Not being old enough to vote doesn't mean kids can't be involved in the 2012 Presidential election. Every Election Day is a demonstration of democracy in progress, one of our country's core beliefs. But once every four years Election Day takes on greater significance because of the opportunity to elect the President - and teach children about the election process. Even kindergartners can get involved! With voter turnout in many states at all-time lows, making kids aware of the importance of our country's process for electing its leader is important.
Take the time this during this campaign season to educate your children about the path to the presidency.
5 Election Day Activities
1. Brainstorm a list of symbols affiliated with our country. Research the history of each symbol or talk about what each icon represents. Think about where you see these symbols every day.
Your list might include:
- The White House
- The American Flag
- The Bald Eagle
- George Washington
- The Liberty Bell
- The National Anthem
- The Declaration of Independence
- The Bill of Rights
- The Constitution
2. Check out websites that have Election Day-themed activities like word searches, mazes, and fun quizzes. Use these activities as a springboard for conversations about words and topics presented.
3. Encourage your school to organize Election Day events and activities. Younger kids can experience democracy through voting games. The teacher selects a topic on which students will vote, anything from a implementing a new classroom rule to choosing a book for the afternoon story hour. Students raise their hands to cast their vote and the topic with the most votes wins. A great opportunity to experience democracy in action.
Older students who are learning about or understand the election process could hold a mock election. Set up a voting poll area and have kids cast their votes for President. Compare school or classroom results to those in the real election.
4. Talk to your kids about the election. Tell them who you're voting for and why. Watch the candidate debates and have family conversations about what takes place.
5. Take your kids with you to the voting poll on Election Day. Explain what you're doing and how the process works.
7 Election Day Kid's Books
- "Otto Runs For President" by Rosemary Wells (Ages 4-8)
- "President Pennybaker" by Kate Feiffer (Ages 4-8)
- "Grace For President" by Kelly DiPucchio (Ages 5-8)
- "If I Ran For President" by Catherine Stier (Ages 6-9)
- "Liberty or Death" by Betsy Maestro (Ages 7-12)
- "The Election Book: The People Pick A President" by Carolyn Jackson (Ages 8-12)
- "The Kid Who Ran For President" by Dan Gutman (Ages 9-13)
Taking the time to educate your child about the process now sets them on the path to becoming involved citizens when they're old enough to cast their ballot in the future.