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Talking to Children about the Upcoming Election

The upcoming Presidential Election can be a great way to help children gain a basic understanding of how our country selects leaders.

The upcoming Presidential Election can be a great way to help children gain a basic understanding of how our country selects leaders. Voting is a key responsibility of citizenship that can be introduced in a way that children can understand. Here are several fun and engaging suggestions to make the election process less abstract for your child:

  • Read engaging age-appropriate books about voting and elections. Start the conversation with a good book like Duck for President by Doreen Cronin.  It is a very entertaining way to introduce children to campaigns and voting. After reading the story together, go back and review the pictures and discuss the parts that your child enjoyed most.  Here are a few more books related to the election topic that your family will likely enjoy:
  • Ballot Box Battle, by Emily Arnold McCully (Ages 5-8)
  • Robin Hill School: Election Day, by Margaret McNamera (Ages 4-8)
  • My Teacher for President, by Kay Winters and Denise Brunkus (Ages 4-8)
  • Conduct a family vote. Pose a voting question to your family. For example, ask them to nominate a meal to have for dinner one night along with an explanation of why their nomination should win.  Conduct a vote, and if the decision isn’t unanimous, discuss possible compromises.
  • Pose a “what if” presidential question. Ask your child to draw a picture of or write about (depending on the age of your child) what they would do to make the world a better place.
  • Create a school to home connection. Chances are your preschooler or kindergartner is participating in election and patriotic-themed activities at school. Reach out to your child’s teacher to learn more about the age-appropriate activities that are being taught and extend the discussion or activity at home
  • Take your child with you to vote.  Discuss the roles of the president and other leaders on the ballot and explain in broad terms why you picked a certain candidate. To teach your child good citizenship, it’s a good idea to talk about the merits of your preferred candidate rather than criticizing the opponent.
  • Support your child’s interests. If your child shows interest in the election or the office of president, you can encourage this curiosity with child-friendly news sources. Here is a website to get you started:

White House for Kids- http://www.whitehouse.gov/kids/ -This website includes activities and information about the current president and the White House that are geared toward children ages 4 and up. 

To learn more about Primrose School of Five Forks, visit PrimroseFiveForks.com or 3030 River Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30044, or call 770.985.0028.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Racer X October 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Darn right our child is going with us to vote. We are going to show her how we, in the US, get rid of incompetence and favor men/women with backbone.
Racer X October 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM
This is a great article except for the http://www.whitehouse.gov/kids/ link. That link is just a shameless plug for the Obama administration. Perhaps this link would be a little less partisan: http://www.whha.org/whha_classroom/classroom.html
Dan Matthews October 10, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Yes our children should know which party wants to remove Big Bird from TV (Romney, Ryan and Republicans) and which party wants to improve our schools and pay teachers better (Obama, Biden, and Democrats).

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