‘Prenatal 2 Preschool’

Healthy Family Fair slated for Saturday

T-R FILE PHOTO The 13th annual Healthy Family Fair will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Marshalltown Mall. The fair, which is free admission, is sponsored by Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS). It gathers around 30 local entities that will each operate a booth with the mission of focusing on the needs of children prenatal to age five, particularly in the areas of nutrition, development, education, dental health and general well-being. A variety of children’s activities will be offered.

Educational resources. Activities for kids. Family bonding time. All things that will be offered at the 13th annual Healthy Family Fair, which will take place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Marshalltown Mall.

The fair, which is free admission, is sponsored by Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS). It gathers around 30 local entities that will each operate a booth with the mission of focusing on the needs of children prenatal to age 5, particularly in the areas of nutrition, development, education, dental health and general well-being.

“Our goal is to provide a one-stop-shop of area resources and have some fun doing it,” said Emma Chase, CAPS community engagement coordinator.

Upon entering the fair, families will first stop at the welcome table to receive a map that lays out the floor plan of where all the vendors will be set up. Also, they will be given a bag for keeping their handouts, prizes and completed crafts. The first 700-800 youngsters will also get a free book. The first 100 families to the McFarland Clinic booth will receive a free First Aid Kit.

“We will have a Bingo card on the back of the map and will be offering prizes based on how many spaces you fill,” Chase said.

Mid-Iowa Community Action, Marshalltown Public Library, LUNA, ISU Extension and Outreach and Marshalltown Parks and Recreation are among the entities that will be in attendance. Representatives from Marshalltown area preschools and kindergartens will be on hand to register kids for the next school year. The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office will provide a car seat safety demonstration, while the Marshalltown Police Department will offer a station that does fingerprinting for children.

New this year is the addition of the Grout Museum’s Cars and Coasters program where youngsters can get a hands-on experience learning about the scientific principles of gravity, motion and momentum.

“This is kind of a side step from the traditional health experience, but we wanted to do something new,” Chase said. “There will be lots of racing strips, fun loops and hills.”

A variety of beloved children’s characters will be present for a meet-and-greet, including the Polynesian Princess and the League of Heroes (all present from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). Dora the Explorer and Diego will also be present. Zumba activities will be offered, as well as a magic show and storytime. Parks and Rec.’s indoor playscape is yet another entertainment option.

“We expect 2,500 people to come to this and the mall will be filled,” Chase said.

To learn more about the fair, contact Chase at (641) 752-1730 or emmac@capsonline.us

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com