Olivia Semlear, 8, started going to the library when she was 2 years old, even though she could not read. She said she just liked to look at books.
Now, Olivia can not only read the books she used to look at, she can do other events at the Longview Public Library, such as Crafty Kids.
Crafty Kids is a free summer event on Fridays to draw children up to 12 years old to the library to do an art project to take home, said Youth Services Supervisor Jenna Yeakley.
She said two new crafts are each session — one for children up to 5 years old and another for ages 6 to 12.
“They vary because of motor skills and complexity,” Yeakley said.
On Friday, the younger participants were coloring drawings of rain boots and blowing blue watercolor paint onto the paper to look like rain. The older group colored spinners — cardboard discs with a circle of yarn fed through two holes, allowing the disc to spin when the children twisted the yarn, then pulled it taut.
The free events are part of the library’s Summer Reading Club, Yeakley said. Children do not have to be in the Summer Reading Club to participate in Crafty Kids.
Karrie Emerson, 10, worked on making a spinner with many colors.
“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “I’ve never done it before, and it’s fun.”
At home, Karrie draws foxes, she said. But she likes coming to the library for Summer Reading Club events.
Olivia was making a spinning design on her spinner with lots of colors, and she had attended other Crafty Kids days, she said.
“(My favorite) was a dream-catcher,” she said. “With, like, feathers and beads and strings and a paper plate.”
Benjamin Wesley, 9, decorated his spinner in blue with the word “fly” in red. His favorite part of the day was being able to make his own design.
“I wanted to make my own airline,” he said.
Friday was Benjamin’s first craft day, but he said he likes to go to the library for other events, especially the day it showed “The Lego Movie 2. The Second Part.”
Yeakley said summer library events and programs are important for children.
“It’s important to keep them active in the summer, so we have activities to get them out of the house,” Yeakley said. “We love offering a creative component where they can kind of let their imaginations run wild.”
The last day to register for Summer Reading Club is Wednesday, and the last Craft Kids day for the summer is next Friday. Summer Reading Club will wrap up July 24 with an End Party from 10 a.m. to noon at the splash pad at Broughton Park, 801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.