Nov 14, 2016

11 Ways Kids can Create their own Stories at Playeum's Newest Exhibition

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Has it already been a year since Playeum opened? An indoor playground with slides and ball pits and play structures Playeum is not. Rather, it is Singapore's first Children's Centre for Creativty and an independent charity which champions children through play and creativity.

And so after two successful exhibitions where kids got to explore speed and engage with nature, Playeum is back with a BRAND NEW hands-on installation which children can create their own stories and immerse themselves in stories from different cultures. And it starts from tomorrow (15 Nov 2015)!

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 this is exactly what its newest exhibition, A World Full of Stories, hopes to achieve. Combining the fundamental facets of stories with play and specifically designed for children aged 1-12, the exhibition offers a series of interactive and open-ended spaces for young minds to feed their creative imagination through role play, storymaking, illustration, writing, drama and puppetry.

The monkies are huge fans of Playeum so judging from the sneak preview they had at the various installations at the new exhibition, I think it is safe to say they thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Encouraging children to employ the active use of imagination through creative expression, ‘A World
Full of Stories’ consists of ELEVEN installations in total. Here are the fun learning experiences that kids can expect:

1. Story Cubes

A series of cube-shaped structures provide multiple surfaces and opportunities for story-making, creating fantasy characters and new narratives. Deliberately set up as a maze, the installation consists of various characters stuck on the walls where kids can move them around to tell their own stories.

Walk to the end of the maze and kids will find an animal den that is fit for cozying, including a book corner, crammed full of storybooks for children.

2. Story Raft

The centrepiece of the exhibition features a life-sized raft made from bamboo! Children can imagine ‘being at sea’ by playing on a bamboo and rope raft, complete with a flag-flying mast and wheel for

Kids can even design their own flags and hoist them up to fly them high in the 'sky'!

They can also create a personalised, magical marine environment by crafting their own
sea creature on the walls surrounding the raft.

3. Sand Play

The nautical theme continues right beside the raft, where kids will be able to experiment with kinetic sand - sand which mimics the physical properties of wet sand.

4. Story Caves

For kids who enjoy role-play, head to the two immersive and multisensory cardboard caves! In the Look and Touch cave, they can revel in a magical, luminous environment and play with props to create their own alchemic stories.

In the Listen and Speak cave, kids are encouraged to experiment with sound tubes, speaking cups, and voice-distortion mechanisms, all built into the fabric of the structure.

5. Fantasy Dress-up

One cannot simply weave stories without donning costumes. This corner offers a chance for kids to dress up as a favourite fantasy character. With plenty of materials to choose from, expect them to go into a costume fitting frenzy!

6. Story Writing

Budding story writers are encouraged to pen down their own stories and post them into the red Story Mailbox. Selected stories will be featured regularly on Playeum’s website!

7. Glass Painting

Which kids doesn't love to draw on walls? Even better, how about painting on glass doors???

8. Chalk Wall

Children can add their own chalk features and additional narrative to the chalk wall landscape, drawn by cartoonist Clio Ding.

9. Play Making Space

This has all along been the monkies favourite space in Playeum for the past two exhibitions and it was certainly no exception this time around. The reason? The shelves are well-stocked with a mind-boggling selection of upcycled materials like plastic bottles, ribbons, wooden sticks, and even natural materials like seeds!

Throw in a host of ample tools required for that bit of crafting, and I think the monkies were all set.

See what I mean?

And because it is all about telling stories this time round, kids will be able to create their own hand-puppets, finger puppets, or spoon puppets using upcycled materials. And these were what the monkies created.

But the creation doesn't end there. Kids will be able to use their puppets in a special puppet theatre where not only are they able to tell a story using the puppets, they can control the lighting effects and produce accompanying sounds for the audience too! Nothing like a little teamwork, eh?

10. The Story Booth

This interactive feature allows kids to step into a confined space, where they can share their stories through photography and video - with or without their puppets. Stories will be recorded via an iPad.

11. A Film Full of Stories

Kids need a breather, or some downtime? Head to the Dark Space which will showcase a specially commissioned storytelling film, where five of Singapore’s finest storytellers will be orating a story from a specific culture.

Featuring Sheila Wee, Nancy Leopard, Kamini Ramachandran, Karen Lee, Rosemarie Somaiah and played on a loop, kids can enjoy 30 minutes of this rich, oral art-form, within a magical space lit up with quietly glowing story icons and motifs on the surrounding walls and ceiling.

WOW, this has got to be the MOST number of installations ever at a Playeum's exhibition!

I love how ‘A World Full of Stories’ offers limitless play opportunities for every child, and of different age groups. Not only does it feed their imaginations with inspiring stories from around the world, the exhibition also inspires and encourages them to create their own new stories.

Here are a few things to note if you planning a trip down:

1. Entry to Children's Centre for Creativity is $22 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 $160 per child, which offers one year's worth of unlimited entry for one child and one adult. This also includes a 10% discount on workshops and 20% discount for additional adult price.

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.

Useful Information

Playeum's Children's Centre for Creativity
A World Full of Stories
Address: Blk 47, Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, #01-23, Singapore 109444
Date: 15 November 2016 - 30 April 2017
Opening Hours: Tues - Sun: 10am - 6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Admission: $22 per child (1-12) | Accompanying adult: Free | Additional accompanying adult: $10
Safra Membership Card: 20% off child and additonal adult admission
DBS Employees: 20% off child and additonal adult admission
UOB Cardholders: 20% off child admission
eXplorerkid Membership: 15% off child admission
POSB Baby Bonus Nets Card: 1-for-1 child admission deal
Getting there:
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 Sundays.

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