Children’s Summer Reading Programs

The Children’s Room has developed two separate reading programs to get kids excited about reading this summer! We have a Virtual Challenge and a Visitor’s Challenge. You can pick one or do both—we recommend both! The Virtual Challenge uses Beanstack, a website and mobile app that allows users to track their reading, earn digital badges, enter for grand prize drawings, and more! The Visitor’s Challenge uses a special calendar for kids to track each day they read for five minutes or more. When they bring it to the library, they can enter weekly prize drawings and create a paper chain caterpillar that lives in the library to show off all their reading. Visit the Children’s Room today to learn more about both of our exciting challenges!

Each week throughout the summer, we’ll be hosting special programs that are free and open to the public! Check them out below and follow the links to our calendar to register.

Happy Summer Reading!

Puppet Story Time

Four colorful puppets around a smiling woman with dark hair.

Thursday, July 7, 3:00 - 3:30 pm
Ages 3 - 11
Registration Required

Join puppeteer Leigh Baltzer, from Through Me to You Puppetry as her puppets entertain with songs and stories! This program is interactive, encouraging kids to engage with both minds and bodies.

After the show, the children are welcome to participate in a hands-on Puppet Free Play session, where they are invited to try out some of the hand puppets and finger puppets.

Puppet Story Time with Leigh Baltzer | Athol Public Library (

DIY Tie Dye

Colorful tie dye background with the same event details to help advertise the event.

Wednesday, July 13, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Ages 8 - 18
Drop In - No Registration

Bring a white t-shirt (or anything fabric you'd like to tie-dye) and join us for tie-dye outside! This is a messy project, so be sure not to wear your favorite clothes!

Tie Dye | Athol Public Library (

Library Day at the Gnome Trails

Cartoon Gnomes in the forrest to accompany the post about he program.

Saturday, July 16, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
All ages
No Registration

Meet us at the Cutthroat Brook Tree Farm for a Gnome Hike! Library Trustee Susie Feldman and her husband Ben will welcome everyone and tell us a little about how they preserved their land with the Mt. Grace Land Trust and how they got started making trails in their woods and populating them with garden gnomes!

Library Day at the Gnome Trails | Athol Public Library (

Animal World Experience

Image of a man in a brown ranger hat wearing large brown gloves and holding a large lizard.

Thursday, July 21, 10:30 - 11:30 am
All ages

Registration Encouraged

Matt Gabriel is back to show us his incredible exotic animals! Last year, we met a frog named Tinkerbell, a kinkajou named Boo, and even an alligator named Chubs! We're excited to see what exciting animals Matt will bring this year!

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Athol Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Animal World Experience | Athol Public Library (

Impromptu Magic with Ed the Wizard

A wizard with a light brown beard and a purple hat and outfit.

Monday, July 25, 2:30 - 3:30 pm
Ages 7 - 11
Registration Required

Come visit the library's park and be dazzled by the amazing Ed the Wizard! Learn how to perform easy impromptu magic using items that you would take on a camping or hiking trip such as: "Fly away Birdie," "Ghost Hankie," "Do as I Do," and "How to Cut your Friend in Half!"

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Athol Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Impromptu Magic with Ed the Wizard | Athol Public Library (

Nature Process Art for Littles

A border of twigs, petals, a leaf, scissors, glue and crayons with a paper plate in the center with bubble letters saying Nature process art.

Thursday, August 4, 10:30 - 11:30 am
Ages 0 - 5
Registration Required

What is process art? It's the best kind of art for preschoolers! Rather than focus on the final product, as one would with a craft with directions, process art focuses on the act of creating! This method is child-driven and celebrates discovery, creativity, and curiosity!

In this program, we will provide art tools and materials found in nature. The rest is up to the artist! Give your kiddo full creative control and watch as they learn, discover, and make something totally unique!

Nature Process Art for Littles | Athol Public Library (

Badge Making

Cartoon images of badges and badge making in mint green bubble letters in the center.

Friday, August 12, 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Ages 5 - 11

Drop In – No Registration

Celebrate the end of summer by making personalized pinback buttons or magnets! You can choose an image from what we have printed out, or you can create one of your own using markers.

Badge Making | Athol Public Library (

Artwork ©2022 by Kayla Miller for iREAD® The Massachusetts Statewide Summer Library Program is funded by the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Also sponsored by The Friends of the Athol Public Library and Athol Savings Bank.