Teaching kids about voting

A little something to help your kids understand what this whole “Election Day” thing is about.

As you all (hopefully) know, tomorrow is Election Day. Most kids will be out of school, so if you’re a parent, there’s a good chance you’ll have some pint-sized company with you in the voting booth. While taking your kid(s) with you to vote might not rank high on your list of preferred experiences–anything involving standing in any sort of line probably wouldn’t–it does offer up some of fantastic teachable moments. 

Ever since our son was born in 2008,1 he’s accompanied one or both of his parents to the polls on Election Day.2 At first it was all about the sticker3 for him, but as he’s gotten older, he’s starting to wonder what all the hubbub is about. And although he’s still not sure on the specifics, he understands that voting is A Very Important Thing that adults should do.

So in an effort to build on his growing interest, I’m going to spend some time today and tomorrow talking with him about this thing we do to help make our government “go.” To start us off, I plan on showing him this clip of Election Day on Sesame Street. Sure, the episode first aired back in 1984, but this bit keeps things short, sweet, and simple, which is all most little ones need at this point.

Take a look–and I hope it helps you engage your kids in some Election Day conversations as well.

You can also watch the clip right here on Sesame Street’s website or download the entire episode (entitled “Get Out and Vote”) off of iTunes for a whopping $1.99.

(And while I’ve got your attention, do you know where you’re supposed to vote tomorrow? If you’re not sure, take a minute to double-check over at the Virginia State Board of Elections.)

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  1. I’m counting the 2008 election as well because he was technically with me when I voted–he was just in my belly. He arrived 13 days after Obama got elected. 
  2. The picture above was taken right after I voted in the 2009 Gubernatorial Democratic Primary.  
  3. I kinda love how the kids get “I voted!” stickers, too. Because 1) anything to get them excited about voting is great, and 2) I get to call my kid and all my friends’ kids liars when I spot them sporting theirs. 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Liz Pearce on said:

    Great post! I’ve taken my kids with me to vote over the years, and my oldest (now eligible to vote) hasn’t missed an election yet!

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