Because We’re Happy…about Plants
“Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape,” was the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll theme designed to support the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. The soundtrack for the healthy hubbub on the South Lawn was filled with cheering egg race fans, bouncing basketballs, the thrumming of busy, giggling kids - all mixed with live and DJ-spun music. Fittingly, the most popular tune of the day was Happy by Pharrell Williams. Down by the First Lady’s garden, the ASPB booth was hopping with plenty of happy youngsters and families during each of the five, 2-hour visitor shifts (~3,000 ticketed entries per shift). They came to the ASPB booth to:
- dissect lima beans and discover the ‘baby plant’ inside
- poke their face through the photo op banner for a fun selfie as a sunflower
- assemble puzzles revealing the many things that come from or are closely connected to plants
- create a mini-garden cup necklace of lettuce or carrots – like in the First Lady’s garden
- talk about how plants keep themselves and all living things healthfully hopping along each day
Thanks to clever Q&A with our volunteers, these happy young minds were humming with new ideas.
A saucer-eyed girl responded AWESOME to everything Nancy Winchester told her about the baby plant inside every seed and about the many things in her life made from plants, including her cotton sweater.
One eager 5-year-old dissected about a dozen lima bean seeds and even came back at the end of her South Lawn “shift” as a self-appointed assistant for our booth. ASPB volunteer Rick Viersta offered her a job in his lab. Her dissections truly were expert.
Happy News Travels Fast
Alan and Cathy Jones volunteered on Monday. Back home in North Carolina, word of their outreach adventure already hit their local (Pittsboro, NC) broadcast by Tuesday.How nice that the story gave ASPB practically as much mention as President Obama reading the children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are and the First Lady making smoothies with kale (the coolest veggie of the year) with the cast of Disney Channel’s show, Jessie.
Want to Dig In to More Happy Plant Ideas?
Share these cool & classic books with kids you know:
- My Garden by Kevin Henkes (and read by Mrs. Obama at the Egg Roll)
- From Plant to Seed by Gail Gibbons
- 10 Plants That Shook the World by Gillian Richardson, Kim Rosen
- The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth, Cindy Trumbore
- Weeds Find a Way by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, Carolyn Fisher
- Acorn to Oak Tree by Camilla De la Bédoyère
- Coolbean the Soybean by Shawn Conley