My kids are old enough to understand why I’m taking them to the polls today. But trying to explain to them how the process for electing our next President works, especially with the whole Electoral College thing, has been a bit trickier.
Which is why I’ve been using three different websites that do a great job of explaining the Electoral College to kids (and us grown ups too!) in clear, concise, and non-partisan terms. -Christina
Cool Mom Tech favorite Brain Pop
has a free video, Presidential Election
, that covers the entire election process from the primaries through the voting process. With Tim and his robotic sidekick Moby, the cartoon reviews the Electoral College and how it works in a way that is way easier for my kids to understand than anything I could tell them. It even discusses the 2000 election and helps kids understand how just one state can play such a pivotal role in deciding the entire outcome.
TEDEducation’s five-minute video, Does Your Vote Count? The Electoral College Explained
is a fabulous resource, even for us grown ups who may want a refresher course on the system and how it came into place. Bright, cartoony graphics make it fun to watch, though the content is really smart and thorough, so it’s probably going to be most suited for grade-and-middle-school age kids.
And if you really want to delve into the topic, I love 270 To Win
, a website that look back as far as that very first election in 1789 with a color-coded map of the United States for each election. It is so interesting to see how the winning candidate in 1808 was a “Democrat-Republican” or how the runner-up in 1836 was a member of the Whig party. In more recent years, look to see how the country swings from “red” to “blue” (and back again) and talk about what was going on in the country at those times. It makes for, not only a good education on the Electoral College, but a fascinating history discussion as well. (Please note that there is an app for this website but it appears to have some functionality problems, so we’d stick to the free website.)
Please don’t forget to vote today!