Racing Presidents add a fifth runner; you can make paper dolls of all of them

Anne Farrar/THE WASHINGTON POST - Paper dolls of the Racing Presidents at Nationals Park can be made using toilet paper tubes and templates provided by KidsPost.

What’s your favorite part of a Washington Nationals game?

Is it counting the “K’s” that ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg racks up?

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Or watching Bryce Harper hit the ball out of the park?

Maybe it’s a great defensive play by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman?

Or perhaps, just perhaps, your favorite part of a Washington Nationals game occurs in the fourth inning, when the Racing Presidents take the field for a footrace around the outfield.

The Racing Presidents became part of Nationals’ home games in 2006, the team’s second season in Washington. The four Racing Presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt). are the ones who also appear on Mount Rushmore, an enormous sculpture carved into the face of a mountain in South Dakota.

And from 2006 to 2012, Roosevelt, affectionately known as Teddy, was the lovable loser. He seemed to find new ways to lose a race almost every game. But on October 3 last season, to celebrate the Nationals’ making the playoffs, Teddy won his first race.

This year, the Racing Presidents are welcoming a new member to their team — William Howard Taft, whom the Nationals are calling Bill. In 1910, Taft was the first president to throw out a first pitch at a baseball game.

KidsPost wanted to kick off the Nationals season (their first game is April 1) by creating collectible paper dolls of the five Racing Presidents. (If you’ve been collecting toilet-paper tubes all week, now you know why!) Click on the PDF links below for the templates to make George, Tom and Abe. Teddy will be available Monday and Bill on Tuesday. For more great stories, projects and games for kids go to

— Tracy Grant

Instructions for making Racing Presidents dolls

To make each paper doll,
you’ll need a toilet-paper tube, scissors, and tape or glue.

Print out (from below) and then cut out the shape of the president along the dotted lines.

Wrap his body around the toilet-paper tube. The bottom of the tube should line up with the bottom of the cutout (where his shoes are).

Put glue on the long tab along the president’s back, and press other edge firmly so that it sticks. (The tab should be tucked under so it won’t show.)

Now put glue on the small tab at the top of the president’s head. Attach the front of the president’s head to the tab so that the tab doesn’t show.

Voila, you’ve
built your first Racing President doll. One down, four to go.

Cutout of George Washington (PDF)

Cutout of Thomas Jefferson (PDF)

Cutout of Abraham Lincoln (PDF)

Cutout of Teddy Roosevelt

Cutout of William Howard Taft

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