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How to Play AADL Summer Game

Confused about the AADL Summer Game? Here’s How to Play It

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Have you heard of the Ann Arbor District Library Summer Game and wondered what it is and how to play? Fear not, we have answers for you from several years of playing the game ourselves.

The AADL has taken the classic Summer Reading Challenge to a whole new level with the AADL Summer Game. While the classic challenge of reading 5 or 10 books still exists, it is just a small part of the Summer Game. In addition to reading, you can enter codes for so many more activities…attending library events, searching the library, visiting other businesses, web searches, and more.

LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!THE SUMMER GAME HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!If you know: https://aadl.org/playIf you don't know:…

Posted by Ann Arbor District Library on Friday, June 10, 2022

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Getting Started

The easiest way to get started is to pickup or print out a Summer Reading Card. You can keep it simple and just read the 10 books and skip all the online game play.

But, if you want to play the full game collecting codes for points and earning badges, you will need to sign up. You can signup using your existing AADL online account. If you don’t have a library card, you can create a summer game account to play along. You can also create accounts for your kids and teens in your account. My daughter started as part of my account, but we split her off when she got her own phone so we could both text our own codes.

You can also signup by texting NEWPLAYER to 734-327-4200. I love the texting option for entering all my codes. Don’t worry you can signup online and then link your phone to enter codes by text even if you don’t signup by text.

Once you are signed up, it’s time to start earning points, badges, and rewards.


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Earn Points & Rewards by Reading

There are several ways to earn points by reading. There is the Classic Summer Reading Challenge, Logging Reading Time, and your AADL Checkout History.

Classic Summer Reading Challenge

Complete your summer reading card to earn great prizes including 2000 Summer Game Points. Summer Reading Cards can be picked up at the library or printed at home. Kids have to read or listen to 10 books. The adult challenge is to consume 10 of anything – books, articles, podcasts, etc. You can even count this introduction article as one of your 10 items! When you are done, turn in the card at any AADL branch, email a picture, log your items into your summer game account, or share your card on social media and tag the library.

Once kids and teens complete their list, they can pick a free Summer Game prize book. Adults will get 1000 bonus points.



Logging Reading Time

You can earn 50 points a day by logging what you read, listened to, or watched on the Summer Game Website.. This step does need to be done daily to earn the points.

Even better, when you log your first entry, you’ll earn the Log Jammer Badge for a bonus 100 points. Keep logging and you’ll earn Log Master Badges as you accumulate more days.

To log reading time, go to play.aadl.org and select My Players. Then click on your player and hit the “I Read, Listened to, or Watched something” button.



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Earn Codes At the Library

You can earn points at each library with codes that are posted throughout the library and at events.

Library Codes

The Downtown Library has 15 codes hidden throughout the library all summer long. The other branches each have 10 codes. Each library’s codes usually have a theme. Don’t miss the big sign outside each library.

You will earn a badge worth bonus points for finding all of the codes at a branch.

Event Codes

Library events each have a code. When you attend an event be sure to get the code. You can earn badges for attending various types of events. Each year, the first Event Code is at the AADL booth at Taste of Ann Arbor – but you can’t redeem it until the game launches on the last day of school.

Event Code - Sorry, it's from 2019 and not valid this year
Event Code – Sorry, it is from 2019 and not valid this year.

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Other Ways to Earn Codes

Partner Badges

AADL has partnered with other businesses around Ann Arbor to share codes. Be sure to look for TheRide buses that have a code on the side. I already found that code the first day of the game! There’s another

Other partner badges include Humane Society, ScrapBox, Bikeway, and UMMA. Some partner badges can be done from the partner website, while others require visiting the partner.

Explorer Badges

My favorite badges are the Explorer badges. Think of these as mini scavenger hunts. For example, Power of Art badge can be done at the Embracing Our Differences art exhibit at Gallup Park.

AADL Summer Game - Explorer Badge website screenshot

You’ll follow the clues in the badge which will direct you to find the code. The first badge drop includes 7 explorer badges. Check back later in the summer, there may be more badges.

AADL Summer Game - Figuring out Explorer Badge Code
Figuring out what the code is for a 2019 Explorer Badge

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Home Codes

AADL Home Codes were introduced in 2020 and were a great option to allow for social distancing in 2020 and 2021. They will return on July 8, 2022.

With Home Codes you can generate a code for your house and display it for neighbors, friends, and anyone passing by. Hint – make sure it is big enough to be read from the sidewalk or street. These home codes can be redeemed for points just like the codes on the ilbrary.

Earn Points Online

There are also several types of badges that you can earn summer game points online – Web Search Badges or Writing Reviews & Rating Items.

Web Search Badges

I love the Web Search Badges. It’s like a scavenger hunt through the online card catalog. Check out the badges and start by searching the card catalog for the first clue. Click on the result and you’ll find a code on the left under the item picture. Sometimes it will be the first result, other times you may have to try a few of the results or use extra information to figure out the right item in the catalog. Sometimes you’ll need some extra knowledge or to perform a quick Google search to help especially the ones that rated for higher difficulty.

New badges drop every Friday!


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Online Games

Are you a Wordle addict? There is an AADLE badge you can earn! It is labeled Week 1, so be on the lookout for one each week. There are also crosswords, image searches, and more.

Writing Reviews & Rating Items

You can earn 100 points for every item in the catalog that you review. This would be a good follow-up for kids after finishing a book, CD, or movie.

You earn 10 points just for giving an item in the catalog a star rating. Plus, there are badges to earn as you rate more items.

As an ebook reader & audio book listener, I wish my Libby checkout history was connected to the AADL catalog for rating purposes.



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Entering Summer Game Codes

Once you’ve found codes, the next step is entering them. Each person in your family can have their own summer game account. My daughter and I each have our own. My husband doesn’t play. You can enter codes on the website through your account or you can text the codes. We prefer to text the codes.

Texting Codes

To text the codes you first connect your phone number to your summer games account. You can set it so that one number can text codes to multiple connected users. I had this setup until my daughter got her own phone last year. We needed some help to disconnect her account from my texts and setup under her number.

Of course texting codes can lead to sending them to random people. I’ve done it twice recently and my daughter has texted me a code. It usually happens when we’re in the middle of collecting a bunch of codes and receive a text in the middle. Then when we go to send the next code we pull up the most recent text chain instead of the library text chain.


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Entering Codes on the Web

I’ve seen kids running around the library writing down codes. This is a great way for younger kids to practice their writing skills (but not their spelling because sometimes the codes use creative spelling). Then, you can enter the codes from home.

When you enter codes on the web, you can select which users on your account to credit them to.

Using Summer Game Points

So you’ve earned all these Summer Game points, now what? It’s time to shop the Summer Game Shop! The 2022 Summer Game Shop has not yet opened. It typically opens in July.. In the past we’ve gotten items like:

  • T-shirt
  • Lunch Box
  • Blanket
  • Scarf
  • Water Bottle
  • Bank

For my daughter most of the thrill is collecting the points. I’ve talked to others who say the same thing about their kids. This means, my daughter has a backload of points from previous years. The good news is that they aren’t lost. You have traditionally been able to shop the Summer Game Classic Shop with points from previous years.

Summer Game Tips

  • You don’t need to have an AADL Card to play the game.
  • You can have multiple players per library account
  • Check the Summer Game Page for news like new badge drops and new items in the Summer Game Shop. Badges are usually dropped on Fridays.
  • Don’t forget to shop the store early for the best selection
  • If you have a tween or teen with an account who wants to start using their own phone to text, you may need to ask someone at the library to help. That’s what we had to do a few years ago.
  • Participate in as many or as few point earning activities as you want
  • Have fun!!

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