Kids Vote at the Discovery Center
Kids can vote this week at the Kansas Children's Discovery Center. As part of an election tradition, the week leading up to Election Day offers an opportunity for children to cast their ballots just like adults.
Why do kids vote at the Discovery Center? Because playing pretend, or dramatic play, has significant educational and social benefits for children. Pretend voters can explore new interests and roles, plus develop early math concepts by counting, comparing quantities and communicating results.
Beyond the educational benefits, educating children about voting helps encourage lifelong voting habits and civic participation. The Discovery Center polling station includes age-appropriate voter education materials, including books families can read to learn more about voting, government, and history. Recommended books include:
- This Little Voter board book by Little Bee Books (Author), Ann Bonnie (Author), Carol Herring (Illustrator)
- U.S. Government (Baby's Big World) by Julia Garstecki (Author), Hilli Kushnir (Illustrator)
- Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America by Deborah Diesen (Author), Magdalena Mora (Illustrator)
- Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak (Author), Wendy Grieb (Illustrator)
- Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (The Questioneers) by Andrea Beaty (Author), David Roberts (Illustrator)
- Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio (Author), LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
- Learn Along Bingo for Ages 2-5: Let's Vote, a free, printable activity packet from PBS Kids
Kids vote at the Discovery Center in a realistic voting station with privacy partitions and a ballot designed to look exactly like what grown-ups use in Shawnee County. Children receive their ballots from the election official at the front desk, and after returning their completed ballot, get an "I Voted" sticker.
What kids vote on varies depending on the election. Children have voted for real candidates, science programs, favorite books, and exhibit names. Discovery Center staff designs the elections so that children can have a realistic voting experience and see the impact of their vote.
Museum admission is not required to vote, but it is required to enter the museum galleries. Admission also lets you play all day at the Discovery Center with over 15,000 square feet of indoor educational exhibits exploring science, careers, art, building and more, a 4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom and special space for babies and toddlers to explore.
More Election Resources for Kids
Kids Voting USA
Resources for parents and educators organizing voting events for children.
Let's Vote! Talking to Children About Voting from PBS Kids
A great collection of voting activities and videos for families.