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Presidents-Day-QuotePeople who celebrate President’s Day this week with mattress sales and marathons may miss out on a great opportunity to inspire a love of history in children with various isms.

How to inspire?

By showing children that past presidents were once just like them.

Ask your child to describe a president and you might hear words like “old” and “boring,” but many of our past presidents are more fun and interesting than dusty textbooks lead children to believe.

My 11 year old son first fell in love with a president when he found out how tall Abraham Lincoln was. My son was the tallest, thinnest kid in his class, so he naturally connected with Super-Tall Abe (the man’s lesser known nickname) and asked to learn more about him.

Several books later, my son was hooked on both Lincoln’s life and on the Civil War era.

Fun Facts on Past Presidents

Present the following Presidential “fun facts” to your children.

Show children that our past Presidents were once impulsive, creative, and fun loving — just like kids with various isms.  You just might discover that some of the Presidents had isms of their own.

It just might inspire your kiddos to commit to memory all the facts and figures that they can’t seem to otherwise focus on.  Inspire a love of history.  Inspire greatness.

Let’s take a look –

There is no evidence that any of the American Presidents had been on the autism spectrum but many shared at least a trait that could have suggested such including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson.

Highlighting neat, fun facts about our Presidents helps kids — especially those who have a hard time memorizing details or even sitting still — find the desire to learn more about a President. Consider it an entry point that will stimulate a deeper investigation of a President or his era in history.  Inspire your children with the Presidents who struggled with their own isms and triumphed over the challenges to become President.

Fun Code Names for Presidents

Oh, and don’t think this trick only works for deceased Presidents.   My son recently learned that the Secret Service assigns code names to presidents. For my spy-loving, code-writing kid, this was like Christmas.

  • Reagan was “Rawhide,”
  • George H.W. Bush was “Timberwolf,”
  • Bill Clinton was “Eagle,”
  • George W. Bush was “Trailblazer”
  • Barack Obama is “Renegade”

Wondering how those names were assigned? Ask your children if they have any ideas. Brainstorm some of the reasons and then use websites, books, and documentaries to find out the answers. Doing so could unlock a love of U.S. history that lasts a lifetime.


Staff. “Disability in History: U.S. Presidents.” AskEARN. N.p., 7 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

Disability Trivia: Presidents with Disabilities.The Ability Center of Greater Toledo. N.p., 29 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.