Let’s be honest: your little one probably isn’t counting down the days until President’s Day. President’s Day may not be the flashiest holiday, but we’ve found it does provide a fantastic opportunity to spark kids’ interests in history, civic engagement, and current events. With no present exchanges, themed candy, or jolly old men bouncing down the chimney, it may not seem like you have a ton to work with in terms of fun and engaging activities (sorry, Abe!). However, we’ve put together a few simple games you can use to turn President’s Day into one of your child’s favorite days.
President For a Day
The easiest way to bring joy to your little one’s face over the long weekend? Let them be president for the day! Help them come up with a list of (reasonable) “executive orders” that you both agree to respect for the rest of the day. These temporary laws can cover anything from what’s for dinner to how much television you two will watch that day. Extend the thought experiment to the rest of the country — what would your little guy or gal do if they were president? Encourage them to really let their imagination run wild: would they ban broccoli from every dinner table? Extend the weekend by another day? We used this game to explain how the government works as a system of checks and balances. You can even go the extra mile by having them dress the part!
Do your kiddies love animals? We’ve found that using the history of presidential pets is a great way to start talking about the White House. There are a ton of children’s books on the subject, including one written by our former first lady/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And it’s not just all dogs and cats; the White House has seen its fair share of wild fauna. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, kept a pygmy hippo as a pet, John Quincy Adams had an alligator, and both Theodore Roosevelt and Martin Van Buren had their very own tigers! While researching all the animals that have occupied the Oval Office over the years, we made sure to point out some interesting facts about each president that we come across.
Whatever you choose to do, be sure to soak up every minute of this day off!