Monday, February 27, 2012

A household election

As we are learning through the elections this year, I thought it would be fun to hold a "mock election".  What better way to learn about elections than to have one right in our own home!  But, what to have them run we have no president...haha.  It had to be intriguing and fun...something that they would all want to "win".  I also wanted it to be something that they would do for the family.  That way they could have campaign promises and work to win votes.  So, I decided to give the kids an opportunity to run for Fantastic Friday Field-trip Chooser.  Try fitting that on a political sign...haha. 

I told the kids and they were all on board.  First, I explained the rules of the game.  The three older kids would run for office.  Every family member would get two votes...down to Sethy.  They would be allowed to create and put up signs and run their campaign how they felt was right.  Voters needed to keep in mind the promises that would be made and if they believe the candidate could actually deliver on the promises.  Obviously, if the promise of Disneyland was made, that candidate isn't to be trusted.  I also set a budget of $20 (ish...isn't that how Washington sets our federal budget??) for the field trip.  This would include the six kids and mom.  The things that wouldn't have to come from the budget would be gas money and a homemade picnic lunch.

I provided the kids with art supplies that I bought in red. white, and blue to create signs, etc.  Here are a few pictures of them creating signs and decorations for their campaigns.

As time progressed, the kids realized just how fickle the voters could be.  I guess we have several "swing voters" in our house...haha!
At first, the kids were trying to plan trips to the Lego Store or to Mc Donalds (a place they don't get to go often).  But, $20 is a tight budget for those things and none of the candidates could seem to pull ahead in the daily polls.

Finally, in a desperate attempt to gain votes, Nathan pledged to take a "free" field trip and give a tax refund...meaning that he would split the $20 budget money between the older four kids...each would get $5.  WOW.  I didn't even give him any hints.  He may be a born politician...haha!  Now everyone wanted to vote for him.  Brennan saw that the polls showed that he was behind and desperately tried to gain back votes by promising a $4 per kid tax refund and an ice cream.  Isn't that how it goes in real life?  Oh, this was SO much fun to watch!

I let the kids run their campaigns for most of the month of February so that they would get a good taste of winning and keeping votes.  When it came time to vote, I placed each of the older three kids' color coded drinking cups on the floor in the piano room.  Then we had the family wait in the other room as each person cast their two votes in the cup(s) of the candidate(s) they supported.

To keep it "secret ballets", I had Wesley vote first, then Seth (who couldn't give anything away), then Peter and I, and then the older kids one at a time.

In the end, it was the tax cut that won the votes.  Guess we have a house full of Republicans...haha.

Although the kids just thought this was another fun game that mom came up with, they really learned a great deal about winning and keeping votes and how the polls can an instant.

1 comment:

  1. I want to run for election in your home too! Hugs for your day friend.