There is no escaping the fact that it is election time. Most all kids are at least a little interested in the whole process and what everything means. Luckily there are plenty of fun things that you can do with your kids to introduce them to the ideas and concepts of democracy and voting. One of the simplest things to do is to hold a mock election. Young kids may not have many opinions on the actual issues so base your election on something they do care about. For us, it was what movie to watch for our weekly family movie night.

When planning your mock election, start with only two choices. Once your kids become older and can understand harder concepts you can add in more. I deliberately chose two movies, one that my daughter favors, and another that my son favors. The next step is to create a ballot. Because my son doesn’t read, I used pictures of the movie characters so that he could easily vote. At this early learning stage it’s important to make sure that an odd number of people vote so that you can have a clear winner. Before you vote though, allow your kids to “debate” which movie is the best. They can talk about why they love their movie choices, or why they don’t want the other movie. It’s can give them a small taste of campaigning.

We encouraged our kids to create posters, and try to sway me on which way to vote. At this point, you let the voting begin!
Now that we have finished our first election, the kids want to vote about everything. Like what’s for lunch, or what time bedtime is (sadly for them, my house isn’t actual a democracy so that is not up for a vote.)

-Stephanie Wright

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