Five Family-Friendly Ways to Explore the Voting Process

Five Family-Friendly Ways to Explore the Voting Process, The Goddard School®

Becoming familiar with the election process can help set a foundation for children to learn how casting their votes can make a difference. Your children will need you to explain vocabulary words including election, nominate, voting, campaign and ballots in an age appropriate way.

1. Vote for your favorite dinner 

Explain to your children that you will nominate two dinner choices and hold an election to determine the winner. All members of the family should participate. Allow enough time for your children to make campaign posters to show why they think their candidate (dinner choice) should be selected. This activity can be a great way to incorporate math skills by asking one of your children to count the ballots.

2. Vote for a bedtime story 

Choosing just the right bedtime story can be a long process for some children. Provide your child with a few options earlier in the day, and later have him cast a vote for his choice before the bedtime routine begins. This can help set a foundation for the importance of voting, while reducing the time it takes to select a story.

3. Hold a debate

The next time your family is contemplating a decision, whether it’s which spot to vacation this summer or whether it’s to get a pet, you can hold a debate among family members. This encourages children to organize their thoughts and be confident when voicing their opinions.

4. Plan for a movie night

It can be a challenge for all family members to agree on a movie. Encourage each family member to give a speech saying why the movie that she prefers should be the winner. After hearing everyone’s input, take a vote to see which movie wins. Explain to your children that sometimes the outcome does not reflect their choice and that they must make the best of it.

5. Create a rainy day list

Be prepared with a rainy day roster of activities. Create a list of things that your children can do on a rainy day. Encourage each child to vote for an activity. When the activity is complete, ask each child what she enjoyed about the activity and if she would want to do it again. This is a good way to incorporate how democratic policies are sometimes beneficial and at other times need to be looked at in a different way to be made better.