It truly pays to be a child this June School Holidays.
Children's Season 2014 is back again and this year, it is bigger and better than before. And when I say bigger, I mean it - more than 40 programmes designed especially for children and families across 21 museums island-wide. Yes, TWENTY-ONE. I am thinking even though Children's Season lasts for slightly more than a full month between 24 May and 29 June 2014, there is absolutely no way that my monkies can finish visiting all of them.
But try we will, for this year's programmes are incredibly fun and enticing... even to an adult like me, as I found out during the media preview.
by Guixot de 8 (Spain) | Glass Atrium, Level 2
Using materials recovered from the selective collection community of Mancomunitat La Plana, Spanish group Guixot de 8 recreates works by famous Dadaist artists into interactive and fun installations that the public can touch and play with. Old and scrap materials are given a new lease of life through this collection of works that combines simple physics and creativity.
The novel thing about these installations is that there are NO instructions provided as to how they are supposed to work. Children are encouraged to explore and figure them out on their own. Brilliant.
by NUS Design Incubation Centre | Platform, Level 2
Developed primarily for pre-schoolers, Word Out teaches children the unconventional way of learning letters and spelling by engaging their entire body. Watch how children get creative by using body movements to form letters in front of a screen which picks up their every movement. Flexible.
by Anastassia Elias (France) | Platform, Level 2
This has got to be one of my favourite installations! At first glance, the entire boarding seems like just a regular one with silhouettes.
But the holes in the wall hide a beautiful secret.
And everyone is straining their necks just to take a little peek.
The holes house intricate paper craft models at its finest... all within toilet rolls!
An eclectic collection of miniature dioramas, Rouleaux depicts different scenes inspired by daily lives, movies and places around the world. Made out of reused toilet rolls, the artist makes intricate cut-outs of shapes and figures using tweezers and manicure scissors. Amazing.
in collaboration with School of the Arts (SOTA) | Concourse, Level 1
Share your favourite childhood games like Goli (or Marbles), Pick-up Sticks and Five Stones with your children, but with a twist. The games are transformed into a life-sized scale, with the rules tweaked slightly for the while family to play together. Engaging.
Drawings of Sounds
by Ludicart (France) | Level 3
‘Draw’ yourself a canvas of music in this immersive space with the flashlights that are your ‘paint brushes’. Select sounds from an audio list and conduct your very own symphony of sounds and light! Illuminating.
Also opening on the same day (24 May 2014) as Children's Season is PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore on Level 3. This is a new dedicated space where children aged 3 to 7 can get to know the museum better, and experience history and heritage in a fun manner. It was not ready yet while I was there but I gather that it will feature interactive exhibits and specially-curated programmes that encourage learning through play.
Come and Play
by Justin Lee (Singapore) | Salon, Level 1
Come and Play is an interactive art installation that encourages children to imagine and contruct their ideal home and world - with cardboard!
That's right, the entire room is made up of stuff using cardboard, and these include life-sized houses and household items.
Kids can also get in the action too, by creating their own objects out of cardboard and including them to be part of the installation! Ingenious.
A bouncy castle in the shape of the legendary Dragon Playground in Toa Payoh! How utterly cute is that???
The Singapore Bouncy Playgrounds are located on the Front Lawn of National Museum Singapore and are opned only on the weekends - every Saturday and Sunday from 24 May to 3 Aug, 11am to 1pm & 3pm to 5pm.
And there is even a smaller Elephant Playground for the younger children too!
Inspired by old playgrounds of Singapore, expect the dragon and elephant playgrounds to draw your children's attention the moment they set their sights on them. And that is precisely why the bouncy castles are modeled after the Singapore Playgrounds of the old... other than allowing them to play to their hearts' content of course. Fun.
The bouncy castles are modeled after the old Singapore Playgrounds so that they can offer a connection between parent and child - the child will obviously love bouncing and sliding on the bouncy structures but the parent will be able to share with his/her child the kind of playgrounds that they grew up playing as well.
With Singapore Citizens and PRs enjoying FREE admission to all Museums and Heritage Institutions, there is absolutely no reason in not bringing your children down for Children's Season 2014!
How about other museums? Here are some of my recommendations:
Army Museum of Singapore
Cadets, Fall In!
Every Fri, Sat & Sun from 24 May – 29 June 2014 | For children aged 6 to 12 years old
Report for enlistment at the Army Museum of Singapore, as kids get to go through a two-hour “basic military training” programme, which includes activities like mock grenade throwing and simulated marksmanship training. Experience the rite of “hair-cutting” like every recruit, and graduate with pride in the mini-Passing Out Parade! *Pre-registration is required. For activity timings and more details, please refer to www.armymuseum.sg
Asian Civilisations Museum
EXHIBITION: Once Upon a Time in Asia: The Story Tree
An Interactive Exhibition for Children and the Young at Heart
31 May – 2 November 2014 | 10am – 5pm
Come play under the story tree. Explore with all five senses. Have fun and make some art of your own to take home. Embark on an exciting trail through the museum to uncover more secrets about trees and arty facts! Also, look out for the story tellers as they spin Asian tales in the galleries. This specially-curated exhibition for children and the young at heart showcases original interactive ensembles inspired by objects in the collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum. Visit www.acm.org.sg for more details.
The Enchanted Tree Weekend Festival
31 May & 1 June 2014 | Activities from 1 to 5pm | Free
Step into a colourful world of tales and art this weekend. Set your imagination ablaze as you venture into the ancient world of the enchanted tree. Create your own sand art, explore nature-inspired artworks and watch performances by kids.
Saturdays@ACM: Crafty Kids
Saturdays, 7 Jun, 5 Jul, 2 Aug, 6 Sep, 4 Oct & 1 Nov 2014 | Activities from 1pm – 5pm | Free
Go a journey to Explore, Discover, and Create! Be captivated by Asian stories, watch fantastical performances, and make art.
Malay Heritage Centre
7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22 June 2014 | For children aged 12 years and below
ter-ba-BOM! returns with an exciting new Heritage Hunt around Kampong Gelam! This year participants will take on the role of Singapore’s early traders as they ply their wares in hopes for a brighter future. Learn what products they brought and how they made their profits through wit, creativity and sheer hard work! See how your kids can be successful tradesmen! *Registration is required. For registration and enquiries, please call 6391 0450 (Tue – Sun: 10am to 6pm) or email NHB_MHC_Programmes@nhb.gov.sg
Memories at Old Ford Factory
A Race Against Time
14 & 15 Jun 2014 | 10am – 11.30am, 12.30pm – 2pm & 2.30pm – 4pm | For children aged 7-12 yrs old
Racing against time, the children will be brought back to the days of the Japanese Occupation and tasked to help a sick friend acquire medicine. Through challenges, this workshop aims to let participants understand the hardships faced during World War II in a fun and interactive way. *Maximum 25 participants per session including walk-ins. To register, email June_pok@nlb.gov.sg
Straits Family Sunday – Supersized!
8 June 2014 | 1pm – 5pm
Explore the colourful world of Peranakans this June. Watch an exciting performance in the special exhibition, Auspicious Designs: Batik for Peranakan Altars or go on a self-guided trail to discover mythical creatures. Create batik art inspired by objects in the museum or play dress up in a batik shirt or sarong kebaya with the whole family. *Visit www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg for more details.
Police Heritage Centre
I want to be a Police Officer!
Weekdays 2.30pm & 4pm: 30 May, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27 June, 3, 4, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 & 31 July, 1 August 2014
Weekends: 31 May, 14 & 28 June, 12 & 26 July 2014 10am & 11am
For children aged 4 to 12 years old
For this year’s Children Season, young visitors can put on mini police uniforms and have their photographs taken! Kids can also take part in a colouring activity after the tour. *Minimum of 5 participants is required for each session to proceed. Registration is required and has to be made at least 1 week in advance. To register, please contact our Visit Management Officer at 6478 2123 or email email@example.com.
Singapore Discovery Centre
Folktales, Fables & Fantastic Futures – Stories We Share
Now till 30 June 2014 | 9am – 6pm
Discover how important values and aspects of culture are communicated through the fantastic world of stories and performance art in this special exhibition. Explore hands-on activities in the galleries like the Filipino Tinikling dance and find out how stories from around the world share many similar values. Immerse yourself in stories from 10 participating countries in our Embassy Showcase.
*Special Activities on 7 & 8 June 2014, 12pm & 3pm: Come take a trip around the world! Catch cultural performances and craft demonstrations from countries featured in our Folktales, Fables & Fantastic Futures exhibition. Don’t forget to join in its special curator’s tour of the exhibition! Children will be treated to popcorn and candy floss too!
31 May 2014 – 29 June 2014 | 9am – 5pm
Be introduced to the colourful world of masks from around the world and the stories surrounding it. Decorate your masks with ideas from the featured stories or let your imagination run wild and create characters from your own stories. Children will be able to take home their own masterpieces!
Singapore Philatelic Museum
The League Against Evil : A DC Super Heroes Exhibition
5 June 2014 – 31 August 2014
See the first and only DC Comics Super Heroes exhibition in Asia to commemorate the milestone
BATMAN 75th Anniversary. The exhibition showcases stamps from Singapore Philatelic Museum’s permanent collection, Singapore Post MyStamps and the stamp artworks, as well as rare original comic art pages and collectibles on loan from collectors. This exhibition is held in conjunction with Warner Bros.’ celebration of the 75th anniversary of DC Comics Super Hero, BATMAN.
Children's Season 2014
24 May - 29 June 2014
Various Museums and Heritage Institutions
For a complete listing of ALL programmes, visit www.museums.com.sg/cs14/index.html