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5 Easy Ways to Celebrate Presidents’ Day

Some people get the day off work, some get the day off school, but what is Presidents’ Day really all about? Well, being the United States President is a BIG job, so it’s fitting to reserve a day each year to remember the individuals who were/are willing to take that mantle upon their shoulders for the good of their countrymen and women. No matter who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Primerrily believes we must teach our kids to respect the position of “POTUS” and honor the charge accepted. To help your kids get off the screens and onto some interactive Presidential history, here are a few fun and easy activities to celebrate Presidents’ Day the Primerrily way!

Forget social media George! You know there is real work to do!

1. Listen to and sing the official presidential song!

Do your kids have a favorite song? If they’re like my kids, we’re still playing Moana and Frozen on repeat, so it’s good to mix it up. Here’s a video of the U.S. Marine Corps Band playing “Hail to the Chief,” the official presidential anthem with great photos of presidents over the decades. Before pressing play, ask your kids “What is one song that best describes you?” Or, “If you could make up the words to a song all about you, what would that sound like?” After listening to “Hail to the Chief,” explain to them that this is the song that “best describes” our nation’s presidents!

If they’re curious for more fun facts, you can share with them the “kid version” of some fascinating information from the Library of Congress: the song, “Hail to the Chief” was first connected to America’s “Chief Executive” (a fancy way of saying U.S. President!) in 1815, when it was played to honor both the belated George Washington (on the day marking his birth) and the end of the War of 1812. It was later played for presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin van Buren. But this presidential tradition began taking root when First Lady Julia Tyler, the wife of President John Tyler, asked the Marine Band to play “Hail to the Chief” to announce the President's arrival in 1841. In 1954 the Department of Defense established “Hail to the Chief” as the official musical tribute to the U.S. President, and it’s been a part of Americana ever since. Play again and have your kids sing along!

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,

Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.

Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation

In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,

This you will do, that is our strong, firm belief.

Hail to the one we selected as commander,

Hail to the President!

Hail to the Chief!

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,

Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.

Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation

In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.


2. Eat a president’s favorite dessert

After you sing to the presidents (or perhaps while you listen to the instrumental melody), enjoy a presidential sweet treat! If you want to find out if your policy and dessert preferences, align, check out Bake Magazine’s list of the presidents’ preferred sweets. You gotta love Geroge Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, and George H.W. Bush for specifying their wives’ recipes. Check the list to find out who chose apple pie and who chose blueberry pudding. And you’ll be tickled to find out the sweet tooth in common between two presidents who liked coconut treats best -- Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Oh the sweet things we can all find in common! Want to sweeten the deal even further? Have your kids enjoy presidential desserts on these presidential placemats!


3. Read one (or all!) of these children's books

While your kids are munching on something sweet, maximize the moment with presidential story time. Read this Primerrily Bookshelf piece to get some of our top recos. With this year's Presidents' Day falling right after Valentine's Day, why not spend the day with your kids reading about those who have led the country we love!


4. Ask your kids what they would do if they were President

The U.S. President does not have unilateral power (thank you checks and balances and a three branch system of government!) but Executive Orders do carry considerable weight. Check out this Primerrily article which invites your kid to imagine what she might do if she occupied the Oval Office.


5. Memorize the U.S. Presidents and the oath they’ve taken

If Steps 1-4 are not enough Presidential fun for you, then consider adding this additional challenge to your daily drive to school or during bathtime: memorize America’s 46 presidents with this song. If you’re able to remember the first ten, we think you’ve earned the opportunity to repeat Step 2 (smile).

In preparation for your little one possibly being elected President one day and being added to this list (!), recite the oath of office together:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

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