We’re always all in favor of any opportunity to celebrate and learn, and Presidents’ Day is a great holiday to do both with your child! While Valentine’s Day is the oft-celebrated holiday of February, Presidents’ Day can also be a lot of fun to share and observe with your little one.
Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday that was originally set as a way to celebrate George Washington’s birthday (February 22, 1732), and falls on the third Monday of February every year. Although it started with just a celebration of George Washington’s birthday, it’s a state holiday as well in most states and sometimes the state may combine Washington’s birthday with Lincoln’s (whose birthday was February 12, 1809) and call it Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday or Presidents’ Day for that as well. It may also just be referred to as President’s Day as the general celebration of our presidents.
However you want to celebrate it, it’s a great opportunity to do some fun activities with your kids to teach them a little history and why we have this special holiday weekend in February!
1. Make a President’s Powdered Wig to Wear
A long time ago, these powdery, puffy wigs were used first as cover-ups for medical problems and cosmetic embarrassment of baldness, which was a big shame at the time. Over time, as such things do, it became a status symbol because if you could afford a wig you were likely quite wealthy. This is where the term bigwig came from! You can help make your child a “bigwig” for the day and teach him or her the history lesson behind it by gluing lots of cotton balls to a plastic bag that fits their head. Bonus points for frilly collars and a great vintage-filtered photo shoot!
2. Build a Log Cabin
Bust out your old Lincoln Logs from the attic and build a cabin with your little one, and talk about how Abe Lincoln was born and lived his early childhood years in a cabin like this. If you don’t have Lincoln logs or want a fun way to snack, you could also use pretzel sticks and peanut butter or popsicle sticks. Bonus points for coupling it with a trip to the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, which has a replica of the log cabin that Abe’s father built and lived in, just south of Charleston, Illinois!
3. Make President Figurines out of Toilet Roll Tubes
Grab a couple empty toilet rolls and use them as the base for designing your own George Washington or Abe Lincoln. You could use an additional roll to fashion Abe Lincoln’s famous top hat, and some of those cotton balls to include George Washington’s famous wig. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you could make a whole bunch of the famous (or less famous) Presidents, or start a collection that you can add to every year with your little one! Bonus points for putting them all in the correct order and being able to name them!
Have fun and happy Presidents’/President’s/Washington and Lincoln’s birthday!