Talking to kids about voting
What does every child's favorite sandwich have to do with politics? Read on.
Have you ever stopped to think about why the sandwich is called Peanut Butter & Jelly and not Jelly & Peanut Butter? The googly-eyed condiment characters in Peanut Butter or Jelly ponder this question as they jockey for naming rights in their sandwich. Each side argues their case, but (SPOILER ALERT!) they can’t reach a resolution. Instead, they decide to put it up for a vote to let kids decide.
Democrats and Republicans go together like peanut butter and jelly… or not. The concept of voting, especially in the context of politics, can be foreign to young children (and many adults). But if you talk about voting for whose name should come first in their favorite sandwich, kids will not only listen but have a very strong opinion.
Is it fair that Peanut Butter's name always goes first?
If yes, why? If no, why not? And more importantly, how do you decide?
The characters in Peanut Butter or Jelly present several valid arguments why their name should go first:
Voting: Start 'em young
Sandwich Name Vote Tally (%)
Whether you like politics or not, it’s important to talk to kids about voting. According to the Census Bureau, a measly 41.2% of 18-24 year-olds voted in 2012, down from 48.5% in 2008. We need to do something to reverse this trend. Voting young has many benefits including feeling a sense of belonging, starting to form a good lifelong habit, and increasing overall family voting participation.
You won't believe how passionate kids are about the concept of whose name should come first in a PB&J sandwich. Over 2000 kids have gone online to cast their vote in this heated debate. As of November 8, 2016, Jelly clearly won the battle by securing 56% of the votes.
But never fear. Polls are open again for the 2020 election! Early votes show Jelly still in the lead.
So make a PB&J sandwich and to talk to your kids about voting for naming rights for Peanut Butter and Jelly. A few topics to get the conversation started:
- What do you like about each candidate?
- How did it make you feel when Peanut Butter said Jelly couldn't have a turn?
- What do you think is fair?
- What would make the best sandwich name and why?
This is a great discussion for parents to have with kids and for teachers to have with students!
The bottom line is it's never too early to talk about voting with kids! Talk to them about Peanut Butter & Jelly (or Jelly & Peanut Butter) and encourage them to cast their vote.
(And if you're a grown-up who isn't registered to vote, register now!)