President’s Day

MountrushmoreHow can we make meaning for young children out of a holiday like “President’s Day”?  Our youngest children have no idea (or very little ideas) about the Presidents, or what a holiday that celebrates  them is about.  Older preschoolers may know who our current president is, they may even be able to name him, but that may be as far as their understanding goes.

It might be fun to pull out some money and show the children the faces of the presidents that appear on the bills and coins.  Children like money.  You could also show them a picture of Mount Rushmore and explain that some Presidents faces were carved into a mountain.  They might find that interesting.  Remember, engagement comes from experience and if children don’t have an existing schema (idea) about something, they can’t build knowledge.  If there is a director at your center, you could explain that the director of “their school” is like the President of the school.  This may make some sense to them. Because of this disconnection it is not really useful to pull out a picture of Abe Lincoln and have the kids color it in.  That may look like you honored the holiday in some way to the parents, but in truth, it is really a disjointed and simple coloring experience for kids.

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