan! Love you.

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