Now that election season is upon us, you might be looking for ways to teach children about what an election actually is. This can be a confusing concept for little ones, and they no doubt have questions swimming in their heads. Luckily, teaching kids about the election process can be fun and simple.
Take a look below at 7 ways to teach children about the election process, so they can develop a deeper understanding.
7 Ways to Teach Kids about the Election Process
1. Visit a local polling station.
On election day you can always take your child with you to your polling station so they can see the polling booths in action. They may enjoy watching you vote and seeing the various machines. Prior to the election, you can look at pictures of polling stations online or even drive by the polling place.
2. Share a voter registration card.
Pull up a picture of what a voter registration card looks like. Let children fill out their own “voter card” on an index card. Talk to them about what is required of people who wish to vote, including the age limit and other necessary factors.
3. Point out the various campaign posters, yard signs.
Chances are there are yard signs all over your town. Take the time to point out these yard signs and explain what they represent and what their purpose is. Invite children to pretend they are running for office and to make their own campaign sign.
4. Share photos/pictures of the candidates.
Help children become more familiar with who is running for office. Show them photos of the candidates and share their names. You can also answer any questions they might have about the candidates. Just help them become more familiar with the faces they are seeing so much of.
5. Watch campaign speeches.
YouTube is full of campaign speeches, some decades old. Take the time to listen to some of these speeches so children can get an idea of what they sound like. They may also like watching acceptance speeches as well.
6. Ask them what makes a great leader.
Explain to children that an election is about choosing leaders. Ask children what makes an excellent leader. What qualities should they have? Write these down on a poster board or piece of paper.
Ask children to think about if they have any of the qualities that make for a great leader. If they feel they do, have them write some of those qualities down as well.
7. Take time to watch the news together.
There is nightly news that surrounds the election. Take the time to watch news segments together and answer any questions they may have. You can also spend time each night counting down to election day and seeing how many days are left until a new leader is chosen.
Help children develop a further understanding about the election process when you give these 7 simple strategies a try. You will find they are simple and fun to implement, and are sure to get children more curious about this important process!
You can even hold a mock election with these fun ideas.
For further study about the elections process, check out my Presidential Election board game, and the All About Elections Unit Study from Techie Homeschool Mom, or if lapbooks are more your thing, check out the US Elections Lap-Pak from Homeschool in the Woods.