If you live in Singapore, it would be hard to miss the buzz surrounding this year's election.
For the first time in a long while, 82 seats out of 87 in parliament will be contested. So if you live outside of Tanjong Pagar GRC, you will get to vote!
This will be my first time voting since coming of age so I am quite excited about it.
I must admit though, that up till recently, I have been quite apathetic about the local political scene.
But this year, I have been seriously giving thought to the issues raised.
While I've been pondering on who should win my vote, I have started casually chatting with my 5 yr old son about the upcoming election.
I found these two pages in the Usborne Children's Encyclopedia quite helpful. (Click on the photos to view a larger image)
Here is an excerpt:
What is a government?
If people lived together without any rules, they would disagree about how things should be done and get in a muddle. To avoid this, they choose some people to organise things and make laws. This is called the government.
What is politics?
Politics is about people deciding how to live together. The ones who think the same way form political parties.
It also covers "Why do people vote?" and "What governments do". I think the pictures are also incredibly helpful in trying to explain what we might assume to be too difficult for a young child to understand.
I also decided to create a game that would help him engage with the people and the parties involved and for us to have some fun.
I printed out photos of the party logos with the names of the parties stuck on the back. How many do you recognise?
Unfortunately I missed out the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA). Will have to add that one later on.
I also printed photos of the current ministers and certain members of parliament and opposition party leaders with their names also stuck on the back. (image seen above)
To play the game:
- You can lay out all the cards on the floor.
- Then the youngest goes first and using a fly swatter, hits a card that he recognises and shouts out the name of the person or the name of the political party.
- If he is right, he wins that card.
- You continue taking turns until there are no more cards on the floor.
- The person with the most cards then wins.
I also made some cards with the photos of past and present Singapore Presidents with their names behind. Do you recognise all of them? (Pardon the badly shot photo)
I played the game with my husband tonight and won (but of course, I had the clear advantage having made the cards).
To make the Election Cards:
You will need:
- old business cards or a box of blank name cards (can be found at Popular bookstore)
- nomination day special from Straits Times (dated 28 April 2011)
1. Cut out the logos and stick on to one side of the name cards.
2. Write the party names on the other side.
3. Cut out the photo of the candidates and stick to one side of the name cards.
(Select just a few relevant ones depending on the age of your child)
4. Write the name of the constituency that they are running for on the other side.
5. Have fun with your child.
Just a note of caution: please remember to have fun. Let your child take the lead in learning the names. Drilling them would totally take the fun out of the whole game.
Oh and here are the answers for the party logos and the presidents. How did you fare?
Happy Playing and Happy Voting!