What is Voting All About? Five Ways to Teach Kids About Elections

Oct 21, 2020
This vote heart graphic includes the word VOTE in bold colorful letters inside of a cream colored heart. The voting heart is surrounded by a blue colored background and the repeated us of the word vote.
Election Day buzz is in the air and, as November 3rd gets ever closer, your younger kids may be asking lots of questions: What’s an election? How do people vote? Why is it such a big deal? Here are a few ideas to help our littlest citizens better understand the hows and whys of this important time.

Watch and learn.

These videos—and some familiar friends—explain what voting is, why it matters and how we do it. BYOP! (Bring Your Own Popcorn.)

Vote Song from Sesame Street

Vote With Abby, Elmo and Steve Carell

In the Neighborhood Voting Booth With Daniel Tiger

Stop, Think and Choose With Daniel Tiger

Why Voting Is Important by Kids Academy

This year especially, many schools are giving students access to BrainPOP, an online learning resource, for free. These two BrainPOP Jr. videos are great primers on the role of President in our country and why we have elections.

President With Annie and Moby

Rights and Responsibilities With Annie and Moby

Kids reading books click the photo credit link: rashellewhiteharris to be directed to the image on Instagram.

Photo credit: rashellewhiteharris

Read all about it.

Story time gets an election theme. These cute picture books are a kid-friendly introduction to the world of voting.

Vote! by Eileen Christelow

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin

V is for Voting by Kate Farrell

Max for President! by Jarrett Krosoczka

Curious George Votes by H.A. Rey

One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote by Bonnie Worth

Family of two women and their two chilren with flags celebrating the right to vote. Click the photo credit link: abbyrollercoasterlife to be directed to the image shared on Instagram.

Photo Credit: abbyyrollercoasterlife

Hold your own election.

Sometimes the best way to learn something is to actually do it. So plan an election the whole family can participate in. There are plenty of fun things to vote on: what to have for dinner (mac and cheese forever!), what to watch at the next Family Movie Night, cats vs. dogs. Once you’ve narrowed down the candidates, discuss their pros and cons. Then make a ballot box and voting cards. You can even use blank mailing labels to create and hand out your own “I Voted” stickers after ballots are cast.

Make a campaign poster.

Dream big! Invite your kids to make a campaign poster as though they were running for President. They can draw self-portraits, or decorate with pictures or words representing ideas that are important to them. The project is also a good chance to get kids thinking about the qualities that make a good leader.

Mom and her two kids wearing facial masks, near a voter sign. Click the photo credit link: chels819 to visit the image shared on Instagram.

Photo credit: chels819

Involve your kids when you vote.

However you’re casting your vote this November, you can still let your littles in on the process. If you’re filling out a mail-in ballot, show it to your kids. Point out the different candidates’ names and any proposals you may be voting on. Explain how you mark your choices. If you’re voting in person and aren’t bringing your children, walk them through a sample ballot at home before you go and talk to them about what you’ll be doing in the voting booth.

And for any voting questions you may have, here's where you can check your registration, find your polling place and more!

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