Voting is a cornerstone of democracy, and Americans are lucky enough to have the right to vote. So why wait until kids are almost of legal voting age (18) to try to help them understand how it works? With these creative activities, you'll have your kids begging to talk about everything from campaigns to the electoral college. Instill a passion for civic duty in your children from an early age using these 20 fun voting activity ideas.
1. Mock election
The best way to get kids excited about anything is to get them involved. Host a mock class election with campaigns, speeches, ballots, and polling booths so they can be actively engaged in every step of the process. Combine the fun activities from this list to have a fun election project for students.
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2. DIY voter registration card
Voter registration is the first step in the election process of voting, so it’s important that children understand how it works. Use this election FREEBIE to make your own registration cards for your voting activity.
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3. Create your own ballot box
Get your kids excited about the right to vote by creating your own ballot box. A simple shoebox or even an empty tissue box will do the trick. Cover the box with red, white, and blue paper then use your favorite art materials to decorate.
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4. DIY polling booths
Set up these fun polling booths so your kids can get a feel for an authentic voting experience. This presents an excellent opportunity for independent thinking skills and would be a great classroom discussion starter about voting privacy and why it matters. The polling booth can also be used for all kinds of big (or small) decisions that need to be made in your home or classroom.
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5. Printable voting ballots
Print out these ready-made patriotic voting ballots for your election unit. These could be used to vote for class elections or even to have dinner! This easy craft will go perfectly with the DIY ballot voting box and polling booths.
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6. Campaign poster election activities
Break out the art supplies for this one and let the creativity fly. Show your kids examples of campaign posters and break down the components that need to be included. Students could make posters for an upcoming election cycle, or they could even design them for themselves in a mock election.
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7. Make your own voting badge
With some simple supplies, you can whip up these election-day badges in no time! Download the free election resource and pick up patriotic cupcake liners, ribbons, pinbacks, and hot glue to put together these cute badges. Your kids can even wear these to the real polling booth with you!
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8. Graph election results
Everyone knows the importance of incorporating math skills so that learning increases and lessons about the election and voting are a great opportunity to do this. Analyze local election results using critical thinking skills to create a graph. This could be done on paper or even using a computer.
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9. Show election results using counting beads
This activity is perfect for younger learners and incorporates math and fine motor skills. After a classroom or family vote (let’s say for your favorite snack), have students slide counting beads on pipe cleaners to display the numbers.
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10. Make a patriotic windsock
When it comes to making educational crafts at home, the fewer materials you have to buy, the better, right? This patriotic windsock craft can be made with items you likely already have in your home! Set out cardstock, glue, a fun star-shaped paper punch, and crepe paper, and get busy crafting.
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11. Election Day poetry
These Election Day poems highlight the importance of being a good citizen and the history of voting. Elementary students could memorize and recite these on election day, or you could make a fun video to share with friends and family as a reminder to go vote!
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12. Read books about elections
As much as everyone loves a messy craft, sometimes you need a quiet activity that can lead to teachable moments. This list of fiction and non-fiction election books will help elementary school students understand that their voices matter.
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13. Election Day Bingo
Just because you're focusing on the election season activity doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten about vocabulary. Keep vocabulary exciting by playing this fun election activity bingo game with voting and election vocabulary terms.
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14. Design an American flag using household supplies
Show your patriotism by creating an American flag out of household supplies. Let your kids decide what they want to use to make their flags – you may be surprised by their creativity. Display your flags for all to see, especially on election day!
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15. If I Were President... Mad Libs
Perfect for older-grade students, this cool idea will have everyone giggling. Students fill in nouns, adjectives, and other specific words and phrases to create a funny story about being president. Your kids will not even realize they are practicing grammar during this engaging lesson.
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16. Would you rather?
While learning about the civic duty of voting and the important decisions made through the process, use this interactive “would you rather” quiz to add some silliness to the conversation.
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17. Count down to election day with a patriotic paper chain
Counting down to the presidential election builds anticipation. Use this free printable patriotic paper chain or make your own from red, white, and blue paper. The only other material you will need is tape or a stapler; it doesn't get easier than that!
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18. Watch engaging videos to learn about the election process
Turn screen time into a learning opportunity! Use these videos to learn about the election process and why voting matters. They are designed for children, so they break down the procedures so that anyone can understand them.
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19. Turn disagreements into an opportunity for debate
Instead of listening to your children bicker about what to watch on family movie night or argue about which board game to play, have them present their individual ideas one at a time and provide evidence to support their choices. Teaching kids that they can listen and respect others’ opinions, even if they don’t agree, is a valuable life lesson.
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20. Vote together!
Let your kids experience an official election by taking them with you to the polls. After learning about voting and elections, allowing them to witness the event firsthand will be something they will always remember.
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