President's Day I am so excited for this weekend. I have many activities planned for my boys. Like you, I jump at the opportunity to teach my children. Special occasions and holidays allow for this sort of learning and work well because the learning is holistic. You can weave in many basic concepts while teaching a far more complex concept or topic.
What is President's Day?
This coming Monday is President's Day in the United States. President's Day is a federal holiday in honor of our first president, George Washington, on his birthday (or close to it as the holiday always comes on the 3rd Monday in February). We have a 2.5 year old so I am introducing the theme (that will undoubtedly last a lifetime) fairly lightly.
Here is what we're doing to celebrate the day and introduce vital topics in America's history:
Reading & Writing
Besides reading many topical books (see below), I'm bringing in letter learning with No Time for Flashcards wonderful Letter of the Week exercise for the letter ‘P' using pennies.
I described the project and had him begin by coloring the page.
Then we talked about the letter “P”, the sound and words that begin with the letter “P”.
He did well putting the glue on the penny. Fine motor skill development is all around us. We also painted the “P” with glue and made dots. All work well for getting those pennies to stick on the page.
As he worked on his “P”, we talked about the penny, who is on it (Abe Lincoln) and that one penny equals one cent.
He tried to keep all the pennies within the line of the “P” (I may have guided him here) but really does it matter? Not at all.
Art Activities for President's Day
Coloring pages are the perfect way to introduce figures to your child's life. We'll be using FREE PRINTABLEs from Apples4theteacher. We're doing the portraits of George Washington, Martha Washington (I like the idea of introducing the women behind the men that founded the United States of America.), Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.
Geography – We'll be using our Melissa & Doug United States puzzle with a focus on the state of Virgina. I am printing out this coloring page of Virginia.
Craft – Lincoln's log cabin is relatively easy to put together for your preschooler with varying levels of approach depending on the age of your child.
I sourced the Log Cabin concept from Preschool Playbook. All you need is construction paper, Popsicle sticks and glue.
Our Lincoln Log Cabin was very colorful.
I drew a line matching each color of the stick so he could match the stick to it. He spread glue across the lines.
Then he added a door, window, chimney and smoke (white pom poms). I used sticker paper for the door, window and chimney. You just as easily could use construction paper and glue. During this process we talked a bit about Lincoln. It was helpful to read The Story of Abraham Lincoln before the craft.
For the exercise I am laying out a picture of where each part (and the glue) goes (e.g., I will draw each log signifying that a Popsicle stick goes in that area) to avoid any frustrating melt downs by the 2.5 year old. If your child is older, have him cut his own stripes from construction paper and take the lead. I plan to create an environment that enables my child to successfully complete the activity (I am not looking for a perfect cabin or flag, just that he finishes the project).
I printed and laminated images each of a penny, a dime, a quarter and a half dollar coins from the Mint's website section for teachers. There are fabulous education resources available on this site with loads of great downloads, lesson plans and activities for kids on this site. I highly recommend the site.
I placed these images in front of empty containers. In front on those items I placed a container filled with coins. To make it even more fun and challenging, I cut a slit in each container's cover simulating a piggy bank but also bringing in an excellent fine motor skill exercise.
Thank you for visiting! Happy Presidents Day!