In 1800, Congress declared February 22, George Washington’s birthday, a federal holiday. In 1971, the holiday was switched to the third Monday in February, falling between the birthdays of Washington and Abraham Lincoln, which is the 15th of February. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the term “Presidents Day” made its appearance reflecting an honoring of the office of President. Officially? It’s still “Washington’s Birthday.”
Are you looking for ideas for celebrating Presidents Day? Here are a few ideas and resources we hope will inspire you:
- Take a tour of the White House.
- Read a biography of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other presidents.
- Or read these quick presidential facts for each president including political affiliation, cabinet, salary, notable events, historical documents, and other points of interest from the Internet Public Library.
- Every president has an official portrait. You can view them at The History Place.
- This interactive portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart takes a symbolic, biographic, and artistic look at 12 elements in the painting.
- When he was about 16, George Washington copied 110 Rules of Civility, a good exercise to follow!
- What was Washington’s World like? Enjoy this interactive game and find out.
- Maggie Hogan offers suggestions for Remembering Presidents Day in Your Homeschool.
- Links from the Lacelle Family include a valuable literature list at the bottom.
- Living Book Curriculum Holiday Helper: Presidents Day
Based on Charlotte Mason’s ideas, this free download includes copywork, picture studies, and stories that will inspire your child.
- Presidents Day resources from Homeschool Share include a literature unit, lapbook and notebooking materials, great book list, and forms.
- Or enjoy this George Washington Lapbook from Homeschool Helper Online.
- Scroll down for lapbook cover, notebook sheets and other George Washington Lapbook Sheets from LapbookLessons.com.
- President Lapbook and Notebooking Resources from Homeschool Share cover all the Presidents.
- Or use this nice President Biography Form to document Presidents Day in your notebook.
- Print and assemble the White House.
George Washington by d’Aulaire
One of our favorites from the d’Aulaire series of children’s biographies.
The Life of George Washington by Josephine Pollard
Written in words of one syllable, this early reader is available free online.
The Life of George Washington by Washington Irving
Older students might enjoy volume 1 of a 5-volume series by the well-known author.
The Writings of George Washington
The best way to get to know a man is to read primary source documents. Here is George Washington in his own words.
Abraham Lincoln by d’Aulaire
Caldecott Medal Winner and Children’s Book of the Year, this is another favorite from the d’Aulaires.
The Writings of Abraham Lincoln
There is really no other way to know this president, than to read his writings.
Volume 1: 1832-1843
Volume 2: 1843-1858
Volume 3: The Lincoln-Douglass debates
Volume 4: The Lincoln-Douglass debates
Volume 5: 1858-1862
Volume 6: 1862-1863
Volume 7: 1863-1865