From the Playground to the Polls

SS Member Image By drodriguez 08.08.08
From the Playground to the Polls
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Mixing kids and politics may seem like a strange notion to some. Many parents probably don’t talk to their kids about politics because they just don’t think they would be interested. But what if they do care and what if they were given a voice in the public arena? One company that specializes in children’s wear, If Kids Could Vote (IKCV) is taking this cause to the front lines.

Earlier this summer IKCV started a petition to “make 12 the new 18” by urging officials to lower the voting age. The company admits the campaign is mostly in jest, but makes a few good points just the same. It is true that most, if not all, decisions made in the political arena will directly impact our children’s futures. Getting kids more involved in politics when they are young might prove to be invaluable to them as they make decisions growing up.

From onesies to t-shirts, the humorous line of children’s wear IKCV puts out is sure to be a conversation starter for kids and their parents. One of their more popular t-shirts reads “I can’t vote?Please don’t blow it.” with an American flag imprint in the middle.

Another clothing line called Tutti Bella offers a line of political t-shirts for children as well. You can either get a shirt that reads "Lil Republican" or "Lil Democrat" in a tiny size for your child.  These t-shirts come with the iconic elephant and donkey emblem in the center.

Former consultant for UNICEF and founder of If Kids Could Vote, Peter Cenedella, tells the story of how he started the unique kid’s clothing line, “I came home from work one day and my daughter said, ?Daddy, I want to cancel being an animal doctor and run for president!’ That’s when I realized kids and politics could mix in a really hopeful way. Most of all, kids don’t want to be cynical. They want to believe and be engaged, and let’s face it ? American politics could really use an infusion of that kind of youthful attitude. That’s why we started doing this.”

To sign the IKCV petition to “make 12 the new 18” or to check out their clothing line for kids you can visit .  And to check out what Tutti Bella has to offer you can visit .

Have your children expressed any interest in politics yet?

Do you think they would enjoy expressing themselves with political wear, like the t-shirts offered at If Kids Could Vote or Tutti Bella?

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  • danesmom By danesmom

    WOW..I cannot believe how personal some people take politics...and how these questions have prompted such heated and lenthy off topic answers...The questions again..

    Have your children expressed any interest in politics yet? Not yet, but our neighbor who is 12 has nothing but the elections on his mind.

    Do you think they would enjoy expressing themselves with political wear, like the t-shirts offered at If Kids Could Vote or Tutti Bella? My son is not interested in any of these things yet, and if and when he is, I am going to allow him to make his own mind up about what he believes and hope that he can be passionate about his beliefs AND respect the judgements of others. There should never be just one side to a story. But shirts exactly LIKE or similiar to these will be welcome in our house, for either side.

    I do think it would humorous to have an official vote for those in the 12-18 range having no impact on the official vote, but just to see what the minds of our future are holding.

  • jenndta69 By jenndta69

    Some one sounds bitter. I personally think it's a great idea. The people that are being affected the most in this climate are our children. My child is interested in who becomes the next President. In fact, she had chosen a different candidate than we did durning the primaries. Children are more capable in making choices than they are given credit for. She should not be able to vote, however they do deserve an opinion! That's what makes this America.

  • bufflady By bufflady

    i think it is great to get kids to be interested in the process but no, they shouldnt be able to vote at such a young age - it is too important a decision

  • swedeheart By swedeheart

    I have to agree with most of the statements above. Too one-sided (no matter who that candidate is) and kids are basically not informed enough to make a decision on their own. Sounds like parents using their kids to advertise.

  • jenr02 By jenr02

    Wow... the site is very one-sided. That bothers me, even though I honestly haven't decided who to vote for (don't like either of them honestly).

  • lostcowgirl2005 By lostcowgirl2005

    Oh no our kids do not need to vote next they would want them to go to war at age 12 lets get real. Our kids are having to grow up way to soon as it is. Let them be kids while they can.

  • jagnandez By jagnandez

    I think that kids should learn politics at a young age so when they are old enough to vote they are eductaed to form their own opinions. but that is a seperate issue from letting them vote at 12. next thing we know they will be able to drive at 10. one thing is learning and another is doing. to be able to make your children well rounded individuals you have to be open minded and teach them to be one too. you just cant expect them to be if you are not. it is important to teach them to love their country and stand up for what they believe in whether it is the same thing you believe in or not.

  • 1hotlilmama By 1hotlilmama

    I just wish they offered McCain shirts...if they had McCain and not Obama I would still think it one sided. I have always taught my children the same way I was brought up. No matter who is the president, you don't speak badly against them (I even practiced this with President Clinton even though I find him to be morally bankrupt & reprehensibly). It's important to teach children to be respectful even if you may not always agree with everything the President does. He's the leader of our country and therefor deserves respect. Period.

    I did find another site that had children's shirts for both candidates, so I bought one McCain and one Obama for my twin boys. I'm want to teach them it's important to vote, no matter who they may choose as they get older. They are still pretty young, but it's a lesson so many kids miss out on and I don't want mine to be some of those kids.

  • babyhalim By babyhalim

    Many of the above posts are complaining that the site is one-sided, but they seem pretty one-sided themselves. It begs the question, would they be complaining as loudly if it was one-side toward McCain?

  • villager By villager

    Oh if only Adults Could Vote responsibly. Some of the opinions here make me wonder. Which candidates are against sports and 4H, specifically? When did hunting become a priority? I doubt it's because American kids don't get enough to eat. So is it about their right to bear arms? And take them into the schools you don't want to fund by paying taxes?

    I hope your kids are more educated than these posts reflect.

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