FREE Vision Screenings

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Published: 08/03/2012

FREE back to school vision screenings from Target and Prince William Public Libraries-

Bull Run Library- 8/6 from 1:30-3:30 and 8/8 from 1:30-3:30


Back to school time is a great time to have your children's vision checked! Members of the Optical Department from the Target store in Gainesville will be on hand to perform FREE, basic vision screening for both children and adults. For children entering Kindergarten and up and adults.

Guest Post: Fabulous Fun Fair

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Published: 07/31/2012

Angela Pounders joins us again for a heads up on the upcoming Fun Fair at Central Library. Pick up your free tickets beginning tomorrow.


I was so excited a couple of years ago when I saw that Central Library in Manassas was having a Fun Fair for its young patrons, ages 2-6 years old. My daughter was barely 1 ½ years old and I really wanted to take her (even though I am definitely a rules girl!) because it sounded so much fun! 

Needless to say, we waited until the following summer to partake in the fun.
The library describes this event as:  “A fun-filled hour of games designed especially for some of our smallest patrons. All of the games are non-competitive and everyone gets a prize!”
This year, the event will be held on Wednesday, August 8 at 10:30am.  Tickets are required.  You may pick up FREE tickets beginning Wednesday, August 1.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  (Seems like a given, but this is actually stated!)
When we entered the Community Room, we received 10 tickets (at least that's what I remember). Each game cost one ticket to play and you had to save one ticket for your prize at the end. That said, each individual game did not have a prize, but for one ticket, each child got to pick something out of the treasure chest at the end.
Just like any fair, the children had to wait in line for their turns. Young volunteers and a few ladies of the library staff ran the games. Everyone was very patient with the children – especially with the younger ones who didn't always want to stand on the designated lines to play the games. Unlike regular fairs, there was not an emphasize on competition, but rather on having fun and doing your best.
My daughter was now almost 2 ½ years old and she had a blast! We sort of worked our way around the room so she got a chance to play each game at least once. You do receive enough tickets to do some of the games more than one time.  The inside games included:
  • Throwing wooden gliders through hula hoops hung from the ceiling – my daughter needed help with this one.  It seemed easy, but proved to be challenging even for the older children of the group.  One of my favorite for its creativity!
  • Apple Toss – the children used very real looking, artificial apples and tried to toss them into the baskets.  Not as easy as it sounds. 

  • Bowling – this one was very popular and had the longest line. This was one of my daughter's favorites--once she understood the rules.  They had a “real” alley and everything!
They also had a few games outside.  These included:
  • Bean bag Toss – Again, not an easy game, but they gave the younger children ample turns to feel successful! (And let them stand really close.)
  • Fishing “Pond” – This was another popular game with a long line.  The children stood around little water-filled inflatable pools with fishing poles and were given one minute to see how many fish they could catch.   Younger children may need help with this one.

  • Bubble Table – There was a table set up with bubbles and a variety of tools to blow/make bubbles.  Potentially messy, but fun.
All in all, the Fabulous Fun Fair was a hit with my preschooler and we are looking forward to doing it again this year.  I loved that the games were not competition based.   I also liked that the focus was doing well at the games, not on getting a prize at each game.  My daughter was very happy with the water toy fish she got to pick out with her last ticket.
A few pointers if you go this year:  
  • Stash one ticket right after you get them to make sure you have one left for your child to get a prize before you go.  They were asking for it last year.
  • Depending on which games your child likes, plan on being there for at least 20-30 minutes.  We got there a bit after it started and ended up staying almost the entire time.
  • Some lines may be long and they don’t move very fast.  Be ready to entertain your sweet blessings a bit.
  • Do the Bubble Table last due to its potential mess factor.
Maybe we’ll see you there!

Angela Pounders is a transplant to Manassas Park from Arlington.  She is blessed to be a stay at home mama to two beautiful girls.  As a former teacher (as well as preschool director and Children and Family Director), she is always on the look out for fun, easy and educational things to do with her girls.  She also loves to share her ideas and is looking to start her own blog, The Master’s Daughter, by the fall.

May 2012 Library Special Events Highlights

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Published: 05/03/2012
Instead of inundating you with 2,000 status updates, here are a few of the library events for this month that look kid-friendly and fun! Note the ones that require you to pick up free tickets or passes!!  Prince William County Library events do fill up quickly, so mark your calendars now!  These events are also on our calendar at the top of the page!

May 3rd Signing Storyhour at Chinn Park Library 10:30-11:00am
May 3rd Mother's Day Craft at Potomac Library- Arrive by 4pm to get free passes for the 4:30pm program

May 10th Shenanigans- Make Mom a Charm Bracelet at Central Library, Must Preregister in Person. 4:00pm
May 10th Family Craft Night at Chinn Library 7:00pm

May 12th Mad Hatter's Tea Party at Potomac Library- Free Tickets Required 2pm-3pm

May 13th The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Bull Run Library 2pm-3pm

May 16th Fire! Fire! Storyhour at Chinn Park Library 10:30am

May 17th American Girls Book Club at Bull Run Library- Must Preregister 7pm

May 23rd Animal Adventures at Central Library, Free Tickets Available May 16th 10:30am or 11:15am

May 31st Crafty Critter and Insect Exploration at Chinn Park Library 11am-1pm

Weekly Library Programs

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Published: 04/18/2012
Someone asked today about Library Storytimes.  These programs are fantastic because they're free, recurring, and generally do not require you to arrive early for a token, although some do.  If you've been to one of these storytimes, please share your opinions on it in the comments section below!  These programs are generally offered each week, although they may be cancelled due to holidays, school being out, renovations, etc.  They are also listed on our calendar, and we remove them when we know they are cancelled.

Most of these programs are for preschool aged children, unless otherwise noted.  Other special events targeted at families or older children also happen, but are typically one-time events, also listed on our calendar. 

Monday
Spanish Circle Time, Bull Run Library, 11am
Lunch Bunch, Chinn Library, ONCE A MONTH, 12pm
Bedtime Story Hour, Chinn Library, 7:15pm
Beginning with Books, Chinn Library, ALTERNATING WEEKS/PREREGISTER, 10:30am
Mishmash, Potomac Library, 2pm

Tuesday
Tales for Two's and Three's at Bull Run Library, 10:30am and 11am
Tuesday Storytimes, Independent Hill Library, 10:30am
Tuesday Tales, Chinn Library, 10:30am
Music and Motion, Central Library, ALTERNATING WEEKS, 10:45am

Wednesday
Magic Carpet Story Time, Potomac Library, 10:30am
Storytime, Dale City Library, 10:30am
Wednesday Storytime, Independent Hill Library, 10:30am
Wendesday Wonders, Chinn Library, 10:30am
Wonderful Ones (12-24 months), Bull Run Library, 10:30am
Muncha Buncha Books, Central Library, 10:45am

Thursday
Preschool Pals, Bull Run Library, 10:30am and 11:15am
Muncha Buncha Books, Central Library, 10:45am
Shenanigans (K-5), Central Library ALTERNATING WEEKS/PREREGISTER, 4pm-5pm
Book Babies, Potomac Library, ALTERNATING WEEKS/PREREGISTER, 10:30am
Thursday Storytime, Lake Ridge Library, 10:30am
Story Time with Miss Glenna, Nokesville Library, 10:30am
Bedtime Stories, Potomac Library ALTERNATING WEEKS, 7:30pm

Friday
Friday Flicks, Chinn Library, 10:30am

Saturday
Saturday Stories, Bull Run Library, 11am
Second Saturday Story and Craft, Chinn Library, SECOND SATURDAY, 10:30am

Sunday
daytime playtime - a fun place to Learn.... a great place to Grow