Between our kids' elementary school years and the time they
reach the voting age of 18, they lose steam. Four years ago, only
41 percent of registered 18- to 20-year-olds showed up to vote in
the presidential election.
We want our kids to be less intimidated by the word "politics"
and to be engaged in the process, says Tammy Gagne, author of the
book series A Kid's Guide to the Voting Process (Mitchell Lane,
2012). "A child who understands the importance of the issues won't
see a ballot as just another piece of paper."
Kirsetin Morello is a freelance writer, blogger and mom.
Message: Every vote is equal.
How to play:
Parents of younger children may want to split their votes, so
that two kids who vote together can win. But with older kids, it's
important for everyone to vote their conscience, says Gagne. "The
value is in teaching them that you'll vote the way they'd like if
they can convince you it's the better choice," she says.
Message: In a democracy, you have the right to
It's especially effective to play Dictator for a Day after
you've already done the Mock Ballot game. When your kids have
experienced both sides-having their say and having no say at
all-it's not hard for them to figure out that they're lucky to have
a vote and to want to exercise it.
Message: It's important to have foundational rules that
govern a country or a family.
Message: Your vote matters.
This activity is great for visual learners, because they can see
the tallies accumulating as each person votes. When you do the
winning activities with your kids, it helps them feel the might of
Message: Mom and Dad vote.