Main Content

What is it like to be a First Kid and live in the White House? Students will find out as they explore White House family life. Acting as real first kids, students role-play historical White House events such as birthday parties and holiday celebrations, as well as meet some famous first pets. This program introduces children to White House families throughout history and presents themes such as family traditions, celebrations, and roles. At the conclusion of the program, the class will make their own photo album to include historical photos and new images they create in class during their reenactment.


Learning about families is an important early stage of a child’s education because it helps children to better understand themselves in relationship to others. In every family, traditions are celebrated, family members play different roles, and members share celebrations such as birthdays. Though children are familiar with their own families’ celebrations, traditions, and roles, learning about another family can help connect to others, but also enhance their understanding about what is unique and different about their own families’ traditions and celebrations.

Main Messages:

About families: Families share celebrations and traditions. Families have different roles. (Kids relate to first families by thinking about times they celebrate birthdays, holidays, and the different roles their family members take on).

About First Families and the White House: First Families live and work in a special place called the White House. The White House functions as both a place of work and a home for the Presidential Family. Although their lifestyle comes with many privileges like meeting famous people and having a live-in staff, first families also have very little privacy.

Program Objectives:

After completing First Kid for a Day, students will be better able to:

  1. Identify celebrations and traditions that many families share; relate celebrations and traditions in their own lives
  2. Identify children’s artifacts from the White House (toys, furniture, etc.)
  3. Discuss pets as a part of many families lives
  4. Articulate the difference between parental and children’s roles (ex. parents work, children go to school and play)
  5. Explain why the families living in the White House are different from most families (security issues, having to stay in the house/ secret service, receiving famous guests)
  6. Evaluate whether or not they would really want to be a First Kid

Pre-Visit Lesson & Activities

This pre-visit lesson plan and accompanying image sets were designed to prepare students for our "First Kid for a Day" in-school program, a free outreach program available to teachers in the D.C. Metro Area.

If you are an educator outside of the D.C. Metro Area, this lesson includes several engaging activities for classroom use. Instructions for each image set and reproducible can be found within the lesson plan.

Pre-Visit Lesson Plan and Background Information:


Image Sets


Program Related Online Resources ›

For more information about first families, first pets and holidays at the White House: