Last year my son really enjoyed making his American History II Lap Book. When Sonlight introduced the U.S. Elections Lap Book in kit form, I ordered it right away. I wanted to teach my kids about the U.S. election process in a fun, interactive way.
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What Is a Lap Book?
A lap book is a creative way of completing and storing, in flap-book form, several hands-on activities based on a topic of learning. To really understand why lap books are so helpful for learning, check out Amy Pak’s “Why Teach with Lapbooks?” As the president and founder of Home School in the Woods, Amy is an expert on lap books and timeline figures.
The Completed U.S. Elections Lap Book
The U.S. Elections Lap Book includes an elections booklet with reading excerpts for most lap book activities. The first step in creating the lap book is to make the cover, the elections booklet, and the pocket that holds the booklet on the back of the lap book. The elections booklet is a reference guide for the remaining activities.
The twenty-one activities in the U.S. Elections Lap Book fill the inside. They are interactive with flaps to lift, wheels to spin, pieces to slide or turn, or pop-up effects. This makes the activities both fun to create and fun to “read” again when the lap book is finished.
Save to Pinterest: Elections Lap Book – The Ultimate Guide Before You Buy
What’s in the U.S. Elections Lap Book Kit?
The lap book kit includes almost everything required to create the lap book.
- U.S. Elections Lap Book Instructions
- Lap book base (the blue folder and card stock pages that will hold the completed activities)
- 1 roll of double-sided sticky tape (We needed two rolls of a better quality double-sided sticky tape.)
- 1 glue stick (We needed two.)
- 6 paper fasteners (1/2″ brads) for activities with movable pieces like The American Experiment
- 1 liquid glue
- 2 pieces of Velcro – for the cover and for The Electoral College activity
- 1 piece of red felt for The Election Day activity
- Gold glitter for the National Conventions activity
- 1 Dura-Lar sheet (9″ x 12″) for the National Conventions activity
- All activities pre-printed on either card stock or copy paper with cutting and folding instructions as necessary
Save to Pinterest: Elections Lap Book Kit – What’s in the Box?
You will need to have on hand the following recommended supplies to complete the activities in the U.S. Elections Lap Book kit. Fortunately, most of these are common household items.
- Colored pencils
- Needle or push-pin
- I used the tip of a pen or scissors to successfully start holes for the paper fasteners.
- For the elections booklet, I used a stapler instead of inserting staples manually.
- Pencil and/or pen
- Scissors (Cutting the felt for the Election Day activity is difficult without sharp scissors.)
- Clear tape (one piece to keep a paper fastener in place)
- Craft knife (listed as optional but definitely helps with the more intricate cuts)
Although a glue stick and double-sided sticky tape are included in the elections lap book kit, we did need a second glue stick and two better rolls of double-sided sticky tape.
U.S. Elections Lap Book Activities
The U.S. Elections Lap Book includes twenty-one activities in addition to the lap book cover and assembly of the elections booklet. Most of the activities involve coloring, cutting, pasting, and folding. Depending on your child’s skills and the difficulty level of an activity, you may need to help. The tables below show which activities allow for or require artistic creativity (beyond coloring) and writing. I’ve also noted the projects that may require additional help from you.
The U.S. Elections Lap Book tries to take into account that some kids enjoy drawing while others do not. While most activities include coloring, some require or allow more artistic creativity.
|(4) The Three Branches of Government||Arrangement of leaves on branches|
|(9) Caucuses & Primaries||Draw your own candidates OR color the image provided|
|(13) The Presidential Campaign: Media – News Source||Draw four forms of media sources|
|(14) The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising – Spreading the Word!||Draw a campaign ad|
|(16) Statistics||Draw your own donkey and elephant OR color the images provided|
|(17) Election Day||Color the sticker OR design your own|
|(18) The Electoral College||Draw your own state seal OR print/color one from the Internet|
As with artistic creativity, the U.S. Elections Lap Book tries to cater to those who enjoy writing and those who don’t. Most writing activities are either fill in the blank or optional, but there are a few that require a little bit of writing.
|(1) Definition of “Election”||Fill in the blanks|
|(2) Different Forms of Government||Describe each term|
|(9) Caucuses & Primaries||Fill in date for Super Tuesday|
|(11) The Presidential Campaign: Platform||Write about three policies that you support|
|(14) The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising – Spreading the Word!||Create a slogan|
|(17) Election Day||Fill in the blanks|
|(18) The Electoral College||Fill in ballot|
|(19) Inauguration Day||Optional|
The U.S. Elections Lap Book is so memorable because many of the activities are fun and interactive. However, younger children may require additional help to achieve special effects like booklets, spinners, pop-ups, sliders, and confetti. Work with your child as needed to prevent frustration with the more elaborate projects.
|Activity||Your Child May Need Help With|
|Elections Booklet and Pocket||Stapling the booklet|
|(3) The American Experiment||Using paper fasteners|
|(5) Suffrage||Cutting (craft knife)|
|(6) Who Do We Vote For?||Creating wheel|
|(7) Terms of Office||Creating booklet|
|(9) Caucuses & Primaries||Intricate cutting; creating pop-up effect|
|(10) National Conventions||Cutting; creating “confetti” effect|
|(12) The Presidential Campaign: Stump Speaking||Creating pop-up effect|
|(15) Raising Money||Cutting and assembly|
|(17) Election Day||Cutting felt, creating booklet|
|(18) The Electoral College||Creating envelope and state seal|
|(19) Inauguration Day||Using paper fastener|
|(20) The Electoral Race!||Creating slider|
Tips for Preparing the Lap Book Kit
The U.S. Elections Lap Book kit is well organized, but there are still a few steps I like to take to make completing the lap book easy.
(1) Use Sheet Protectors to Organize Activity Pages
Since the U.S. Elections Lap Book kit comes with every activity already printed out, that big stack of papers can be overwhelming. So I separate the activity pages and place all of the pages for each activity into its own sheet protector. Not only does this help prevent losing papers, but it also means that it’s easy to do the activities in a different order if desired.
Once all activity pages are in sheet protectors, you can choose to store them in the U.S. Elections Lap Book box or in a 3-ring binder. The binder works well when assigning one or two activities per week for homeschool.
(2) Trace and Cut the Dura-Lar Sheet
The U.S. Elections Lap Book requires Dura-Lar for one activity. Use the template and a wet-erase marker to trace two circles on the Dura-Lar sheet. Then cut out the circles and place them in the sheet protector for the National Convention activity.
(3) Use a Craft Knife to Perform Intricate Cuts
Several activities in the Elections Lap Book require intricate cutting that is easier to do with a craft knife. Although the craft knife is listed as optional, I’m not sure I could have used scissors to make the cuts around the thumbs for the Suffrage activity. While the remaining detailed cuts could likely be accomplished with scissors, I found it easiest to do them all at once with the craft knife.
Options for Ordering the U.S. Elections Lap Book
You have two options when purchasing the U.S. Elections Lap Book. You may either order a complete kit as I did, or you can purchase the digital files and print your own project pages.
Option 1: An Open-and-Go Lap Book Kit from Sonlight
The U.S. Elections Lap Book Kit is published by InquisiKids and sold by Sonlight. This is the second lap book kit that we’ve completed, and I plan to continue using Sonlight’s lap book kits for our homeschool. You can receive a $5 discount on your first Sonlight order of $50 or more with my referral code RL20403624.
- Almost everything you need to complete the kit is in the box.
- All activities have already been printed on the correct type and color of paper.
- The kit is more expensive than the digital files.
- The kit can only be used to make one U.S. Elections Lap Book.
Option 2: Digital Files from Home School in the Woods
The activities used in the lap book kit were created by Home School in the Woods. You can buy a digital copy of this U.S. Elections lap book directly from Home School in the Woods. Note that the colorful instructions booklet shown in the images above was made by InquisiKids and is likely different than the instructions in the digital copy.
- The digital version of the U.S. Elections lap book is less expensive.
- You can make multiple lap books with the digital version.
- You can reprint an activity if your child makes a mistake.
- You have to print out all the activity pages; some require card stock. Your lap book will likely look different as you may not have all the paper colors used in the example.
- You have to purchase all of the necessary materials to make the lap book including such items as a tabbed file folder, red felt, gold glitter, paper fasteners, and a sheet of Dura-Lar.
Home School in the Woods offers many other affordable historical projects – not all of which are lap books. We purchased the Activity-Pak: Make-A-State digital download for our kids. Now they can make lap books for any of the 50 United States. The upside of the digital download is being able to print as many copies as my children desire. The downside is that I have to purchase and print all other materials necessary to make the lap book.