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  • Jen McGivney

5 Fun (and Free) Kids’ Summer Activities at the Library


Photo Credit: Kimberly Farmer

The summer slide. As kids enjoy a few months of school-free days, parents worry what their children may forget before school begins again. Adding a few educational activities into children’s summer schedules may help them transition back to school more easily in August.

The Gaston Public Library wants to help. Branches offer activities that are educational enough for parents to appreciate, and fun enough that kids might not even realize they’re learning.


“We’re really trying to prevent some of that summer slide that happens when kids lose some of the skills they gained over the school year,” says Emily Winfrey, the Youth Services Manager at the Main Library in Gastonia. “The library has activities all summer long, and we try to make it fun for all kinds of kids.”


Whether your children are LEGO masters or dog lovers, the Gaston Public Library has them covered this summer. If you’re interested in any of these activities, please visit the Events Calendar of the Gaston County Public Library for locations, dates, and times. None of these events require advance registration – just come and have fun!


Tail Waggin’ Tutors at Main

Kids can practice their reading skills in a pressure-free zone – by reading to a certified therapy dog. During each Tail Waggin’ event, children take turns reading to a canine volunteer. Kids can choose from a bin of books (different reading levels are available), or they’re welcome to bring a favorite. This allows children to grow more confident in their reading skills with an audience of a four-pawed reading buddy who’s all ears.

Branch: Gastonia Main Library


LEGO Club

What kid doesn’t love LEGOs? Each week, the library issues a LEGO challenge, perhaps building a rocket or a favorite planet. Before diving in, kids learn the basic rules of LEGOs—have fun, share, and encourage each other (and really, aren’t these the basic rules for everything?)—and then they get to work. Kids can unleash their inner architects with the library’s big supply of LEGOs, ready to be crafted into masterpieces. Then all week, your child’s LEGO creation will be on display in the library for everyone to admire.

Branches: Gastonia Main Library, Dallas, Union Road


Spacecraft On-the-Go

What kid doesn’t want their own rocket? This all-day event allows families to drop in for crafting fun. All of the art materials are ready at the library, and families can drop by for a build-your-own-spacecraft adventure. To participate, drop by any time during Fridays in August.

Branch: Stanley


Reading Buddies

Elementary schoolers can practice their reading skills with teenage volunteers. The teens have completed tutor training, learning how to help children select appropriate books and how to encourage young readers. Children can practice reading a chapter with the teens, in an environment that feels cool and fun and low pressure.

Branch: Gastonia Main Library


Family Coloring Night

Kids don’t get to have all the fun. The whole family can come for a relaxing evening of coloring. The library provides colored pencils, crayons, and coloring sheets for all levels. It’s a good opportunity for families to unwind together in the evening over some coloring book therapy.

Branch: Gastonia Main Library