President’s Day in the US affords many of us a delightful long weekend, and perhaps an excuse to don a powdered wig. (As if you really needed an excuse.)
It also affords an easy opportunity for parents and their children to get curious about past presidents and the holiday itself.
Presidents’ Day falls on the third Monday in February in honor of our first President’s birthday. George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. The holiday also honors President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on February 12, 1861, and invites celebrants to honor all who have served in the country’s highest office.
Here are a few tidbits to share with your children this Presidents’ Day.
Washington’s Farewell Address
Did you know that while most Americans are sleeping in or taking advantage of holiday sales, members of the U.S. Senate will hear a reading of Washington’s Farewell Address, a tradition that began in 1862?
If you’d like to share this historic message from George Washington, it can be found on the Senate’s website here.
Other famous presidential addresses to check out include:
November 19, 1863
John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address
January 20, 1961
Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate Speech
June 12, 1987
Learn Some Fun Facts
The History channel online offers easy to digest videos like this one on Presidential Fun Facts that kids will enjoy.
A Pinterest search for Presidents’ Day turns up gads of fun crafts to take on with your little ones.
That’s what led me to these Lincoln and Washington masks which would surely be a hit among young children, and a great prop for reading aloud the words of two of our greatest Presidents.
A fun writing exercise (or simple discussion) starts by asking your kids what they would do if they were president. This is a great way to dive into different issues and get to know what your kids are thinking about and care about more deeply.