.One afternoon last week, I was at home with my kids when the doorbell rang. We opened the door and were greeted by a student canvassing for our U.S. congresswoman. She is running as the incumbent. (All members of the U.S. House of Representatives are elected every two years).
The congresswoman knows, as every elected official does, that face-to-face contact with constituents is the best way to make sure citizens get out and vote. Even on that steamy summer afternoon, with the election still months away, the congresswoman's volunteers were going door to door.
The student canvasser gave me information and asked if I would support the congresswoman. He also asked me if I would like a yard sign. I said yes. Later that day, he came back with the sign. My kids helped me pound it into the ground. It was a great learning opportunity. I had the chance to tell them a little about the congresswoman and what she stands for.
When parents show kids they are engaged with politics--by doing things such as putting up a political yard sign--they are more likely to raise kids who are civically minded. Such activities help increase children's political knowledge and interest.
Put up a yard sign for your favorite candidate running for office. It could be for any election: presidential, congressional, state, or local.
How to Get a Free Yard Sign
The best way to get a free yard sign is to contact the campaigns directly. For the presidential campaigns, contact your local party organization. For other elections, go to the candidates' campaign websites. On my congresswoman's campaign website, for example, there is a form anyone can fill out to request a free yard sign.
Here is some election vocabulary to go along with the yard sign activity. Teach your children these terms.
Canvass: to solicit votes from electors.
Constituent: a person who lives in a district represented by an elected official.
Incumbent: the person who already holds the office for which he or she is running.
For detailed lessons, resources and activities on the election, check out our Presidential Election Unit Study!