by Alison Caplan, Director of Education at National First Ladies’ Library (firstladies.org)
The inauguration is a great opportunity for kids to experience democracy in action. Here are some tips for sharing the inauguration with your child. Don’t expect your child to sit through the whole event. There will be lots of activities and not all of them will capture the attention of your child.
Watch a Pre-Inaugural Kid-Friendly Live Stream — With COVID-19 and high security the conditions of this year’s inauguration may be a little unsettling for children. You may decide to curate your own inaugural experience. This year’s inauguration will have its own children’s special prior to the festivities titled Our White House: Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans hosted by Keke Palmer. Stream a pre-inaugural kid centered program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiojaVjtSs8&feature=youtu.be
Play I-Spy. There’s plenty of great fashion, flags, and other eye candy at the inauguration that offer a great opportunity to gamify things. Throw your own inaugural ball with balloons and music or create a parade by lining up toys around the house.
Share the historic nature of the event. History is being made. What makes this year’s inauguration special? How is history being made? Find pictures of past inaugurations or share experiences you have of watching an inauguration.
Introduce some art. Each inauguration has an official poet and musicians who may perform the national anthem or other important songs. This is a great opportunity to share how artists interpret current events and traditions.
Read picture books about presidents. There are plenty of books out there about presidents. Here are few we recommend.
“Citizen Baby: My President” by Megan E. Bryant and Daniel Prosterman, illustrated by Micah Player
“Superheroes Are Everywhere” by Kamala Harris, illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe
“Joey the Story of Joe Biden” by Jill Biden with Kathleen Krull, Illustrator Amy June Bates