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Westwood Children’s Library heads outdoors

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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

A visit to the library doesn’t always have to include a stack of books or vigorous studying. Sometimes, one actually can play at the library. Such was the case at the Westwood Public Library on August 14 as the library hosted an outdoor event for children ages two to five to develop and refine fine and gross motor skills.

Twins, Jack and Miles McCarthy (4), and Jane Saulnier (2) play outdoors at the Westwood Public Library.  Photos by Laura Drinan

Twins, Jack and Miles McCarthy (4), and Jane Saulnier (2) play outdoors at the Westwood Public Library. Photos by Laura Drinan

In the grassy space next to the library and on the patio next to the Children’s Library were various activities set up by Hannah Gavalis, one of Westwood’s children’s librarians. The activity stations included a bubble machine, chalk, buckets full of water with rubber ducks and toy boats floating in them, a beanbag toss, a parachute, hula-hoops, and badminton. They also played music on a Bluetooth speaker as the children played outdoors, keeping the event cheerful and casual.

The sunny weather attracted four-year-old twins, Miles and Jack McCarthy, to the library to play outside and simultaneously find some interesting books. The boys’ enjoyment of the outdoors and their love for the library’s “Book of the Week” made for the perfect event as they were free to go indoors and outdoors as they pleased. The boys played with the parachute and used halves of milk jugs to toss beanbags to each other. They even tested their badminton abilities as their mom and Gavalis tossed them the birdies to hit. Afterwards, they spent some time indoors in the Children’s Library finding new books to check out.

Jack (4) plays cornhole outside of the Westwood Public Library.  Photos by Laura Drinan

Jack (4) plays cornhole outside of the Westwood Public Library. Photos by Laura Drinan

eanwhile, two-year-old Jane Saulnier, who has been coming to the library since she was just months old, enjoyed the tubs of water and played cornhole with her family. She also enjoyed the parachute and the bubble maker. She also utilized her time at the library to look at books and movies to borrow.

“It’s a nice way to create positive associations between library and fun,” said Gavalis, noting that positive associations between books and fun would come later for the some of the children. The event provided families at the Westwood Public Library with the perfect afternoon filled with fun and educational opportunities for children, all while enjoying the beautiful summer day.

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