Yesterday I explained voting and elections to my three-year-old daughter. She’s at an age where she understands fairly complex concepts, but her worldview is still limited to the confines of preschool, swimming lessons, and ballet class.
So when she asked me yesterday, “What is voting?” I tried to put it in a way she’d grasp.
“It’s picking the people who would be better at making rules. Does that make sense?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
Then I explained to her that once you pick the rule-makers, you fill in a bubble next to their name on a piece of paper called a ballot.
“I want to do it too,” she said.
“Well, you can go with Mommy, but you’re not old enough to vote yet. You have to be 18, and you’re only three.”
She started crying. Of course.
Just as I am the mother of my daughter, so too is necessity the mother of invention.
I realized as my preschooler cried about not being able to vote with me that I could solve two problems:
1) Sad toddler wants to vote
2) Wiggly toddler will have trouble sitting through me filling out my ballot
Thus, the “Big-Kid Ballot” was born.
I hope all you parents of little kids find this tool useful as you bring up the next generation of Americans doing their critical civic duty.
WDET’s Preschool Ballot by on Scribd