I still fondly remember the special days at school when we would get to step outside our usual textbook learning and engage with current events. It gave me a sense that what I thought and did matters. During such a stressful and divisive time, I find myself wondering how I can offer my children a similar experience to restore a bit of empowerment during a season that has often felt out of their control.
With so much of the news cycle filled with difficult and complex headlines, I am seeking some simplicity and connection to yesteryear myself. Both of which sent me on a search for some fun and educational ways we could explore the upcoming inauguration.
Here are five Inauguration Day activities your family can do together:
- Prepare young minds with engaging reading material – Books are a get way to explore a variety of topics. Check out this collection of children’s and YA books to read about how our government works, our Constitution and our president- and vice president-elect.
- Recite the presidential oath – Take a deeper look at the responsibilities of the president, vice president and other elected officials by learning the oaths of office that have been used since 1884.
- For vice president, senators, representatives and other federal employees: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
- For the president-elect: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” — The Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 1
- Dear Mr. President – Write a letter individually or together as a family to the new president and his family. This can be a handy discussion tool to talk about important family values and/or goals you’d like to see achieved by the new administration. The conversation is a great way to let kids know that their words and beliefs matter.
- Research Trivia Firsts – Pursue past presidential inaugurations to find fascinating firsts and interesting facts to create your own Inauguration Day Did You Know talking points. For example, did you know that James Monroe was the first president to take the oath of office outdoors?
- Play “Inaugural I Spy” – Create a list of things you expect to see during the ceremonies and compare how that list matches up to real life.
Born and raised in the Oklahoma City metro and a graduate of the Gaylord College of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma, Lindsay Cuomo has worked for MetroFamily since 2014 covering local stories, people and events. Lindsay is a mom to three school-aged boys and calls Moore, Oklahoma home.