Every four years, politicians hit the campaign trail with the hope of being elected President of the United States. All around us there is “headline news, campaign promises, handshakes, photos, speeches, and polls”—all signs that the White House is up for grabs in another presidential election year. This is a perfect time to educate our future voters about America’s election process.
Teach your child the very basics of this special election, starting by answering the question, “What is an election?” An election is an event when people make a choice between two or more people or things. In a political election, people vote, or make their choice known, for a person to hold a position in government. There are elections for state governors, senators and representatives, city leaders and issues involving your community. The year 2004 is special because we are voting for a new President of the United States.
In simple terms, voting is a way for a group of people to arrive at a decision. Have you and your children ever voted on what to have for dinner? Maybe your older children and their friends have taken a vote to determine whether to play soccer or kickball at recess. Use this time to think the American way, and bring election season into your home by making political banners and buttons. Maybe even hold a mock election! And you can make November 2, 2004 an extra special Tuesday in your home by setting an example. Head to the polls and set an example for your children that every person can make a difference!
Hooray for the U.S.A. (Babies and Toddlers)
Display your patriotic spirit on Election Day by dressing your baby in the red, white and blue. As you stroll to your precinct, wouldn’t it be nice to have the stroller decked out with patriotic-colored streamers? Go ahead and attach an American flag!
Toddlers may enjoy making a star-spangled windsock to adorn the house. Take a strip of poster board and invite your child to place patriotic stickers randomly across the page. When they’ve finished, form a cylinder out of the paper with the sticker side facing out and staple or glue it closed. Attach red and white crepe paper streamers to the bottom end using a stapler or some glue. Punch two holes at the top and thread a length of string or yarn as a hanger. Place this windsock where the wind will catch it, either on a porch or tree branch. Praise your child for making something special to help celebrate this Election Day.