Thursday, July 30, 2015

Read to Feed!

Our library is filled with families who love to read. They're checking out the books on our summer reading shelves; they're checking in with librarians to track the time they've spent reading.

Will we reach our reading goal of 3,000 hours by August 19th? If so, we will donate an animal of your choice to Heifer International! Heifer International is a charity that helps poor farmers in the developing world to end hunger and poverty.

This year, our summer readers get to vote on whether the Watertown Free Public Library should donate a llama or a sheep. So far, the sheep is winning! Will the sheep maintain the lead? That's up to you. Every hour added to your summer reading log earns you another chance to vote. 

Come to our Wrap-Up Party on August 19th to see the results! We will have cake and a special performance by Jungle Jim.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy Summer Reading!

Summer at the library means special programs!

Jarrett Krosoczka filled the house at our Kick Off Party!

Kids enjoy crafting at the library.

Creature Teachers brought a kinkajou.

They let one of our friends hold a boa constrictor.

We garden every Wednesday morning.

Magician Robert Clarke entertained a crowd.

Everyone loves story time.

Every hero has a story! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Sign up for the Summer Reading Program and meet a local author.

Monday, June 29, 2015
3:30 p.m.

Watertown Free Public Library
Children's Room
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, auhor and illustrator of Lunch Lady and Platypus Police Squad, is coming to our Summer Reading Kickoff! He will talk about his books and preform some readers theater.

Free and open to the public.
No registration.
Light refreshments will be served.

Visit Jarrett's website to see what he's up to and where he'll be next:

We love summer, yes we do! We love summer, how 'bout you?

Summer Reading Program: 

June 29 - August 19

"Every Hero Has a Story"

When the kids are out of school, our library keeps them engaged. This summer, we’ll have free performances by special guests like Creature Teachers and Mike the Bubble Man! 

Every Saturday, we’ll sing along with musicians like Little Groove and Vanessa Trien. Look for a story time, book club, craft or activity each weekday. Our calendar is packed with enriching entertainment!

If you’re planning a vacation, stop by the children’s room and pick up DVDs to get you through the long ride. Of course, there are plenty of books and audiobooks to choose from too. We have the Watertown Public Schools’ summer reading lists for every grade level and all of the titles you need are set aside in a special collection. 

Whether your children stick to recommended reading or explore other options, we encourage them to track their reading in a log they keep at the library. 

See a children’s librarian for more information on how to participate. What would summer be without a reading program?!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tuesdays are Twice as Nice!

We know that our Toddler Story Time can get crowded.

The children's program room fills to capacity every Tuesday morning at 10:15.

It can be overwhelming for small children and even some of the parents.

That's why we're offering a second Toddler Story Time at 11:30.!

That's right! We've got two Nursery Rhyme Times for pre-walking babies and two Toddler Story Times for walkers through age two in one morning! Check out the April calendar for details and consider coming to the 11:30 Toddler Story Time if you want to beat the crowd.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Princess Party!

Maybe you've noticed that the Children's Program Room looks a little bit like a castle right now.

We hosted a princess party on Wednesday, 4/8.

Everyone dressed in their finest for stories and songs.

We made tie-dyed skirts from giant coffee filters.

We used marshmallows and toothpicks to build castles.

We turned paper plates into dazzling crowns.

Cinderella lost her glass slipper and Ariel left her tail.

The afternoon concluded with picking up balloons and checking out books. 
Magic filled the air or maybe it was just glitter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WFPL 5K Race Announcement

The Watertown Free Public Library is pleased to announce our second annual 5K event! Join us on Sunday, May 31 at 10:15 a.m. for a family friendly community race. Together, we'll cruise through Watertown's beautiful neighborhoods. Runners, walkers, and strollers of all ability levels are encouraged to participate. Please visit:

Registration is required and participants are encouraged to register in advance through our RaceWire Website.

Adults pay $25.
Ages 11 to 17 pay $20.
Children 10 and under can register for FREE!

This is a great opportunity to get your children moving and model healthy exercise habits. You can train for the event by joining us for a practice run on Saturday, May 23 at 9:15 a.m. No registration is required to practice on the Saturday before the event. 

If you cannot make it to the event, you can still make a donation to support the library. It can be made in person, by cash or check, to the Watertown Free Public Library Building Comittee or Online.

Monday, March 16, 2015

We Love to Dance

We've been cooped up all winter and we need to move our bodies. It's how we stay healthy and have fun. At the Watertown Library, we like to get a children's playlist togther and kick off our shoes for good ol' Preschool Dance Party. Moving to tunes is our favorite way to exhaust ourselves.

Ages 2-6 were singing, swinging, and clapping together this March. We took out the bananas, scarves, bells, and parachute to play along with the music. It was a rockin' good time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Feed the Birds!

This winter has been difficult for all of us, esspecially our feathered friends. Birds have trouble finding seeds when the snow piles high. That is why we like to build bird feeders in the month of February. The Children's Department hosted an event for school age children to make two different types of feeders. The first one was simple; it involved stringing toasted o's onto pipe cleaners and shaping them into rings or other designs that could be hung on tree branches. The second type of bird feeder we made was a little messy; we coated toilet paper tubes in peanut butter, rolled them in bird seed, and looped yarn through the middle of them. These tactile crafts ensured our patrons would enjoy some backyard birdwatching for the rest of the chilly season.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dinosaurs at the Library!

WFPL stays active, even in the snowy weather. Last week, our dinosaur party for ages 2-6, was a smash! Dinosaur footprints lead the way to the children's program room, where we read:

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton

Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

(Miss Kathleen's favorite)

We also enjoyed dinosaur-themed songs and crafts. Take a look at our March calendar for your next roaring good time.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Preschool STEM: Magnets!

Our final session of Preschool STEM focused on Magnets!

Children learned a little bit about what magnets are and how they work, and they got to try a few hands-on magnetic activities! Missed the program but want to try some of this fun at home? Pull those magnets off your refrigerator and give some of these activities a try!
  • Test magnets on all sorts of surfaces and items in your home to see what they stick to. What do the items that stick to the magnet have in common? What types of materials are they made of?
  • Have a magnet hunt! Stick a magnet to something in your home and have your child try to find it. Take turns: have your child put the magnet somewhere it sticks, and you find it!
  • Place something small and metal like a paperclip in a cup of water, then challenge your preschooler to make the paperclip move without putting anything in the water or pouring any of the water out. Does it work with other objects (that may or may not be magnetic)?
Our craft was a fishing rod utilizing a magnet, and you can make your own out of common household materials. We tied a string onto a straw and then a magnet onto the other end of the string (we reinforced it with tape, because the string kept slipping). Then we made paper fish and clipped paperclips on their noses. Now kids could "fish" with their magnets!

That was the last of our Preschool STEM programs for this season, but we'll do them again so keep an eye on our schedule

And in the meantime, have you visited our HATCH Makerspace yet? It's an amazing space in the Arsenal Project Mall where people of all ages can experiment with hands-on items, many of which incorporate STEM elements! Find out more at our HATCH website!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Today's Preschool STEM Tips!

This morning was our second session of Preschool STEM, and we learned about Tools and Measurement. We discussed how we use various tools to complete different tasks, and we learned how measuring works. Then kids got to do some hands-on experimenting with scissors, rulers, measuring tape, magnifying glasses, and scales!

Most of the tools we utilized today are things you probably have at home! Grab your scissors, rulers, and bathroom scales and try them out with your little one!

  • Do you have a ruler, yardstick, or measuring tape at home? You can measure all sorts of things in and around your house! Measure the length of your hand, arm, foot, or finger. How does your size compare to other people, animals, or items in your house?
  • Is there a scale in your bathroom or kitchen? What can you find to weigh? If you don't have a scale, you can compare the weight of two small things by holding one in each hand.
  • Let your child practice using scissors (safety scissors with blunt tips are best for little ones). Using scissors helps strengthen children's hand muscles, specifically the abductor pollicis brevis at the base of the thumb. This will make their hands strong enough to hold a writing utensil later!

We also used magnifying glasses at today's program. If you don't have a magnifying glass at home, you can make one using water and a clear, concave surface like part of a plastic bottle. Emma Vanstone explains how in this Science Sparks article.

Vanstone, Emma. "Make your own Magnifying Glass!" Science Sparks: Making Science Fun for Kids

Missed today's session? Don't worry, we still have one more Preschool STEM program! Join us next week, Thursday, January 29 at 10:15am, when we'll be learning about Magnetism! No need to register, just come on by with your three-, four-, or five-year-old!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Preschool STEM Programs this January!

This month we've got three weeks of Preschool STEM programs, the first of which was this morning! These programs focus on developing an interest and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math concepts for preschoolers. For each of the three weeks, children will get to try lots of hands-on experiments to develop the early basic understandings necessary to be ready for in-depth STEM education once they start school.

We had the first of these programs this morning, focusing on Light and Shadows. Kids learned about what makes shadows, how shadows move and change depending on the angle and distance of the light source, what happens when light passes through colored paddles, and more!

Couldn't make it this morning? You've still got two more chances to try this fun program!

Thursday, January 22 at 10:15am: Tools and Measurement
Thursday, January 29: 10:15am: Magnets

They're all for children ages 3-5, and there's no need to register. And don't worry, the programs do not build on each other, so you will not feel out of the loop if you've missed any previous programs.


As you tried the activities at each station, you may have noticed signs with ideas for "Activities to try at home." Give some of these a try around the house to extend what we learned about today!
  • Shadow Puppets: Use your puppet at home with a flashlight or lamp. You can make more puppets with paper and sticks or straws.
  • Shadow Theatre: You can make your own shaddow puppet theatre at home! Drape a light-colored sheet between to chairs with a light behind it. Or aim a light or flashlight at a wall.
  • Shadow Tracing: Trace your shadow under a lamp or flashlight. Or when it gets warmer, try tracing parts of your shadow with chalk outside on a sunny day.
  • Light Paddles: We used plastic light paddles today, but you can make your own version. Use markers to color onto plastic wrap, then stretch it across the glass of a flashlight. Now you can create whatever color flashlights you want!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Additional Dog B.O.N.E.S. Programs in January!

We've just added more dates and times for our January Dog B.O.N.E.S. program, where independent readers can spend a little time reading aloud to a dog! It's a great opportunity for children to improve their reading fluency skills, as they practice reading with someone who never interrupts, never judges, and just listens patiently and unconditionally. The fact that this someone is also furry and adorable never hurts.

Thursday, January 22, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 24, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 29, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

We do ask that readers register for a specific, fifteen-minute time slot, so please stop in or call 617-972-6435 to register.