No matter what your political beliefs, there’s one thing we can certainly agree on…we can’t wait for this election to be over!
If your child is like mine, he or she has probably noticed the campaign signs, the TV commercials, the news coverage, and the heated debates. We’re so glad our daughter isn’t on social media to see some of the not-very-nice “discussions” taking place, and we are sensitive to how we talk about the candidates in front of her, yet she has formed her own opinions about those running for office in the local and national races. Talia has been joining me at community events in Napa since the day she was born (OK, maybe a couple weeks old) and has gotten to know most of our locally elected officials—many of them are my friends, and therefore, her friends. On the national level, Talia has lots of questions about voting – especially, why she can’t vote and can she become president when she grows up instead of a doctor or police officer (which until recently had been her first choices for a profession).
I certainly don’t have all the answers but PBS Parents has put together a great overview to help kids – even preschoolers – understand the election. Kids Voting, a nonpartisan, voter education organization focused on creating lifelong voting habits in children and increasing family communication, has free lessons and activities, like an election day word search and coloring pages. Kids have the opportunity to vote on Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President. Time for Kids has some great resources (just click on any of the links on the left-hand-side under Election 2016. Scholastic also has resources students can use to study elections and participate in one of their own. Edutopia has lesson plans, resources and more. Learn more about the process for electing the president on Kids.gov, which explains the path to the White House with an easy-to-understand poster. When Talia’s older, I’ll need to do my own homework so I can answer questions about the electoral college, but for now, we’ve got plenty to do!