Remember Playeum's Art of Speed exhibition where kids were allowed to explore cars, speed and movement in engaging and creative ways through interdisciplinary approaches?
Well, that exhibition is no more.
In its place is its second hands-on exhibition for children titled 'Hideaways - Creating With Nature' which opens tomorrow (16 April 2016) and stretches all the way until 30 October 2016. And judging from the sneak preview I had, I have no qualms that the monkies will enjoy this as much as, if not more, than the previous exhibition.
In case you are wondering, Playeum is NOT an Indoor Playground with the tallest slide or biggest ball pit in Singapore. Instead, it is Singapore's first Children's Centre for Creativty and an independent charity which champions children through play and creativity.
Located at Gillman Barracks, Playeum is a museum without walls which hopes to inspire children through self-directed exploration and learning and in the process, establish a culture of meaningful and impactful play. And if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know I am a huge fan of Playeum's works.
Hideways - Creating With Nature is all about immersive experiences - experiences that will invite kids to explore, observe, construct, reflect, innovate and engage with nature and natural materials through hands-on exhibits and interactive artists’ installations.
What is it like to be as small as an insect?
How do creatures build their houses?
What materials do they use?
Can plants make sounds?
Why do seeds come in so many shapes and sizes?
Specifically designed for kids aged 1 to 12, the exhibition helps them explore these questions through various installations - providing an interdisciplinary and engaging experience serving as an important reminder of the world’s ecosystem.
The theme of the exhibition has all to do with NATURE and it consists of 7 installations in total. Here are what sort of fun learning experiences the kids can expect:
KNOCK, KNOCK! WHO LIVES THERE?
This where kids (and adults) can get up close and personal with creepy crawlies! But fret not if you freak out at the possibility of coming into close contact with them, they are kept in containers. But more on that later.
Kids can head to the Identification Table, where they can take a close look at the common insects specimens found around Gillman Barracks.
Magnifying glasses are provided to allow them to look at the specimens more closely.
The specimen gets projected onto the wall!
A more interesting concept is to peer through the windows, where special habitats have been constructed to house insects and other creatures!
Yes, these are real insects and creatures in their natural habitats where kids will be able to use magnifying screens to look at them in closer detail.
Although you might not actually need it if you are looking at the huge spider!
Besides the spider, there are crickets, leaf hoppers, weaver ants, wasps and even a specially constructed Bug Hotel which hopefully, will attract more bugs to it their home as the months progress.
The great thing about the installation is the habitats come with surveillance screens which stream LIVE footage of the habitats' interiors. Now this is one form of voyeurism that parents will approve of!
See the red mailbox below the screen? Kids are encouraged to pick their favourite bug or creature and record what they see. They can even pen it a letter and drop it into the corresponding mailbox! Cute.
For younger kids, they can play with the Sensory Bug Hotel by placing the frames with different textures in the windows to complete the Hotel. Made using natural materials, kids are encouraged to identify the various textures the materials are made of.
WELCOME TO MY WORLD
Here, kids can imagine a world where they are as small as an insect in an immersive installation that presents the insect environment on a giant scale.
Made up of netting, bamboo and other natural materials, kids will be able to imagine what it feels like to be a tiny creature in a habitat.
And because the structure is predominantly made up of bamboos, kids are encouraged to make as much noise as possible by striking the hollow bamboos with sticks - simulating insect sounds.
The hands-on craft stations also allow kids to contribute to the structure - by making shelters of insects.
Kids will be able to choose to make either a Moth's Cocoon or Bee's Nest (or both!) by using egg cartons, leaves and flower petals.
Once done, they can add their creation onto the existing installation to make the insect homes 'grow', or bring it home as a keepsake.
For all kids who love playing with clay (or Playdoh), this installation invites them to experience playing with clay and building imaginary habitats inspired by nature.
These multiple miniature environments will be placed within a larger habitat, resulting in a collective make-belief hideaway.
In this dark room, kids will be able to enjoy 2 installations. The first is a motion-sensor based one where kids can trigger off different sounds of insects by walking, jumping or running in the room. the second is a hands-on one, as kids will be able to construct a web using strips of cloth and velcro, together with cut-outs of dragonflies and butterflies swashed with glowing paint!
SOUNDS OF EARTH: NATURE'S ENSEMBLE
Similar to Art of Speed's Play Maker Space, this craft area is where kids will be able to let their imgination run wild and creative juices flow - BUT with a slight twist.
Instead of cardboard, plastic bottles, ribbons, wooden sticks, plastic spools, the materials provided this time round are entirely NATURAL!
So expect to see coconut husks, leaves, bamboo, sticks, twigs and red, green, yellow, black beans!
Even empty buah keluak shells! How unique is that?
I think the monkies will definitely go bonkers at this section.
In keeping with the installation's theme of 'Sounds of Earth', kids can create and build musical instruments with the natural materials provided. Like these pretty impressive creations!
THE TUNNEL OF SOUND
It is not all indoor play at Hideaways. Continuing with the Sounds of Earth craft corner indoors, kids can head outside to walk through the Tunnel of Sound, a skeletal structure constructed out of vines, creepers, branches and leaves.
As its name implies, sound is an important component of the installation as kids will be able to strike on the various dangling coconut husks, bamboos and seashells to create various sounds to fill the tunnel.
The musical instruments that the kids make can also be added and attached to the tunnel, so that the structure grows during the exhibition's duration and evolves into an immersive musical extravaganza!
For infants and toddlers, they can escape into a huge cave constructed entirely out of cardboard (with padded flooring) and explore the multi-sensory installations within. Featuring animal sound pads - with 3 different insect sounds and 3 different frog sounds - and a range of textures and lights, younger kids will revel in exploring the cave using their whole bodies, eyes and ears.
I love the idea of how Playeum invites kids to play with nature, and enabling them to take ownership of the experience simply by letting them dictate play. This indoor play area is truly unlike any other indoor playground, offering limitless play opportunities for every child.
And just like I had shared in my Art of Speed post, if you planning a trip down with the little people, here are a few things to note:
1. Entry to Children's Centre for Creativity is $20 per child (1-12 years old). One accompanying adult enters free while additional accompanying adults play $10 each.
2. Although entry is for unlimited play for the day, there is a possibility that visits may be kept to 2-hours during busy periods.
3. Annual Memberships available at $140 per child, which offers one year's worth of unlimited entry for one child and one adult.
4. There are no toilets and nursing rooms within centre. Toilets are however, located just beside once you exit the Playeum building.
5. No snacks and drinks are sold on premises. There is a cold drinks vending machine beside the washrooms.
6. If your kids (or you) are feeling really famished, head to Red Baron cafe opposite Playeum. It sells sandwiches, cakes and other pastries.
In addition, Hideaways - Creating with Nature will also be enhanced by a programme of multidisciplinary events and activities, including art, dance and stop-motion. Check out the full listing HERE.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING 5 WINNERS! You have each won a DAY PASS to Playeum. Each pass is valid for one child and one adult.
1. Jimmy Ng
2. Christina Yeong
3. Jiang Meiru
4. Shawn Quek
5. Serene Tee
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for prize collection details by 27 May 2016. Thanks!
Each day pass is valid for one child and one adult.
In the meantime, with the June School Holidays coming up, check out Playeum's upcoming Holiday Camps: www.playeum.com/#!holiday-camps/cwkn
Playeum's Children's Centre for Creativity
Hideaways - Creating with Nature
Address: Blk 47, Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, #01-23, Singapore 109444
Date: 16 April - 30 October 2016
Opening Hours: Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Admission: $20 per child (1-12) | Accompanying adult: Free | Additional accompanying adult: $10
Nearest MRT Station (5 to 10 minutes walk): Labrador Park Station (Circle Line)
Nearest Bus Stop (3 minutes walk): Along Alexandra Road, Opposite Alexandra Point (Bus Stop Number 15059) - Available Buses: 51, 57, 61, 83, 97, 97e, 100, 166, 175, 408, 963 or 963E
*Free Parking on Saturdays (11am-7pm), Sundays and Public Holiday.