Another United States presidential election is in the books. I knew that this year’s election was going to be historic no matter who won, so I knew it was important to try to get the girls involved in the process as much as possible. I wanted them to be as educated as possible on what was going on in our country – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Here are a few of the activities we did in our homeschool that made teaching and celebrating the election fun. Maybe some of these ideas will inspire you for a future government and election lesson? Don’t forget to grab your free printable later in the post!
Make an Election Lapbook
About a month before the big presidential election, I downloaded and printed this lapbook to use in our daily lessons. Each day we worked on the lessons and had really good discussions about what we were learning. We finished it just in time for the big election!
The lessons that are included in this lapbook taught my girls so much about the election process and how our government works in general. I’ll admit that I too learned some of the things I had forgotten from my high school citizenship class. I love when I am able to learn right alongside my kids!
The girls really enjoyed the lapbook’s little booklet activities. They even told me it felt more like an arts and crafts project instead of “real school work”. Mom win! What I loved the most is that the lapbook really covered the topic in depth, but at a level that was perfect for both of the older girls to understand.
Participate in a Mock Election
Prior to the big election day, we decided to hold our own mock stuffed animal election. Each of the girls picked which stuffed animal (also lovingly called “Stuffty’s” in our home) they wanted to nominate to run for office.
Then they campaigned for their nominee (complete with mini stuffed animal sized campaign posters) in hopes of becoming the next president of “Animerica”.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the 1st President of “Animerica” — President Torchic!
I created some printables for the girls to use as a template for writing their campaign speeches. They were told to come up with three things their candidate would do to make “Animerica” a better place. They filled them out, and used them to from while filming their campaign video.
The speeches come in three different primary colors: blue, red, and yellow. I compiled them into a PDF document that you can download for free. Maybe they will come in handy in your own mock election?
Cast Your Vote!
Later that afternoon we decided to head over to the polls so that the hubsterdude and I could cast our votes in the real presidential election. The girls tagged along with us so they could get the real life experience.
Make Patriotic Snacks
When we were finished voting, we came home and made yummy patriotic themed snacks to enjoy as we watched the results of the election. The treats we chose to make were simple red white and blue layered rice crispy treats.
Here are a few other patriotic themed snacks that would be great for election night as well!
- Captain America Kids Drink: Celebrate Red, White & Blue by A Worthy Read
July 4th Treats: Easy Patriotic Snack Mix Dessert by Dear Creatives
Patriotic White Chocolate Puppy Chow by Blackberry Babe
Throw an Election Night Party
Earlier in the day, we put up a few red white and blue decorations to make our election party seem a little more festive. Of course, you can’t have a party without balloons and streamers, so we had to make sure there were plenty of those.
Once the polls closed, we got comfy in front of the TV with our blue and red colored pencils, and our election day express lapbook (complete with the blank electoral map to color in). We spent the remainder of the night together tracking the state wins and adding up the earned electoral votes as the candidates drew closer to a winner.
This election was by far the most enjoyable for me. While I normally dread all things politics and I was not thrilled with our choices for office this year, I sincerely enjoyed spending this time with my family.
I think what made the night so enjoyable was watching my kids get so involved in the results. And they weren’t just watching it while daydreaming either, they actually really got it. They understood what was going on, and were really invested in the results.
We had a blast filling out our maps together and stayed up until after 2am watching the victory speech. It was truly one of the best nights we’ve spent together as a family in a while.
Don’t forget to check out A Journey Through Learning’s Election lapbooks. They are colorful, engaging, and full of great educational information. It’s a must have for anyone wanting to teach their children about the election process and how our government works.