For parents, family members, teachers, librarians, and community leaders

OUR WHITE HOUSE. Illustration © 2008 by A. G. Ford. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
OUR WHITE HOUSE. Illustration © 2008 by A. G. Ford. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance has created this Inauguration Celebration Kit to assist all adults who live and work with young people to engage with our kids in informed discussions about the presidency and American government, teach them to think critically, and energize them to learn more about the political process in America—using the presidency and inauguration as the focus. This Kit includes:

  • Exclusive articles covering such topics as why presidential inaugurations are held on January 20th, the oath of office, inaugural parades, and how Thomas Jefferson’s first inauguration helped unite the country following a bitter election battle.
  • Hands-on activities to use with young people in the classroom or at home, such as ideas for designing a parade float, hosting an inaugural ball for kids, and writing poetry.
  • Games to engage kids in this year’s inauguration, such as “Inaugural I Spy” and “Pin the President on the Presidential Timeline.”
  • Discussion questions you can share during class, around the dinner table, and at a club meeting.

Some of the ideas and activities provided in this Kit coordinate with the content and illustrations in Our White House, but most can be used independently of the book.

We believe you know the kids with whom you live and work far better than we do, so we leave to your judgment the articles and activities that best serve the needs and ages of the young people in your life. We invite you to print content from this site as needed or to browse these pages using your smart phone, tablet computer, or laptop while on the go.

To display and download an easy-to-print PDF version of this kit, click here.

Table of Contents

Click a link to display the article content.

Why Are Presidential Inaugurations Held on January 20th?
The Presidential Oath of Office
Americans Love a Parade
United by Voice and Vision: Thomas Jefferson’s First Inauguration, March 4, 1801
Come One, Come All! How Technology Transformed Inauguration Day
Activities and Discussion Questions for Young People

• Play “Inaugural I Spy”
• Design a Parade Float
• Inaugural Themes and Art
• Host an Inauguration Poetry Reading
• Write Poems Celebrating the Presidential Inauguration
• Bibles and Relics: Connecting with Past Presidents
• In His or Her Words: Listening to the Inaugural Speech
• Design the Oval Office
• Host a Kids’ Inaugural Ball! Ideas and Activities
• Create a Political Cartoon
• Visit a Presidential Historic Site, Library, or Website

Presidential Fact Files
First Lady Fact Files
Presidents, the President’s House, and More: A Select List of Books (and a Few Web Sources) for Children and Young Adults
Great Presidential Inauguration Websites
Learn More About the Presidents and Inaugurations

Learn More About the Presidents and Inaugurations

For more information about presidents and inaugurations, check out the following books and resources:


Bendat, Jim. Democracy’s Big Day: The Inauguration of our President 1789-2009. New York:
iUniverse Star, 2008.
Grimes, Nikki. Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2008.
The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2008.
Santella, Andrew. U.S. Presidential Inaugurations. New York: Children’s Press, 2002.

Online Resources

“From George Washington to George Bush, Speeches and Parades, Dances and Tradition.”

“George Washington, First Inauguration, April 30, 1789.”

“George Washington gives first presidential inaugural address.”

“Inaugural History.”

“Inaugural Luncheon.”

“Inaugurals of Presidents of the United States: Some Precedents and Notable Events.”

“The Inauguration of George Washington, 1789.”

“Laura Bush on Michelle Obama’s WH Visit.”

“Malia Obama Calls Dibs on Lincoln’s Desk: Obama Talks to Barbara Walters About Homework, History and Happy Family.”

“Obama To Use MLK, Lincoln Bibles During Oath At Presidential Inauguration.”

“Oval Office Makeover.”

“Oval Office Makeover.”

“The White House Historical Association: Traditions and Transitions.”

©2016 The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance