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Voting with candy wrappers


Vlaamse Scholierenkoepel


The good practice is developed to make quick decisions with every young person involved.


At the beginning of an activity, an event or a school day, a group of young people are standing at the entrances with a load of candy (in wrappers). A bit further are 3 trash cans with above them a question, e.a. 'what would you like to do during lunch break?'. On each trash can there is a possible answer (play sports - chill and read - nothing). The other young people drop their (from the received candy) wrapper in the trash can with their favourite answer. When everyone has entered, you know their opinion.

(Almost everyone gives an answer. To avoid 'I don't care' votes on the serious answers, put an 'I don't care' trash can as well.)

--> People who want to know what young persons are thinking, what their opinion is.


It’s easy to organise, easy to do. You 'lure' young persons with the candy, so practically everyone participates.


Whenever you need an answer. Every question where you need the see what the masses think, is doable. You can adapt it in lots of situations: a school environment, a youth movement, a youth event... At a time there's a lot of people traffic (e.a. the beginning of the school day)


It’s tested on a number of schools by different pupils, different questions over the years.

The young persons can vote in a simple way, allowing them to participate in the school, their youth movement or their organisation. This means they are heard and their voices count.

! It is important to let the young persons know what happens with their votes. What happens to the results? After all, knowledge is also part of participation!



High degree / regularly

Gender sensitivity:

High degree / regularly

Culture sensitivity:

Minimal / low

Doable (practical):

High degree / regularly


High degree / regularly

Replicable and adaptable:

High degree / regularly


High degree / regularly

Type of good practice

Practical tool


Promoting democratic values, Youth civic participation


One day or less

Type of activity

Group activity


A poster with the question written on, Posters with the possible answers, A number of trash cans equal to the possible answers, Enough wrapped candy.


Vlaamse Scholierenkoepel


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