Engaging Presidents Day Activities for Preschoolers to Celebrate Leadership and Patriotism
Presidents Day is the perfect opportunity to introduce preschoolers to concepts of leadership, American history, and civic responsibility in a fun and developmentally appropriate way. With a range of engaging activities, you can foster an early understanding of the presidency and inspire future leaders.
From arts and crafts to imaginative play, there are so many ways to celebrate Presidents Day with preschoolers. Read on to discover a wealth of meaningful and engaging Presidents Day activities for preschool that are sure to educate and inspire the leaders of tomorrow.
Crafting a Connection to the Presidents
Fun craft projects allow preschoolers to explore their creativity while learning about American symbols, past presidents, and leadership.
Presidential Portrait Collages
Provide children with printer paper templates of the president’s faces or have them draw simple oval shapes. Let them color in facial features and hair, adding iconic accessories like Washington’s powdered wig or Lincoln’s top hat. Have them get creative decorating the portraits with stars, stripes, glitter, and other arts and crafts materials.
As they work, talk about each president, highlighting simple facts about their lives and achievements. Display the finished presidential portrait collages proudly on a classroom wall or bulletin board.
Patriotic Flag Making
For fun Presidents Day activities for preschool, using red, white, and blue paper or fabric, assist children in cutting out and gluing together miniature American flags. Show them how to cut strips for the red and white stripes. Help them attach the stars cut from white paper or fabric in the corner.
Talk about what each element of the flag represents – the red symbolizing valor, white for purity, and blue for justice. For an added element, have everyone stand in a circle and sing the national anthem together while proudly waving the flags they have crafted.
Design Your Own Presidential Seal
Hand out circular cutouts made from construction paper or cardstock and challenge budding artists to create their own presidential seal featuring stars, eagles, flags, and other symbolic images. Provide crayons, markers, puffy stickers, glitter glue, and other arts and crafts materials for decorating their seals.
Have them look at pictures of actual presidential seals for inspiration. Encourage them to give their seal a unique name. When finished, let each child explain the meaning of the different objects and symbols they included on their presidential seal design.
Let your budding artists and future leaders explore their creativity while discovering presidential history through crafts.
Sensory Play for Hands-On Engagement
Incorporating tactile materials into Presidents Day activities for preschool makes learning memorable and engaging by activating the senses.
Sculpting with Patriotic Play Dough
Provide red, white and blue play dough for molding busts of presidents, the White House façade, or other iconic American symbols like the Statue of Liberty or Liberty Bell.
As children sculpt, talk about the different monuments, memorials, and buildings that represent our nation’s history, values, and leaders. Ask them to describe details as they recreate mini models out of dough.
Cherry Tree Counting Game
Hide red pom poms around the classroom to represent cherries on a tree, using chairs, tables, and shelves to place them. Have children search around the room trying to locate and collect the “cherries” in a basket or bucket, practicing counting out loud each one they find.
Tie the activity back to the legend of young George Washington admitting to chopping down a cherry tree by being honest about the number of cherries collected.
Recreate Mount Rushmore
One of the engaging tactile Presidents Day activities for preschool is to provide a picture of Mount Rushmore as a reference and give children a sensory bin or sandbox filled with sand.
Let preschoolers use their hands to shape and mold the contour of the monument, discussing the four presidents featured (Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln) and the leadership qualities they exhibited. Talk about how carving this monument was a huge undertaking that took many years.
Engage preschoolers’ senses and make learning memorable with tactile materials tied to patriotic themes.
Movement and Imaginative Play
Active, dramatic games inspire creativity and get preschoolers learning on their feet while role playing leadership scenarios.
Play patriotic music like “Yankee Doodle” and have children march around an outdoor space or inside, waving American flags and handmade paper-plate tambourines. Take turns announcing each other as “President [Name]” on the pretend parade route. Let them come up with creative names like President Sparkles or President Dinosaur.
Costumes like hats and ties add to the fun. Have some children act as press, holding up pretend microphones for interviews.
Election Role Play
Assign classroom election roles like president, mayor, senators, and voters. Make paper ballot boxes by decorating shoe boxes or milk cartons. Provide slips of paper for children to practice writing their names or drawing a picture for their “vote”.
Take turns giving short speeches about why you should be elected. Emphasize fairness, listening to opponents, and group decision-making when counting ballots.
Create bingo boards with state names and symbols. Call out clues related to each state like “This state has the Gateway Arch” (Missouri) or “This state is known for oranges” (Florida).
Have children identify the state and mark it on their board, learning about diversity and fun facts across America.
Get those little bodies moving and imaginations soaring with active games related to American symbols, elections, and leadership.
Enriching Story Time
Reading aloud builds literacy skills while introducing new presidential concepts and historical figures in an approachable way through Presidents Day activities for preschool.
Kid-Friendly Presidential Books
Choose age-appropriate titles like “President Taft is Stuck in the Bath” and “Honest Abe Lincoln: The Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln” to read aloud.
For a foundation of civics and leadership concepts, consider exploring the Tuttle Twins series of books, like “The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law.” While not directly about Presidents Day, these books can provide a great base knowledge for engaging in Presidents Day activities for preschool after reading together. Be sure to use these Tuttle Twins coupons for the best prices on these titles.
As you read aloud, stop to ask questions and connect stories to children’s own experiences following rules, solving problems, and making group decisions.
Biographies of Famous Leaders
Simplified biographies of Washington, Lincoln, and other notable presidents bring history to life through narrative. Combine reading aloud with related hands-on crafts and Presidents Day activities for preschool to bring the story to life. For example, while reading about Abraham Lincoln, provide miniature logs made from popsicle sticks for children to construct Lincoln’s log cabin. Or have glittery top hats on hand for children to decorate as they learn about President Lincoln’s life.
Bring history to life through read-alouds and discussions connecting past presidents to experiences kids recognize today.
Additional Presidents Day Activities for Preschool
Learning about American history and the presidency can continue beyond the classroom through engaging in Presidents Day activities for preschool that families can enjoy together.
- Visit nearby presidential memorials, museums, or monuments during a field trip. If travel is not possible, take a virtual tour online of sites like Mount Rushmore or the Lincoln Memorial.
- Watch child-friendly documentaries or movies about former presidents like the History Channel documentary “George Washington” or Liberty’s Kids animated series on early American leaders.
- Cook red, white, and blue-themed treats together at home. Let preschoolers help measure ingredients and decorate star-shaped cookies or square rice krispie treats with blueberries.
- Start a coin collection, examining the different presidents featured on pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Talk about the order presidents served and key facts.
- Read highlights from preschool-adapted inaugural speeches or quotes about leadership. Talk about their meanings.
The goal of Presidents Day activities for preschool is fostering a fascination with American history while keeping learning playful and imaginative. By incorporating arts and crafts, sensory exploration, dramatic play and literature, you can instill an early appreciation for leadership and civic participation. The memories children make discovering the presidents will inspire them to envision themselves as future leaders shaping our nation.