Teaching Children the Importance of Voting
Last updated: October 7, 2020, at 7:05 a.m. PT
Originally published: October 7, 2020, at 6:51 a.m. PT
With the election right around the corner, it’s a great time to start teaching our children the importance of voting!
Family Friendly Books about Voting
Start by introducing your kiddos to voting with these family friendly books. Your local library may have virtual book options!
- Grace for President by Kelly Dipucchio
- Max for President by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
- If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier
- Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter
- Amelia Bedelia's First Vote by Herman Parish
- Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote by Kirsten Gillibrand
- Future President by Lori Alexander
- Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America by Deborah Diesen
- Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak
Family Mock Election
Next, set up a family fun mock election at home! Here's how:
1. Find something fun that the entire family can vote on.
It can be what’s for dinner, a family activity, or even a chore. The important part of this process is to allow your child(ren) to have a voice in what happens at home. This will help teach them the fundamentals and importance of voting in an interactive way.
2. Make a ballot box.
You can use anything laying around the house. A cereal or shoe box work great! Have your child decorate it with red, white, and blue construction paper, or you can simply color it. Make sure to cut a slit in the top for the ballots to be dropped through.
3. Create a ballot.
After you have decided what your family will vote on, create a simple ballot on a piece of paper or on the computer for each member of the family. For example, if you’re voting on dinner, you can draw pictures for younger children or use words for older youth with three or four dinner options. Place a box next to each option. Don’t forget to title your ballot and add the year. An example of how to fill the box in can make it feel like an authentic ballot!
4. Create a private voting space.
Use a trifold poster to place on a table or a separate room where people can vote in private. Place your ballots and a writing tool in the space. Keep the ballot box in a common area and have each person place their completed ballot in the box once they have voted.
5. Share the results as a family.
Don’t forget to ask questions along the way to deepen the learning process, such as:
- Do you feel your voice is important in the family?
- How did it feel to vote in a private space?
- Did you think that others would have the same opinion as you?
- Were you surprised with the result?
Don’t Forget to Register Yourself to Vote!
At the Y, we believe voting isn’t just a civic duty – it’s a critical part of our community’s work to ensure equity and justice for all. Teaching youth the fundamentals of voting can be fun and educational. Not to mention, it helps establish the foundation for civic duty in our youth.
Registering to vote has never been easier or more important. Follow this link to register. If you’re already registered, take two minutes to review your address and other registration information to make sure your ballot arrives on time.