Presidents’ day is one of those tricky holidays. It isn’t a frivolous holidays like Valentine’s Day where your child is guaranteed candy, hugs and cards from all their friends. It isn’t like the winter holidays your child is still missing. It is an educational holiday. One where your child can learn all about the leaders of our county and a day all of us can take to gain a greater appreciation of who we are as a country and what we had to do to get here. So how can you get your child jazzed to learn all about our nation’s presidents? Try these fun games and activities!
Books on the Presidents
Hardly any child gets enjoyment from facts being spewed at them. It’s unlikely they would care about Abraham Lincoln’s birthday or where George Washington was born. They might be interested, however, in a new book at bedtime. There are plenty of books made for children all about the presidents. Your child won’t even realize they are learning while they listen to Abe Lincoln-The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters. They won’t be studying. They’re just going to enjoy a book about a boy who loves reading just as much as they do! Or, for a funny book of interesting presidential tidbits, try What Presidents are Made of by Hanoch Piven. Each illustration of the presidents is constructed out of odd objects like boxing gloves and clothing. Then the pictures are paired with text describing all sorts of amusing anecdotes on our nation’s leaders. Enjoy some time with your child trying to figure out how each picture was made then giggle over all the new things they learned.
Breakfast with the Presidents
Presidents’ Day is a fantastic way to teach your children geography, history, science and some practical life skills. Start with an old penny (or any other coin that is tarnished), lemon juice, salt, a new toothbrush and a washcloth. Now present your child with all of these materials and tell them today they are going to solve a mystery. The president on this coin has disappeared. It is up to them to get to the bottom of the tarnish until the mystery is revealed. All they have to is dip the toothbrush in lemon juice until its completely saturated. Then drop the penny into the salt until it is covered. Now they get to scrub and reveal the president underneath! Once they find out who is underneath all that grime, they can learn more about that man.
Meeting the Presidents
Even after they’re done with the mystery activity, don’t hand them a bunch of facts. Instead, give them a word find or a coloring page. A child can learn a lot just by searching for the words associated with that president. Best of all, there are plenty of free pages you can print right off your computer.
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