With all the attack ads on TV, the l-o-n-g debates, and the lack of cartoon characters, it’s no wonder that my kids aren’t exactly enthralled with politics and the upcoming presidential election.
But there’s now a cool, non-partisan website that allows kids to learn a little more about the process and the candidates (and even lets them try being Commander in Chief). Plus there’s plenty of kid-friendly cartoon drawings to hold their attention much longer than the next :30 plea for your vote.
PBS Kids’ The Democracy Project is an adorable and navigable site to help young kids learn about the upcoming presidential election–all without trying to force any agenda down their throats.
In the “Meet the Candidates” section, kids will learn about Mitt and Barack’s favorite foods, Mitt’s full name and Barack’s nickname, and a couple of other fun facts. Nothing is too heavy-handed and issues aren’t touched at all, so don’t be too surprised if your child professes support for the candidate who also likes hot dogs.
In other sections of the site, kids can get involved in either creating a sticker to support their favorite candidate (login required), or vote on other stickers made by kids on the site. I love the creativity here to either show support for a candidate or an issue. And don’t worry: preset slogans and terms ensure that nothing gets nasty.
Kids can also print out a campaign poster for either candidate, though I love the template for creating your own poster (which will allow my daughters to imagine themselves as a candidate for the highest office).
In addition to the candidate-specific features, there are also sections that let kids learn more about how government impacts their communities, what happens in a voting booth, printable presidential trading cards, and even a fun questionnaire that lets your child pretend he or she is President for the day. Sorry, kids, you’ll still have to eat your vegetables, even if you’re the Commander in Chief. -Christina
Visit PBS Kids’ The Democracy Project with your kids. And check out the special areas for parents and teachers if you’d like to explore the election or issues even further.