Family activism: Make protest signs with kids

Activism for the whole family: Make protest signs with kids - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

A post was recently circulating on Facebook that said, basically—and I’m summarizing here—that President Trump really is making America great again. After all, community involvement and participation is the highest I’ve ever seen, citizens are educated and vocal about our government, and nonprofits are receiving record support. What’s more, it’s not only grown-ups standing up for justice. Family activism seems to be growing, too.

My girls are definitely accompanying me on my journey becoming a more active and outspoken citizen. So it felt natural to make protest signs with my kids.

Family activism // make protest signs with kids // resist - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Peeper and Kiwi are no strangers to arts and crafts, so they were happy to lend their artistic talents to our protest signs.

We’ve gone to a number of demonstrations together, and our family activism doesn’t show any signs of slowing. We’re going to marches and candlelight vigils, yes, but we’re also going to potlucks with families who recently arrived as refugees and postcard making parties to thank our members of congress.

I’m still finding it tough to explain difficult concepts in a kid-friendly way. I don’t know how much is getting through. But to make protest signs with kids, you have to distill a big idea into a small space—and just a few words (or no words at all). So really, kids making protest signs totally makes sense.

If you’re ready to get into family activism, too, here are a few tips to make protest signs with kids. (When you’re done, you may want to read my post on going to a march with kids—after all, you’ll want to show off those signs!)

Kid protest signs // family activism // do good with kids // Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Tips to make protest signs with kids

Ask them what they want to say. You might be surprised by the sophistication of their understanding. Truth from the mouths of babes indeed.

Treat it like any other craft. Break out the markers, finger paints or glitter glue—whatever your kids are into. They can put a unique stamp on your signs.

Family activism // Make protest signs with kids // arts and crafts with a conscience - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Handmade messages. Even babies can contribute when you write a message on their behalf. Then “sign” the message with a painted hand print.

Connect a sign to their interests. Peeper loves princesses, so I incorporated that into a sign she wore on her backpack (“Princesses against fascism”). She even wore a crown to the march. Our fellow protesters loved it too!

Make protest signs with kids // Family activism // March and protest with children - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Plan a protest play date. What’s better than kids learning that your voice matters, even if they still can’t conjugate verbs correctly? Doing it with friends! So invite a few pals over and let the kids get their family activism on together.

Go minimal. When in doubt, do something simple. A heart on a white background speaks volumes—and the less involved your sign is, the more likely your kids’ short attention spans will last making it.

Have you ever made protest signs with kids or taken the whole family to a demonstration? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

11 thoughts on “Family activism: Make protest signs with kids

  • March 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Kudos to you for instilling civic activism in your children from the outset. I don’t have children myself, but I do hope more parents teach democracy to their offspring.

    My skeptical brain questioned having children of such young age making political signs they cannot possibly understand promoting and protesting what they also cannot possibly understand. You too mention your doubts about how much of anything is getting through. But then you recommend asking the kids what they want to say and the results of that, it sounds like, show what they think.

    Here’s to protest play dates.
    Peter Korchnak recently posted…Travel reading: A weekly roundup, March 13, 2017My Profile

    • March 16, 2017 at 11:44 am

      You make great points, Peter. Even if my kids don’t fully understand what a given protest or civic demonstration is about, I want them to grow up believing they can—and should—be a part of the political process. It’s important to me that they believe what they value and say is important.

  • March 16, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    That’s great! I know it’s nowhere near as powerful but I like seeing signs made by kids at Blazer games. =)

  • March 17, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Great tips in this post! And your kids and their signs are seriously adorable!

  • March 17, 2017 at 11:52 am

    The best education is leading by example, and I love how you are bringing together things I never thought about before. Thank you for sharing!

    • March 21, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      You’re so right, Sahar! I hope that my girls learn that their voice matters by seeing me—and the family—fight for what we believe is right.

    • March 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      HAHAHA! Those would be great signs!

  • March 20, 2017 at 3:07 am

    As my son gets older I realise that I do need to speak the truth to him about certain things going on in the world and I don’t want to lie about things. There are unfortunately hardships for people and some things just simply aren’t fair. It is important that they can see they can use their voice to try and make a difference. And it is important we do teach them to stand up for what they believe in. Great signs!
    Suzy @ In the Lyons Den recently posted…Hump Day Hype Link Up #7 – Getting Over the Hump This WeekMy Profile

  • March 20, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Great job on bringing your children’s attention to the real issues (and injustices) of the world. I think it is important for our children as they grow up to understand the world around them and how they can play a role, whether big or small, in shaping their community and world. I love the idea of getting their interests involved too, what a great idea to help them understand the concept even better!


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