Sproutopia and So Much More
The 2008 Northwest Flower and Garden show definitely had kids in mind this year.
by Jeanne Keyes
The 2008 Northwest Flower and Garden show definitely had kids in mind this year. Kids under 5 were free and those ages 6 to 17 were admitted for just $3.00.
The organizers had set up a special area for kids called Sproutopia. This area included a large, open play space, a stage for 30-minute song and dance presentations, and an area for hands on activities. I would have liked to see a play structure or two, for climbing or hiding, but everybody seemed to be having fun anyway. The presentations had been set up so that all the youngsters could learn about the creatures of the earth through songs and stories, discover all about friendly and fascinating bats, or attend fun, interactive presentations such as the Toad's Dilemma: a garden musical exploring nature in song and dance.
The treasure hunt was great fun. Mystery objects were hidden in the display gardens. Special prizes were given for finding all the objects. There was also a garden contest. Kids from several local schools had built inventive and beautiful miniature gardens and had entered them to be judged. Many blue ribbons were handed out for these cute little gardens.
As a parent of young child, I fully appreciate the childcare facilities. My 22-month-old did not quite qualify, as children had to be two years or older and potty-trained, but just knowing about this great service has me thinking about next year's show! The childcare center was open from 9am – 7pm, allowing parents to drop off their charges for 2 hours at a time. Many toys, a fabric play-structure to play in (I think it was a bus or truck) and lots of paper, crayons and paints; kids could draw to their hearts content! What's not to like about that? The facilities were in a secure area, operated by experienced and licensed childcare providers.
Jeanne DeBenedetti Keyes
Photographs by Debbie Teashon.