Angry Bird Election

Angry Bird Election 500x318 Angry Bird Election

My children are relatively clueless as to what is going on around our country and the world, apart from what we choose to tell them (which is how it should be at their ages, in my opinion).  Since we rarely have the TV on when they’re awake (except for an adult-approved kid’s show), they haven’t been exposed to talk of the upcoming election.  Even though they’re still too young to understand the entire process, I figured we would combine a little pretend play with some basic government fundamentals and create ourselves an Angry Bird Election.

We have accumulated a ridiculous amount of plush Angry Birds.  In my defense, I have not purchased a single one (thank you grandparents, aunts, uncles, and residents at the Nursing Home Prince Charming runs).  Nevertheless, they came in handy today for this little mock election.

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1.  I created a map of the United States on our living room carpet using masking tape.  Not entirely accurate…but close enough.  And please excuse our giant, glaring sun spot.

 

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 2.  The boys brought all of their Angry Birds and placed them inside the map.

 

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We talked about how all the Angry Birds were different:  Different shapes, sizes, and colors that made them each unique (except for the two sets of duplicate Angry Birds that we have, that is).

 

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Through a series of elections, eventually two Angry Birds ran against each other to become the President, the Leader of all the other Angry Birds (the two candidates are each displayed on their respective platforms).  These candidates tried to get the other Angry Birds to vote for them by giving speeches, meeting them, and talking on TV.

 

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 Big Brother decided he liked the Outer Space Blue Square Angry Bird best.

 

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 And Little Brother decided he wanted the Outer Space Green Angry Bird to be President.

 

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Then it was time for the Angry Birds to Vote.  They could either go to a building on a special day and choose who they wanted to be President…

 

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 …or they could send their vote through the mail ahead of time (which is what I did).

 

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After all the votes are counted, the one who gets the most votes wins!

Perhaps your children aren’t “into” Angry Birds, no problem!  You could always use stuffed animals, dolls, or action figures to illustrate this point as well!

*I fully realize that this doesn’t address the issue of the Electoral College.  However, since I can’t even understand that myself, I figured I would just leave that out of the conversation altogether.  Maybe next election we’ll tackle that issue…or the next…or the next.

Have you talked to your child about the election?  What creative ways have you introduced this concept?

6 Comments
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Comments

  1. Su Curley says

    Hi,
    What a cute concept, and kudos to you for educating your kids about the process!

    It looks like your kids are pretty young, but since you mentioned the electoral college, I have found that starting by using the School House Rock “We’re Going to Send Your Vote to College” a good start. My kids are a bit older, and from there we talked about the branches of government (also on the School House Rock DVD), and how the elector numbers are created. Then we talked about the difference between popular vote and electoral votes.

    Su

  2. Teri says

    I love it! Thank you so much for the inspiration. I think we will have to use fairies or Lalaloopsies instead of angry birds:)

  3. says

    I like how you explained the election. I am using “Duck for President” next week and may take your idea and use it in a different way. If you read “Grace for President” you may understand the electoral college in a simple way. Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    My 2.5 year old is still too young for all of this, but I really like what you did with the map and the birds! Maybe next year, or for the next presidential election for sure, I’ll do this too.

    I noticed my daughter watching an episode of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” on PBSkids the other day (we have the iPad app) that did a good job of explaining “voting” in general. The kids got to decide whether to add a swingset or a slide to the playground. They were told to “stop, think, and choose”, so it emphasized looking at the good and bad points of both choices. And they got to go into a little booth to cast their vote. Simple, and neat.

    • Joanne Schmidt says

      I taught history at our local High School in mid-northern Ontario for many years, and it included Civics. So there were opportunities to compare/contrast the American and Canadian Federal elections and Democratic systems. It was always difficult to explain the current role of the Electoral College, although it’s origins could be explained by pointing out the very different social, educational, economic and geographic realities in 1776. The Canadian electoral and parliamentary system is quite different than the American system, , and is also based on an earlier era, 1867, when the first four provinces were created. The system is not completely suited for the larger geographical area, and more urban multicultural society Canada has today. Fortunately both countries have had many more peaceful days in their long histories than days of conflict. I hope the election result is the one that is best for the U.S. I think that exposing children to the basic idea of making thoughtful choices for government leaders and representatives is just as important as the other subjects – if more citizens in both our countries and in countries around the world were learning about democratic choices by choosing toy leaders or learning about local issues that they could understand, there would be fewer conflicts. .

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