I already wrote about voting with kids but since we are in the midst of a major presidential election coming up in November, I thought it was worth sharing some more “voting” ideas for kids. My sons are tracking the news headlines and listening to NPR these days – they even notice details like the candidates’ logos and graphics (but since I’m a designer, I can’t help noticing the visual stuff too).
I believe it is never too early to teach our children the importance of voting. They can practice at home from an early age so they will learn the value of independent thinking and making informed choices, and the importance of leadership.
Dinnertime can be a great place to talk. Ask your children these conversation starters:
What they would do if they were President/Leader of their house?
What they would do if they were President/Leader of their school?
What they would do if they were President/Leader of their city/town?
What they would do if they were President/Leader of their country?
This is an opportunity to teach our children about making choices, however difficult and living with the consequences. Give them examples of things in their everyday life to think about; like food, toys, parks, school, and books, and ask them to choose which things are more important if they can’t have or do them all. Ask them what will happen if they make specific choices like, “Eat candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner” or “How or who will fix the playground?” You never know where the discussion will lead. If your kids are less apt to talk at the table, check out the following books as a way to jump start a conversation about voting.
Grace for President is a fabulous picture book on the campaign process. It’s about a girl who is dismayed to learn there has never been a woman president and decides to run for school president. In this wonderful story, Grace learns what it takes to run a campaign, the importance of honesty, what the key issues are, and what it takes to be leader.
Great books about voting:
– Grace for President by Kelly Dipucchio
Ages 4 – 8
– Otto Runs For President by Rosemary Wells
– Letters from the Campaign Trail: LaRue for Mayor by Mark Teague
– Madam President by Lane Smith
– Scholastic News Online’s Countdown to Election 2008