Mr Lee Kuan Yew is such a towering figure in Singapore’s history, but many young children may not know about him. That’s where Children’s Museum Singapore’s latest exhibition, LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister comes in, providing an accessible way for children to be introduced to Singapore’s founding Prime Minister.
The Boy Who Became Prime Minister: A Cabinet of Curiosities
The LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister exhibition address questions that kids may have such as “What was his childhood like?”, “Did he travel to many places?” and even seemingly innocent ones like “Did he have a private jet to take him around?”
Mr Lee’s story is presented through a cabinet of curiosities; information is presented in little snippets (did you know that he won first prize in a baby contest?) and through some of his personal artefacts that kids can get upclose to.
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Together, they tell the story of Mr Lee as a child, what he was like as a student and his career as a statesman. A video clip extracted from his stirring speech from the 1988 National Day Rally provides a glimpse of his gumption and fiery spirit.
One of the oldest artefacts presented at LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister is the school register of Telok Kurau East School (now Telok Kurau Primary School). It bears his English name “Lee Harry” from when he transferred into the school.
Another is Mrs Lee Kuan Yew’s barrister wig. This alludes to both Mr and Mrs Lee’s professions as lawyers.
A set of Pelikan ballpoint and fountain pens speak to Mr Lee’s frugality.
Kids may also be curious about how many countries Mr Lee had travelled to as a statesman. There is a map where they can try to count the number of countries he has visited. (Here’s a hint: it’s more than 74 but less than 76).
Learning about Mr Lee
Other interactive elements at LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister include a WWII survival kit, a testament to Mr Lee’s resourcefulness even as a teen, and a standee where kids can measure up to him.
There is also a dress-up corner while, in another, a podium gives kids a chance to imagine what it’d be like to deliver a speech like Mr Lee.
Don’t miss a chance to head over to the mirror wall where there are quotes from Mr Lee that echo till today that you can pose with.
LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister at Children’s Museum Singapore
LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister is a great way for parents to introduce Mr Lee Kuan Yew, his life and his values to their children. It runs from 19 August 2023 till 14 January 2024.
Mrs Wai Yin Pryke, Museum Director, Children’s Museum Singapore, said: “We hope the exhibition will reveal a more relatable side to Mr Lee Kuan Yew – as a young boy growing up – to our children, and in the process inspire them by showing how he went on to achieve extraordinary things. We hope they will be encouraged to dream big and ‘follow that rainbow’, as Mr Lee famously once said.”
The exhibition, in the Discovery Room on the second floor of the museum, is complemented by a series of programmes that include storytelling sessions, craft workshop and a mystery box challenge.
There will also be a Travelling Teaser Exhibition making its way around selected public libraries in Singapore from September 2023 to January 2024.
Find out more about Children’s Museum Singapore.
If you liked this story, you may also enjoy this other one about a LKY100 trail at National Museum of Singapore.
You may also be interested in the Singapore Night Festival that is taking place this August where the Children’s Museum Singapore will be open till late on 18, 19, 20, 25 & 27 August.