The Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library is ready for another summer of exciting and engaging programming for kids of all ages.
This year, as we are seeing an ease back into in-person and outdoor programming, we are able to offer programs at the library in our outdoor spaces, complete with outdoor hand-washing stations and physical-distanced spaces, as well as continuing to offer virtual programs to participate in from the comfort of your own home.
No summer would be complete without registering for our annual Summer Reading Program. Tails & Tales is this year’s program for children ages three to 13 to set their own personal reading goals, track their progress and earn their way toward a medal made in The Makery at the end of the summer. Summer Reading Passports are available at the library or by emailing email@example.com.
This year’s Summer Reading Program team has expanded. Kasia Dupuis, children’s library services associate, will be joined by Rachel Willekes, preschool programmer, as well as two enthusiastic and creative summer students. The library is proud to welcome Colin Fellows and Shaantih Sukhai to the Summer Reading Program team. The team has been working tirelessly on developing exciting, engaging and creative programming to not only keep the learning happening during summer break but to also help foster the connections and feelings of community that may have been missing these last few months. We have an outdoor, in-person children’s program happening almost every day of the week, as well as virtual programs complete with free kits to keep the hands-on engagement going at home.
We’re kicking off this summer on Friday, July 2 with some virtual fun and games. Our popular virtual trivia is back each Friday with topics such as All Things Disney, Pokemon, Frozen, and Lego, among others. Each week the winner will have a chance to win a themed prize pack, based on the week’s topic.
We’re also excited to introduce virtual Bingo games for kids on Friday mornings, too. Using the same platform as our trivia games, children are invited to play a classic game of Bingo for a chance to win a weekly prize pack. Both trivia and bingo are open to children of all ages, and no registration is required. The weekly code and theme will be posted on our social media channels and library website.
Fridays are also home to one of our outdoor, in-person Crafternoon programs, for ages four to six. Shaantih will help your child get creative and make something to be proud of during this crafty and engaging program. Create some flying fridge magnets or mix a batch of fluffy unicorn slime with her!
Saturdays are all about Science this summer. Join Colin and Shaantih in Science Fun where kids ages four to 10 can investigate some cool experiments, take part in some messy making and of course have lots of fun in this outdoor, in-person program at the library.
Mondays are home to the outdoor, in-person program called S.T.E.A.M. Explorers, where children ages six to 12 can join Colin in a weekly challenge based on science, technology, engineering, art or math concepts. Kids will get creative with their problem solving as they build rafts, construct towers and make rainbows among other fun and exciting projects.
Brave heroes and imaginative adventurers aged 12-plus are also invited to join us on Mondays for an introduction to the classic game Dungeons in Dragons. In this unique partnership between the NOTL Library and The Shaw Festival Theatre, Travis Seetoo will teach participants the basics of the game as they will explore their imaginations, learn about the magic of shared storytelling as well as receive a free kit containing their own set of DnD dice.
Mondays are also home to our popular Monday Makers programs where children aged four to 13 can get creative and learn new art skills. Join Kasia to paint a pair of fuzzy otter friends in “OTTERly Adorable!” on July 5, and learn how to paint a mystical Narwhal — known as the unicorn of the sea — on Aug. 16. We have also added clay workshops into this summer’s Monday Makers line-up including a Mini Flower Pot on July 19, and a pair of Crazy Clay Cats on July 26. These projects include a free kit containing all the materials you will need for hand-building with clay, as well as instructions to return your project to the library to be fired in a kiln. We are very excited about these workshops.
Creativity knows no age limit, so for the youngest creatives in your household, we have Mini Makers with Kasia for ages four to six. This new program has been specially designed for a younger audience, and includes a kit with all the materials to create virtually with Kasia on Zoom. Create a Summer Garden Sculpture on July 12 and then build a colourful owl complete with a treehouse backdrop on Aug. 9.
Getting crafty is one of our favourite things to do at the library, and Tuesdays are home to the second of our Crafternoon Programs for ages seven to 12, July 6 through Aug. 17. Join Shaantih in this outdoor, in-person program where we will build a sparkly jellyfish, create a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur jar and more.
Wednesdays is all about exploring, discovering and connecting out-and-about in our community. Explorers aged three to six can take part in Wild Reads with Rachel, our preschool programmer, to enjoy outdoor story time, play fun games, and explore local parks as a small group at offsite locations in the villages of NOTL such as St. Davids, Willowbank at Queenston and Niagara Shores Park.
Kids aged 7-plus who enjoy a good scavenger hunt can join Shaantih in Clue Seekers. This weekly program takes place at offsite locations throughout NOTL. Get outdoors and become an expert clue seeker as you find the clues, seek the solutions and solve the puzzle in this outdoor scavenger hunt program.
Kids aged four to 10 can join Colin on Thursdays for Make & Explore, a new outdoor, in-person program where kids can explore the wonderful world we live in, through fun activities complete with a little something to take home each week. Colin has prepared a different project or activity that speaks to the weekly Summer Reading Program themes and highlights a different section in our recently revamped children’s non-fiction collection. Investigate outer space, learn about bats and butterflies, and hear about some really weird pets in this hands-on program.
Thursdays is also home to another new program, where kids can travel to remote islands, meet new friends, dig for treasure and go fishing, virtually of course. Join Kasia in our Animal Crossing Meet-Ups for ages seven to 13 on the Nintendo Switch. Participants are required to have their own gaming system and a Nintendo Online Subscription.
For the kids who love to tinker and investigate, we have the popular Tinker Thinker Thursdays program happening this summer with Kasia for kids aged seven to 13. This July, we will explore raft building and make our own marble mazes and in August, we will create a cranky contraption and learn about circuits as we build a light up sculpture. Both sessions include kits that contain all the materials needed to take part and “tinker thinker” with us from home.
Spend some quality family time together this summer by taking part in our Cache Me If You Can: Family Scavenger Hunt. Christine Reganti, the library’s IT and Makery assistant, has hidden geocaches in secret locations throughout NOTL. To find them, register your team on our website and you will be emailed the coordinates to find on your hunt. Each time you find a hidden cache and write your team name in the log book, you will be entered to win one of two family prize packs which include books, skating passes, treats and more. July’s caches are already hidden and waiting to be found before July 29, and the locations will be reset for August. Visit the library website to register your team and start searching.
Teens aged 14 to 18 are invited to join the library’s newest book club, The Paper Cuts. Spearheaded by Christine and Adrianna Polito, the library’s newest library services assistant, The Paper Cuts will be discussing Stay Gold, by Tobly McSmith, in their first meeting on July 15. Each registrant will receive a swag bag complete with their own copy of the book, an official Paper Cuts mug, goodies and more. Christine and Adrianna are also the library’s TikTok dream team, creating fresh and funny content weekly. Visit @notllibrary on Instagram and TikTok to check out some of their reels.
We look forward to seeing you all this summer at the NOTL Library whether in-person or virtually. Additional program dates, details and registration are available on our website: www.notlpublic