2012 Election: Are Your Kids in the Know?

Did you watch the very first debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? It’s no surprise that education was a featured issue in last week’s debate and will continue to be for years to come. While the November 6th elections will come and go, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continually educate your children about the government and elections.

While schools focus on teaching lessons about different governments and offer opportunities to provide students with real-world experiences, such as student governments or visits from local politicians, it’s important to bring the ideas home and allow your children to absorb all they can. We’ve provide some ideas below that will help make the election learning process fun and effective for children of all ages.

If you have any fun ideas that you’ve used at home with your children, be sure to share in the comments section.

For more resources, check out:
Kids Voting USA
The New York Times Learning Network
PBS Kids Democracy Project

Before   & After Elections

  • Kids are visual, so use YouTube or campaign sites to watch appropriate promotional ads or debates.
  • Get them involved with a campaign. Younger kids can help out with putting candidate signs up or handing out materials. As they get older, they can become more involved in events and other campaign projects.
  • Let them cast votes in fun ways. For example, gather your family together and vote on what to eat for a dinner, where to go on a day trip or favorite flavors of ice cream.
  • The campaign trail is a continuous – be sure to keep your family involved. If a politician will be visiting your state or town, make an effort to take your family and allow them to meet those we elect into office.

Election   Day

  • Take your children to the polls. This is the best way to allow them to experience voting at a young age.
  • Provide a history lesson on voting rights. Use a marker board or corkboard to make a historic timeline of the history behind voting.
  • Throw a party! Even if your candidate doesn’t win, it’s important to celebrate your right to vote.
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