An Activity to Understand Elections (2- to 3-years-olds)

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Teach your toddler about the election process.

A very young child won’t understand an abstract concept such as voting. However, here’s a simple activity to teach your toddler about the election process.

Line up three kitchen chairs, and place one of your toddler’s three favorite stuffed animals on each chair. Tell all your children that you’ll hold an “election” to determine which stuffed animal will join the family for dinner. Give everyone a small square of paper (the secret ballot), and have each person vote for one of the three choices. Your toddler can draw a simple picture of his favorite, or you can jot down his vote.

Collect the ballots, tally the votes, announce the winner, and pin a paper star to the stuffed animal’s chest to make him the winner of the election. Explain that in America we have the privilege to vote for our leaders, much like your family voted for a favorite stuffed animal.

Developmental milestones

As you teach about elections, consider what’s going on developmentally with your toddler:

Like the adolescent, your child is undergoing major changes in his body and mind; he is still learning about the limits of his power and independence, and he tends to feel intensely about nearly everything. If he likes something, he can be ecstatic about it. … If he wants something and you won’t let him have it, you may be shocked by the intensity of his reaction.

—Taken from the Complete Guide to Baby & Child Care, published by Tyndale House Publishers Inc., © 1997, 2007 Focus on the Family.

From God’s Word

To help a child learn to make responsible decisions, parents have much to teach through modeling.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

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