When the president’s daughters and granddaughters began receiving gifts from the White House in 2011, some were disappointed.
“They wanted more stuff,” says Karen Waggoner, a former executive assistant to the president for international affairs and public diplomacy.
“There was a feeling that the gift was a bit too much.”
But now, some of the gifts have been embraced by the Obama family.
“We’re really excited about them,” says the president.
“It makes them feel more at home.”
The first daughter’s birthday party was held at the White.
And the family has hosted birthday parties for other members of the family.
In the past, the president would pick the host.
Now, the White will host at least one of the daughters and the granddauggers’ guests.
“I love being a part of the White,” says Michelle Obama, who is the president of the National Mall Association, the nonprofit that oversees the White and other monuments.
“Having the president as a partner makes it so much easier for us to do our things.”
When asked what the president likes most about his daughters and their new experiences, he replies, “Being around them.”
In his first year in office, Obama also has encouraged his daughters to make a few new friends.
In a tweet on March 10, he wrote, “As the President’s daughters, I love seeing them have fun.
And as I have to share my experiences with them, I think it’s important to encourage their creativity and interest.”
The White House is also providing new resources for his daughters, including a free summer camp in Hawaii.