1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge

mother reading with toddler

Calling all mamas of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, I’ve got a challenge for you! 

Join me and my mini bookworm in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge!

But just know, this is more than just a trendy challenge for IG likes and TicTok views: this is a lifestyle. 🙂

Oh, you’ve never heard of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge?

Well, neither have I until just yesterday when I Googled “places to bring toddler near me.” The results showed that one of the Vermilion Parish libraries was, in fact, very near me. Also, it had been raining for what felt like 1,000 days in a row, so a new indoor adventure sounded just right. But before we braved the rain, I wanted to make sure that this venture would be worth the risk so, I quickly scanned their website to find (you guessed it!) The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge! 

(If you’re not located in Vermilion Parish, that’s OK! Lafayette Public Library also has a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, along with hundreds of other libraries across the U.S. You can find your nearest program here.)

Knowing my little book lover would love this just as much as I would, we rushed right over to our local library without a second thought. Once we arrived, we were welcomed by the librarian who says she remembers going to the very same library when she was a child! I shared what brought us in for our visit and she seemed genuinely excited to get us started. (According to her, making reading exciting is key to your child’s success along with creativity and perseverance.)

The concept behind the program is simple: your child reads 1,000 books before they enter kindergarten.

Now, because this program is for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, it will really be you (the parent) who will read and record 1,000 books before your child starts kindergarten. But hey, it sounds simple enough!

If we read one book a night for a year, that’s 365 books. Two years go by and you’ve read 730 books. Keep it up and by the time you’re three years into this challenge you’ve already read 1,095 books and surpassed your goal! 

BUT that is only if you keep it up and dedicate time for you and your little one to read one book together EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for three years straight. When you consider that most children go to kindergarten by five years old, the challenge doesn’t seem that simple anymore, does it?

So why invest your time and join me on this challenge?

Because 1) the time you are investing in focusing on a book and your child is priceless and, 2) to quote the program’s brochure, “the gift of reading lasts a lifetime.” This is so true! 

If you’re not convinced with that one-two knockout above, check out these other program incentives below:

1) You’ll go home with a 1,000 Books starter kit that includes a paper log for your child to record the titles of their first 100 books, a bookmark to get started, and a reusable bag to help your child (you) carry everything home in.

2) Your child will receive a completion certificate for every reading log turned in with 100 books recorded. (If your child wants to read the same book over and over again as mine does, then that’s completely fine. Go ahead and log that book up to three times in one day!)

3) Your child will also receive special stickers throughout the program. (Don’t you just love the power of *special* with toddlers and preschoolers? And the power of stickers, too!)

4) After receiving their special certificates and stickers, your child will have their picture taken with them for the local newspaper and library Facebook! (That is with mom or dad’s consent, of course.)

5) When your tot reaches their final goal of 1,000 books (before kindergarten) they will receive a *very special* prize!

Doesn’t that sound fun and rewarding?!

You can make it even more fun by challenging your mom friends to join in!

Feel free to share this blog post then hit your local library together. Just remember 1) this is for fun and family, this is not a competition, and 2) this challenge isn’t a trend, this is a lifestyle!

  • If your library happens to be Lafayette Main or South campus, then I recommend joining them for their Family Story Times! This is a reoccurring event, but registration is required. You can check out the schedules for the Main Library here and the South Regional Library here.

Happy reading, bookworms!

Chai Domingues
Chai, a Louisiana native, was born and raised in New Orleans. In the fall of 2010, she set off to attend Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to study Organizational Development. Just a year later, she met her college sweetheart, Blake Domingues. After graduating, the two eloped in Jamaica with a beautiful garden ceremony and began their life together in the state's capital city. The couple recently decided to move to Blake's hometown of Lafayette, where he would join the Domingues family business, Ray Chevrolet. After nesting for about a year and making Lafayette feel like home, Chai was pleased to find out she was expecting! She delivered a healthy baby boy in May of 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic. Although her journey into motherhood was anything but ordinary, she is making the most of it and loving every moment!