03 Jan Egg-stra Special FUN at Garden Show PlayGarden!
The beloved song “Rockin’ Robin” is the inspiration behind the new PlayGarden at the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show. The show has teamed up again with the folks at Seattle Children’s PlayGarden to design and build this popular new feature. Children of all ages – and especially their parents – will love the creative ways to engage and teach children about our local birds, both urban and forest dwelling feathered friends. The PlayGarden is being designed by local landscape designer Wendy Welch and will be staffed by the teachers and volunteers of the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden.
What did children do before the age of technology, when they didn’t have computers, iPods, video games and other electronic devices to sap their imagination? Why, they played outside, of course! That’s the theme of “Rockin’ Robin,” with the goal of sparking curiosity and learning about the outdoor world – the real outdoor world, not one depicted on a one-dimensional screen.
MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT EVERY DAY
The highlight of each day will be our musical entertainment geared just for kids. Every day at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm we will have acclaimed children’s entertainers on our Sprout Stage, which is designed to look like a huge bird nest, so it will be egg-stra special! Sing and dance along to the silly songs of Grammy-nominated Caspar Babypants, Nancy Stewart (with her puppet, Sadie the Slimy Slug), Your Imaginary Friends and the zany folks at Seattle Tilth Children’s Garden. The schedule is on the garden show website. They will be singing all kinds of wacky songs, and, of course, Rockin’ Robin is sure to be a big hit with children and parents alike. This is a great way for children to burn off energy at the garden show!
DO TOUCH THE GARDEN
The PlayGarden’s nostalgic welcoming entry is a replica of a mid-century kitchen, since that’s where the door to the backyard was always located, as Mom shooed the kids outside to go play. And play they will, with popular features returning, such as dirt to dig in, chickens and bunnies to pet, planting seeds to take home and making the popular grass panty-hose heads. This is a garden show display that screams “Look – AND TOUCH!”
There will be Max’s Mud Pie Kitchen – a new 100% certified organic mud for children to ooze between their fingers. (Even better – we are offering Max’s Mud for sale, with the proceeds going to the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden.)
The “sandbox” will be filled with bird seed, and children can play with the dump trucks and bird houses.
The craft table will be set up to create “bird nesting balls” – using common household items such a string, twine, dog hair (my very furry Australian Shepherd is contributing clean hair) and dryer lint to make a ball that can hang in a tree. Birds pluck the delicate fuzz to use in making their nests in the spring.
BURN OFF SOME ENERGY!
For energetic kids we’ll have the ubiquitous ping-pong table in the screened ‘carport’ and hula hoops – remember those? (Come on parents – let’s see if you can hula hoop like you did when you were young.) They can also create a “light bright wall” making décor from colored plastic bottles stuffed in a chain-link fence. Or simply push old-fashioned lawn mowers on the open lawn.
The “woods” will have lots of things you find in a real woodland setting, like pinecones and moss, that can be ‘collected’ and moved around in small wheelbarrows.
The University Book Store will have a table just outside the PlayGarden with the most popular books on nature and gardening at the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, as well as our musicians’ best-selling CD’s. Look for Caspar Babypants newest CD, “SING ALONG!” just released in August, as well as Nancy Stewart’s popular titles, like “Bee Boppin’ Bugs.”
GREAT GIFT FOR A GREAT CAUSE
Another great gift that will support a the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden is our exclusive, limited edition “Counting Sheep” Eco-Wise Wool® baby blanket. The regular price of this item is $74, but now you can purchase this blanket at the show for only $64. Read the Pendleton blog to learn more about the Pendelton Eco-Wise Wool® and the sustainable practices they use to create this whisper-soft baby blanket.
Sooner or later parents will want to see the 26 incredible show gardens. So pick up a Treasure Hunt form for the children that will engage them in the gardens. Every garden will have a bird house – each decorated in a unique style by our garden creators – and when children find the ‘hidden’ bird house they can list them on the Treasure Hunt form. Find all the bird houses and win a prize! Parents can help children look for the bird houses and enjoy the spectacular show gardens as they do.
BEST OF ALL, IT’S FREE!
The PlayGarden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, like all our show features, is free with admission. And parents will love that children age 12 and under are FREE and no ticket is required. Youth tickets (age 13 – 17) are only $5, and Early Bird tickets are now on sale on our website or at ticket outlets for only $16. That’s a lot of family entertainment for a low price. Stroller parking is available just outside the PlayGarden, and a Café with kid-friendly fare is right next door with plenty of picnic tables for the family. ~ Janet