In case you hadn’t noticed, I am very excited about the upcoming inauguration of President-Elect Obama. And as a mom, I think it is only fair that I share the excitement of this historical event with my children too. I also think this is the perfect opportunity to teach our children about the United States presidency and the purpose of an inauguration. So, after doing some research, I have found all sorts of fun ways to engage our children in this historical event.
Where to begin? First, and depending on their age, you might want to explain to your children what the United States President is actually responsible for. Ben’s Guide will give your kids a simple but fairly thorough explanation.You may also want to show your children our nation’s past 43 presidents. White House.gov provides a list of past presidents along with interesting facts about each. And what better way to remember our presidents than to learn a rap about all 44 of them? The song and lyrics can be found here.
The inauguration is as much a celebration as it is a learning experience for our children. Parents should think about explaining what this inauguration is for and what it means for so many people. Here are some excellent books which will teach children further about the presidency and the inauguration process:
- “I Do Solemnly Swear” by Phillip Morledge
- “Democracy’s Big Day: The Inauguration of Our President 1789-2009” by Jim Bendat
- “U.S. Presidential Inaugurations” by Andrew Santella
- The Presidency by Christine Taylor-Butler
- “Change Has Come,” by artist Kadir Nelson
- “Yes We Can” by Garen Thomas
Our President-Elect represents a great deal to our country. His principles, his history as a politician and recent election can teach our kids many important lessons. Princemensah at Ehow wrote a wonderful article about the inspiring lessons children should learn from Barack Obama. One suggested lesson reads:
“Point out the lesson of working with different people.
The President-Elect has a history of working with people with differing views. From Harvard to the Hill, he has established faith and friendship with people who do not share his views. This attitude is critical to a nation sharply divided over war and worries over the economy. Your children need to know about the value of being able to gain the respect of your enemies.”
While teaching our children about the inauguration is important, there are plenty of fun, interactive ways to include them in all the celebrating too. Active learning with lots of cutting and pasting always gets the brain moving. As I mentioned in a post before, Kaboose.com has some excellent craft ideas for children. More crafts can also be found at Amazing Moms.com.
Does your child dream of becoming President of the United States someday? Scholastic.com has a fun game for older children where they can decide what they would do if they were president.
If you have an inauguration whiz on your hands, perhaps the whole family can sit down and play this inauguration quiz found at pbs.org
Or do you have a musician in the house? Have them try playing “Hail to the Chief”. The sheet music can be found here if you click on the “score” icon at the top left of the page.
Are you looking for coloring pages? So that your young ones can stay busy coloring up a storm on Tuesday, we’ve got plenty of links to share:
While the rest of your household readies for the inauguration, you may be wondering how you can engage your tween or high schooler further. Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel and MTV will all be hosting events with many favorite performers like the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus.
With millions of visitors expected to converge on the capitol next week, it is likely that some of you are headed there as well. Due to all of the security restrictions, I am sure you are frustrated to hear that it may be very difficult to bring your children to the inauguration itself.
That being said, there will be so much to do in the DC area for families. Be sure to check out Go City Kids for all of the city wide activities. And did you know that there will be, in fact, a Children’s Inaugural Ball?
And for those families like mine who are scrambling to figure out how to celebrate inauguration day hundreds of miles away from Washington DC, be sure to check locally for events and activities for children on the day of the inauguration. I know that Borders will hosting inaugural events in some cities, so it’s worth doing further research online.
So strike up Hail to the chief, hang your coloring pages proudly, maybe do a little presidential rap, and enjoy celebrating the inauguration with your entire family this coming Tuesday, January 20th.
Crossed posted at Type A Moms.