family fun

Holiday Celebrations: 5 Fun Ideas for a Presidents’ Day Party

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In my party-loving family, we celebrate everything — and I do mean everything. So, it's no surprise that my children and I came up with some great Presidents' Day party activities last year. This year, don't just celebrate by getting up late and saving on the gas you would normally spend on your commute. Have some fun activities for your kids and their friends for a Presidents' Day party.

5 Fun Party Ideas for Presidents' Day

The following are five ideas for celebrating this very patriotic day:

1.) Make a Presidents' Day Necklace

This is so easy and will look more impressive the older your group is. But even preschoolers can get in on this activity (as my daughter did - see image on the right) as long as you're there to help (and to spot with the scissors).

Supplies:

  • squares of blue scrap paper
  • squares of red scrap paper
  • squares of white scrap paper
  • pieces of ribbon long enough to make a necklace (your choice of color)
  • glue
  • pencil
  • single-hole punch
  • pennies or quarters, one per guest
  • scissors (use kindergarten scissors/safety scissors for very young children)

Directions:

  1. Cut circles in three sizes – small, medium and large – with the largest being about 3.5” in diameter.
  2. Allow guests to use these as patterns to trace around.
  3. Have each guest cut out one red, one white and one blue circle.
  4. Have the guests glue a penny (Abraham Lincoln's profile) or a quarter (George Washington) in the middle of each necklace pendant.
  5. Punch a hole in the top of each pendant.
  6. String the ribbon through; tie. Guests can wear their patriotic necklaces during the party.

2.) Make a George Washington Bow Tie

Have a crisp dollar bill ready for each guest; newer bills are easier to fold and make clearer creases. Give guests a demonstration on how to fold the dollar bill into a bow tie. (Here's a good tutorial.) Make sure younger guests have plenty of help with this.

When kids have made their bow ties, carefully place a safety pin through each and help guests put their bow ties in place on the front of their shirts. The bow ties double as a take home party favor.

Have kids wash their hands thoroughly after touching the money; you don't know how many other fingers have held those dollars! This also serves as a quickie lesson in handling money and hygiene, so take advantage of the opportunity to make your point.

3.) Count the Pennies in the Jar

We don't keep much in the way of cash around my house (debit card, anyone?), so we had to go to the bank to get penny rolls for this activity. Thoroughly wash a half gallon-size clear food jar; dry. You can use a plastic jar for safety if you'd like. Fill as high as you'd like with pennies, keeping track of how many pennies you put in the jar.

Have a piece of paper next to the jar, as well as a pencil or pen. As guests walk in, have them guess how many pennies are in the jar. Let them take their time – there's really no way to actually count just by looking, so cheating is pretty much impossible with this game.

For very little children, give them a parameter (“There are between 300 and 500 pennies in this jar,” for example). This way you'll avoid all the “one million” guesses and get guests at least a little closer to the actual amount.

At the end of the party, announce the guest who chose the answer closest to the correct amount of pennies. Send him or her home with the jar.

4.) Create Patriotic "Make 'em Yourself" Sundaes

Buy plenty of vanilla ice cream so guests can make plenty of delicious patriotism at your party!

Supplies:

  • individual bowls or sundae/pudding dishes
  • vanilla ice cream
  • red and blue fruits (blueberries, cherries, strawberries, etc.)
  • strawberry pourable ice cream sauce
  • red, white and blue candies or sprinkles
  • whipped cream
  • nuts or other garnish if desired

Directions:

  1. Put out each garnish in a small dish along with a spoon.
  2. Place a couple large scoops of vanilla ice cream into one bowl/sundae dish for each guest.
  3. Let guests decorate their sundaes any way they want. Yum!

5.) Host a True-and-False U.S. History Trivia Game

This is a fun trivia game for older kids. Gather a bunch of U.S. history facts – particularly about U.S. presidents and other officials – and test kids on their history know how by asking whether each item is true or false. This can be trickier than you might think. For instance, it's true that George Washington was born in New York (Mt. Vernon, specifically). You also knew that Abe Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Illinois, right? Guess again. The famous Civil War president was born in Kentucky.

Another interesting U.S. myth: the story about the young George Washington, a cherry tree and the hero's unflinching honesty are pure fiction. Google “U.S. history true false quiz” and you'll find a goldmine of kid friendly questions for this party game. Hand out a small prize to the guest who gets the most questions right.

You really can have fun with President's Day...and (shh) kids can learn a little something in the process. Have fun with these cool, educational ideas. I know we always do. Happy Presidents' Day!

What will you and your family be doing to celebrate Presidents' Day?

Sundae photo courtesy of soozums/Flickr. Top photo courtesy of Flickr.

Chris grew up on military bases and remembers proudly watching fighter jets while playing in the backyard. He is a freelance writer and officially designated party Dad by his two children, and has written numerous articles on themed birthday parties, party planning, children's crafts and holidays. You can also view his collection of party ideas at http://pinterest.com/themeparty/.

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Chris's eldest daughter (5) knows that the word "Hawaii" equals a fun, sunny destination, even if she's not quite sure where it is. With the hot weather this summer and a couple tiki torches haunting his garage from last year, it's definitely time for another luau party. You can visit Chris on his Facebook page - drop by and say aloha!

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