President’s Day Activities and Fun Ideas for Kids

You have come to the right place if you are looking for fun, engaging and exciting President’s Day themed activities to do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are widely used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!

All our activities are available at no cost and are free to print and share.

President’s Day Arts and Crafts

arts
Ask the Kids
If you could be president for a day, what would you do?
What do you think the President of the U.S. does all day?
Why do we have a president?
What other places have a president?

Pennies and Quarters
Show the children coins and bills with pictures of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Have the children sort pennies and quarters.

Truth or Fib
Tell the children the story about George Washington and the cherry tree. George Washington was an honest man-he told the truth, not a fib. Now tell the children short phrases, and ask them to tell whether the phrase is the truth or a fib. Here are some examples:
The moon is made of green cheese.
We get light from the moon.
All the children in the room are girls. etc.

Graham Cracker Log Cabins
Talk with the children about Abraham Lincoln. Tell them about his childhood in a log cabin and his love of books. Divide the children into small groups and give each group graham crackers and peanut butter and ask them to decide how they might use these two things to build a miniature log cabin. Each group seems to go about the task in a different way!

Presidents’ Day Stories
Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulair
This book was originally the 1940 winner of the Caldecott Medal – most copies have been completely redrawn. This book is too long for very young listeners, but the pictures give a good view of Abe’s “grow up” years in the very early 1800’s. There are many selections which young children will enjoy, such as Abe reluctantly sharing a gingerbread cookie, Abe learning to write by the fireplace and Abe fighting off pirates near the Mississippi River.

George Washington by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulair
Again, this book is much too long for very young listeners but the pictures and some sections are appropriate. It shows young George growing up in colonial America. The book ends with a page about Washington as the “Father of our Country”.

George Washington by Clara Junson
Biography of George Washington in somewhat simple vocabulary words. Parts of this book could be read to very young children. Included are most of the traditional incidents about Washington including Valley Forge. Washington the farmer, politician and surveyor are also included, but the famous (and untrue) chopping down the cherry tree story has been omitted.

Abraham Lincoln by Susan Lee
A brief biography of Abraham Lincoln. It is too long for young readers, but selections may be read and it is good background information for discussing the pictures.

A Man Named Lincoln by Gertrude Norman
This biography of Lincoln is written in “easy to read” style. It will probably not hold the interest of very young children, but some of it could be read in sections or used as the basis for discussion.

Lincoln’s Bracelet
Provide the children with 3 to 6 pennies. Cut a piece of clear contact paper and press in half, enclosing the pennies. Adjust this bracelet to slip on the child’s wrist.

Rip and Tear
Let the children make a torn paper collage using the colors red, white and blue. After it is completed, you can paste on top of the collage a black silhouette of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Money Rubbings
Make penny or quarter rubbings by putting a coin under a sheet of thin newsprint. Hold the coin steady as you rub over it with the side of a crayon. You will begin to see the head of a president as the crayon markings get darker.

Be sure to rub both sides of the coin.(note: For the young’uns, put a circle of tape on the under side of the coin and tape it to the table … several coins in a small area. Then lay the paper over it and let them take turns doing their own rubbing. It was much easier for them than trying to hold the coin (under the paper) steady.)

Lincoln’s Log Cabin
You will need 1 empty 1/2 pint paper milk carton, rinsed and dried,
a 10×8″ board covered,
1 (16oz) container vanilla or choc frosting
1/2 cup shredded coconut, tinted green
Decorations: cheese flavored snack sticks, graham crackers, pretzel sticks,
square cheese crackers, green spearmint candy leaves.
1. Cover the milk carton with foil.
2. Spread 1 side of carton with frosting, decorate with cheese sticks (to look like a log cabin) use 1 section of graham cracker for a door.
3. Frost top of milk carton – top with pretzel sticks
4. spread frosting onto prepared board, sprinkle with coconut. Arrange cheese crackers for a walkway, make log pile out of cheese sticks.
5. Construct a small fence from cheese sticks and pretzel sticks using dabs of frosting to hold together. Place spearmint candy leaves in frosting for trees.

Lincoln’s Log Cabin
For younger children help draw a simple design of a house. Older children can design their own. Help children glue pretzel sticks onto paper to make log cabins.

Cherry Trees
Glue twigs on sheets of white construction paper to make trees. Let children attach small red circle sticker “cherries” or use finger prints dipped into red finger paints.

Apple Printing
Cut apples in half vertically and others in half horizontally. Pat the cut surfaces of the apples with a paper towell and allow to dry for about an hour. Use sheets of construction paper and pour small amounts of red fingerpaint over sponges which are in shallow containers.

Let the children dip the apple halves into the paint and press them on their papers to make prints. Use a fork inserted into the apple for a handle if necessary. See if the children can find the “hidden” star in their apple print.

Three Cornered Hat
Cut three 12″ X 3″ strips of construction paper for each child. Let the children make three-cornered hats like the ones worn in George Washington’s Day. Have each child staple together the ends of the three strips of construction paper(making a triangle). Children can then wear their hats for their other activities.

Silhouettes
Create a silhouette of either George Washington or Abe Lincoln from black construction paper. Glue the silhouette in the center of a large sheet of white construction paper. Create fireworks around the silhouette by using different colors of tempura paint. I place a dot of paint on the paper and have the children use a paint brush to pull the paint from the center to create the fireworks. Before the paint is dry sprinkle with glitter for a dynamic effect.

Game – Chop Down The Cherry Tree
Sit in circle. One player is the Cherry Tree,who stands in center of circle with eyes covered. Adult chooses one player to touch Cherry Tree & say ,”Chop,chop.” Cherry Tree falls down gently & player returns to place in circle. All players then say with deep voices,”Who chopped the cherry tree?” Cherry Tree opens eyes & guesses who it was. That player then becomes Cherry Tree, & the game is repeated.

Washington Puppet
Make a coin rubbing of a quarter.Cut out the circle.Glue to a popsicle stick.

Lincoln Hat
Give each child a piece of paper that is cut out in the shape of Lincoln’s hat. Let the children paint it black.
Lincoln Puppet:
Trace an outline of Lincoln’s profile on heavy paper.Glue popsicle stick to the back of paper.

Lincoln Collage
Cut out a large profile of Lincoln using a sheet of construction paper.Trace around a pattern & cut out.Let the children glue on small pieces of red,white & blue objects. (cotton balls,tissue paper,crepe paper,wall paper etc…)

Coin Polishing
Have each child bring in a few pennies. Let the children polish them.

George Washington Hat
Cut 81/2 X11 piece of construction paper crosswise to form 3 equal rectangles. Staple narrow ends of strips together to form triangular-shaped hat.Glue on 2 red circles for cherries & draw on the stem & leaf.

George Washington Profile Collage
Follow instructions above for Lincoln profile collage.

Cherry Tree
Make a simple drawing of some braches.Let the children glue of small circles of pink tissue paper that has been rolled into a circle onto the drawn branches. Washington did not really cut down a cherry tree & confess the misdeed to his father.This story was created years after his death to show that this great man was brave & honest.

 

President’s Day Recipes and Snacks

food
CHERRY PARFAIT
In a clear plastic cup, layer yogurt & cherry pie filling. Repeat layers.

CHERRY POPOVER
Place 1 T. of cherry pie filling in center of a flattened crescent dinner roll. Place another crescent roll over the top. Pinch edges together. Bake according to package directions.

PATRIOTIC BON BONS
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 oz cream cheese
2-1/2 cup powdered sugar
dash of salt
coconut
red and blue food coloring

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. Form small balls with mixture. Separate coconut into 3 bowls. Leave first bowl of coconut white, color second one red and third one blue. Roll balls in different color coconut. Refrigerate before serving.(Also good for July 4, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Inaugural day, etc.)

CHERRY TURNOVERS
1 can (21oz) cherry pie filling
2 tsp grated orange rind
1 pkg (15oz) refrig. pie crust
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4″ round cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 375 – combine pie filling and orange rind – roll 1 pie crust on floured surface to 12 inch circle. Cut out 6 (4″) circles with cookie cutter. cut out 6 hatchet shapes from pastry trimmings. Repeat with second crust. – combine egg yolk and milk in a small bowl. – combine sugar and cinamon in another small bowl – spoon tablespoons of pie filling onto center of each pastry – brush edges of pastry with egg yolk mixture – fold pastry in half and enclose filling.

Press edges together with fork to seal. Place on ungreased baking sheet – brush tops of turnovers with egg yolk mixture – place one hatchet cutout on each turnover, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. – bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown – cool on wire rack – serve warm
(makes 12)

 

President’s Day Songs, Poems and Finger Plays

story
LINCOLN FINGERPLAY
Through hard work,skill, & determination.(wipe forehead)
Lincoln became one of America’s greatest men.(one finger)
He was a peace-loving man who was just.(hand to heart)
Equal rights for all was a must! (spread arms)

GEORGE WASHINGTON FINGERPLAY
A very old legend tells me (point to self)
George Washington cut down a cherry tree.(pretend to chop)
Because he would not tell a lie,(shake head sideways)
When asked who did this terrible deed, (deep voice,place hands on hips)

He said, “Dear Father, it was I.” (point to self)
Although this story is only a legend, (shake head sideways)
It reminds me that George Washington
Was a brave & honest man!

My hat it has 3 corners.(form triangle above head)
Three corners has my hat.
If it did not have 3 corners,(raise 3 fingers fingers)
It would not be my hat. (shake head sideways)

It’s a Special Day
(sung to: If you’re happy and you know it)
It’s a very special day today,
Yes sir! (Clap twice.)
It’s a very special day today,
Yes sir! (Clap twice.)
It’s Presidents’ Day,
When we can shout and say,
“Have a happy, happy, happy, happy, day!” (Clap twice.)

George Washington
(Sung to “Yankee Doodle”)

One time there was a little boy
Who had a little hatchet
He looked and looked around to find
A little tree to catch it

At least he spied a cherry tree
His father’s pride and joy
He chopped it down, right to the ground
My! What a naughty boy!

And then he heard an angry voice
It sounded like a cymbal
George knew he was in trouble great
And he began to tremble

Who cut this tree, my son did you?
His father asked the question.
Yes, it was I. I cannot lie.
I cut it with my hatchet!

Chorus:
Georgie, Georgie, no, no, no.
Be careful what you do.
Hatchets can be dangerous
And you might get hurt too!
Presidents’ Day
(sung to the tune of “My Country Tis of Thee)
Lincoln and Washington
They are remembered on
Presidents’ Day.
Two men in history
Who gave us liberty.
Honor their memories
On this great day.

Lincoln Rap
Abraham Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin
When you were a tiny babe.
As a youth you told the truth
And so they called you honest Abe.

Abraham Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin
How you taught yourself the law.
Every book around you took
and read like no one ever saw.

Abraham Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin
Back to when you wrote the E-
Mancipation Proclamation
So the slaves could all be free.

Abraham Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin
How you bravely let the land.
Once divided, Now united
You made sure our house would stand.

 

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