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#ChalkTheVote launches nationwide—Here’s how your family can get involved

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Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, and ParentsTogether has a great idea to get the whole family involved! Kids can’t vote yet, but it’s never too early to start conversations about the importance of participating in our democracy. Plus, kids who see their parents vote turn into grown-ups who vote too! 

How do we #ChalkTheVote?

The weekend of October 29-30, families across the country will hit the parks, sidewalks, and anywhere else with a chalkable surface to inspire folks to get out and vote with chalk art about voting!

This kid-friendly activity will show your neighbors that you and your family value voting, and encourage everyone to reflect on why voting matters to their own families and community. Here’s how to participate—

  • Choose a location: It could be your driveway, a local school or park, or a public hotspot with lots of foot traffic.
  • Pick a time: You’re most likely to do anything (including vote, by the way!) when you make a plan of when you’ll do it. In between naps? After lunch on Saturday? You can make it a whole afternoon adventure or just carve out 15 minutes.
  • Get a few supplies: It doesn’t take a lot! Grab some chalk and maybe some coffee and snacks if you want to go the extra mile. 
  • Invite your friends and neighbors: Voting is a family matter AND a community matter. We’re all in this together so fire up the group text, post in your local parent group, or message that mom you’ve been meaning to schedule a playdate with! If you’re interested in organizing a larger #ChalkTheVote event in your area, check out our host toolkit.
  • Make some magic: Decorate the space with chalk art designed to inspire voters, and remind the community to VOTE on Tuesday, November 8. 
  • Show us your art by posting on social media: Include #FamilyVote and  #ChalkTheVote and tag @parentstogether on social media. Make sure your post is set to “public” so we can see it! We will share some of your amazing artwork in the lead up to the election! Or if you don’t use social media, email us photos at [email protected]

Need some ideas for your chalk art message?

Here are some examples of messages your family can write in sidewalk chalk to get your community excited to go vote—

  • Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8! Don’t forget to vote! 
  • Kids can’t vote–please be our voice
  • Hey grown-ups, please vote on 11/8
  • I’m voting because I love my kids and I love yours too. 
  • I’m voting because ______. Why are you voting on November 8? 
  • Voting is a family matter. 
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8 is Take Your Kids to the Polls Day! 

Looking for inspiration for your chalk art?

Here are just a few ideas to get you started—

Voting Plan Hopscotch

Follow our example above to help your neighbors hop their way to a voting plan! To play the game, start on “How will you vote?” and hop to the box in each row that reflects how you plan to vote. Some ideas to include in your hopscotch game are:

  • How will you vote? [By mail] [in person early] [on Nov 8]
  • Childcare? [Getting sitter] [Taking kids] [No need]
  • Transportation? [Car/Bus] [Walking] [Using the mail]
  • How will you celebrate? [Dancing!] [Long nap] [A beverage]

Not every state allows early voting in person or has widespread options to vote by mail, so check for what’s available in your state if you aren’t sure.

This Family Votes!

Share your family’s voting plan by drawing and filling in the following sentence: “My family is voting [by mail/in person/by ballot drop-off] on [date] at [location].” Or, shout out a reminder by writing, “This family already voted. Have you?” Have your child add stars, doodles, and a stick-figure drawing of your family!

I need my grown-ups to vote because…

Raise up kids’ voices! Have your child respond to the prompt “I need grown-ups to vote because…” Help them think about all the great things the grown-ups in their lives can help make happen by voting, like getting more money for their schools, protecting the environment, keeping their neighborhood safe, or making sure everyone has equal rights. Then have them write out or illustrate their answer—or sit by the prompt and answer in a video! 

This *amazing* work of art by CHALK R!OT

If you’re looking for more election-related activities your kids can try, use the questions below to engage them in a discussion about voting and democracy. It can also be engaging for kids to go to the polls with their parents or caregivers to see how voting works in real life!

  • Lots of adults are going to vote on important candidates and issues on November 8! If you could put something that’s important to you on the ballot for people to vote on, what would it be?
  • If you were running for president, what would your campaign slogan be?
  • When you turn 18, you’ll be allowed to register to vote! What will you do to celebrate the big milestone?
  • You’ve been selected to speak to voters on behalf of the country’s children! What urgent request will you make?
  • Imagine someone you know is allowed to vote, but says they don’t feel like it this year. What would you say to convince them to vote?

This election deeply impacts our children and their future. Nothing is more important to parents than caring for their kids, and voting on Election Day is one of the best ways to do that. Kids are counting on their grown-ups to vote and rally others to vote on their behalf. Between now and Election Day on November 8, take a little time to #ChalkTheVote with your family and get the word out about voting in your community!

Mckenna Saady is a staff writer and digital content lead for ParentsTogether. Before working for nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign and United Way, Mckenna spent nearly a decade as a child care provider and Pre-K teacher. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now lives in Philadelphia and writes poetry, fiction, and children’s literature in her spare time.