Friday, February 5, 2016

FUN Presidents Day Ideas

It's the mooost wonderful tiiiiiiime of the year.....

Ah, yes, Presidents Day is upon us, and if you're like me, you're gearing up for a huge celebration! I'm here to help you with all of your Presidents Day needs, but first let's clear up a few things.

1. Apostrophes. Those little buggers. You'll see references to Presidents Day, President's Day, and Presidents' Day. I'm going with AP Style on this one: no apostrophe. It's just easier.

2. Whose Holiday is it Anyway? Some people want to nitpick about how Presidents Day isn't really a "thing," and that really it's Washington's birthday we're commemorating, or maybe a Washington-Lincoln mashup, or or or... I say screw that and celebrate it however you want. It's like debating whether Christmas is about the birth of Christ, the Pagan return of the Sun King, or Santa bringing presents down the chimney. Just do whatever works for you.

Now that we've cleared that up.

You might be looking for some exciting Presidents Day activities for yourself or your kids. You might check Google and Pinterest. You might then find some word searches and projects like gluing a penny onto a toilet paper tube and calling it a Lincoln puppet.

No. That's not fun.

I am forever in the process of collecting exciting ideas, but here's what I have so far.

Warhol-esque Presidential Portraits
I found this idea on this site last year. You search the web for a presidential-portrait coloring page of your choice, print out four copies, and then paint/color them in unusual ways. Center each one on a bright background, then place all four together. Yeah, it might just be coloring in presidents, but it's a lot more interesting than the typical coloring page.

Last year my two youngest kids picked William Howard Taft and James Garfield. I was so proud. My oldest refused to participate.

Speaking of Coloring Pages
Yes, usually they're boring, but not when Presidentress makes them. This coloring page allows you to explore Chester A. Arthur's pants. (I realized the other day I should have named this "Chester Drawers," except it's about pants, not underpants.)

Articulated Doll
Another Presidentress original craft, the Woodrow Wilson articulated doll can provide hours of excitement. Full backstory and directions can be found here.

Racing Presidents Dolls
Okay, yeah, it's just gluing stuff onto toilet paper tubes, which I specifically ridiculed up above, but these are far more interesting than the typical stuff you'll find in a teacher's guide. These are dolls based on the Washington Nationals racing presidents. Templates and instructions here.

Jelly Bean Pictures
You might not have enough jelly beans lying around to make a portrait of Ronald Reagan, but you can probably scrounge up enough to make a picture of something. If you do, make sure to share it with me. (To be clear, I did not make that Ronald Reagan portrait.)

Food and Drink
Perhaps you're not the crafty type but would like something to eat? You can always bake up some Dolley Madison Cake or John Quincy Adams Pumpkin Bread. Or just pour yourself a nice cocktail. Teddy Roosevelt's Hat, perhaps?

Do you have any fun projects or plans for Presidents Day? Let me know! Whatever you have is likely better than the one I came up with the other day: Giving the kids cardboard boxes and having them play "Hooverville." Not all ideas are winners.


  1. No one is like you.

    That's ok, we love you anyway!

  2. I followed your links to the John Quincy Adams pumpkin break recipe - that sounds delicious! I'll have to try it in the fall. Looking at the biographies I have ahead of me, I think JQA will still be my favorite by then.

    That recipe page had a link for some kind of dessert drink I've never heard of - a syllabub?! The author said "Many of the older recipes ask you to milk your cow directly into the mixture." Now I kind of need to have it.

    1. Yes, syllabubs seem to have been a "thing." The cookbook I have has a few recipes for them. Perhaps I should do a post on those, although I'll have to use store-bought milk.

  3. I used to have a cookbook of 19th century recipes that was great. It's out of print but I see it's on Amazon for a few dollars. It's called From Flummery to Syllabub. I bet you would like it.