Friday, January 25, 2008

Presidents Day

If you are the kind of grandparent who likes to plan ahead, now is the time to begin thinking about President's Day.

A combined holiday to celebrate both Abraham Lincoln's birthday (February 12) and George Washington's birthday (February 22), President's Day usually offers kids a day off from school.

It also offers us a chance to share our values with our grandkids by sharing in the celebration.

Abraham Lincoln, whose likeness appears on both the penny and the $5 bill, is known for honesty, hard work, and humor.

George Washington, whose face is on both the quarter and the $1 bill, is known for leadership, responsibility, and steadfastness.

Here are just a few ways you might help your grandkids think about these American heroes:

  • Write a note reminding them of the President's birthdays, and tape a quarter and a penny on the note so they have a “picture” of who you are writing about.

  • Share stories of Abraham Lincoln's life and jokes with them. The Abraham Lincoln Joke Book by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers is available through used booksellers, and is recommended as a child-friendly source of those stories and jokes.

  • The story of George Washington cutting down his father's cherry tree has been called into question, but tell your grandkids about the controversy over a cherry pie. Talk about the importance of taking responsibility for your actions.

  • If you have older grandchildren, talk about Washington's leadership in the American Revolution, and about Lincoln's leadership during the Civil War.

Make time to do a little research of your own about these two Presidents, and share what you learn with your grandchildren. You'll give them the benefit of knowing more about our national history, and the pleasure of learning something new with you.

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