I am a big fan of the annual Children's Season, which is a month-long extravaganza of child-centred activities at our local museums, organised by the National Heritage Board. Unfortunately this year, we weren't able to attend many events, no thanks to an already full schedule. But the one event we did make time for was Masak Masak: My Childhood at the National Museum of Singapore, and I'm glad I did, because this has been an exhibition that both children every enjoyed.
Without Art Garden this year, Masak Masak is the main event for Children's Season. Thankfully, it proved to be worthy of its position as a headlining act. Here are the activities you'll find:
Come and Play by Justin Lee was the first room we encountered. It was a room full of interesting items, all made out of cardboard! Kids are encouraged to build their dream home with carton boxes and through this activity "be inspired to reflect on our local way of life and learn to be appreciative of what they have". I was personally quite intrigued by the cardboard creations, but surprisingly, my kids weren't. They were also not keen on making the cardboard house, so we didn't linger long in this room. Just long enough for some photos!
Do as it says: Come and Play!
Some ice-cream for you, Miss?
The little houses you see around like the ones on this ice-cream cart were made by kids who thereafter decided to add their handiwork to the display in the room.
Rocking Horse! (And it rocks!)
Wouldn't you like to go sailing on this ship?
It was Larger-than-Life Games in the concourse instead that was their absolute favourite. They were enraptured by this modern take of childhood games: Marbles, Pick-Up Sticks and Five Stones, and spent ages playing with them. Which goes to show that kids don't always need to be engaged with the latest electronics!
A modified game of marbles -- get the balls into the hole in the centre while avoiding the potholes!
With these Five Stones, you jump!
Up the escalators and on the right you'll find Rouleaux by Anastassia Elias, which is the cutest collection of miniature dioramas depicting scenes inspired by daily lives, movies and places around the world, made out of… toilet rolls! The collection on display is inspired by the theme "what I want to be when I grow up". I really enjoyed peering through the little peepholes to view the scenes and really liked this exhibit, both for the skill involved as well as the sheer fun of the displays. Mei was really happy to grab a sheet from the counter nearby to colour and make her own paper diorama too.
In the eye of the beholder...
What do I spy?
Peekaboo, I see you!
Colouring the pieces to make her own diorama is hard work.
Paper diorama -- completed!
Just beside Rouleaux you'll find Word Out by NUS Design Incubation Centre. Here you can spell with words by creating letter shapes with your body, and it's not really as easy as it sounds. Noey had a lot of fun with this, though he wasn't very good! It takes a while to figure out how to move your body into create the appropriate shape.
Sometimes it's good to get some help!
Sculpture Scribble by Guixot de 8 in the glass atrium on the same floor was a hit with both adults and children alike. In this exhibit you'll find interactive and fun installations to play with that have been created out of old and scrap materials and are based on the works of famous Dadaist artists. I had a lot of fun here trying to figure out how to complete the tasks using some simple physics! This exhibit is so popular that they set a time limit on it during busy periods. When we visited on a public holiday, we were only allowed 10 mins to play in the area, which was a pity. We spent a long time here the first time we visited just before the school holiday!
Can you get the ball from one end of the crescent to the other?
Get the egg into the spoon without touching it! Rap the bar to make the egg jump and catch it!
Left: Slotting marbles into pots as the covers flip open and shut; Right: Try to get the finger into the nose!
Left: Noey rolling the ball into the net at the end. do it too quickly and it wouldn't fall nicely; Right: Getting the ball to drop into the different coloured containers.
Mei supposed to guide the magnet on the string up to the other without touching it, but she liked playing with the magnet instead. (Don't we all!)
On level 3 you'll find one more exhibit: Drawings of Sounds by Ludicart. Here you get to create music with flashlights as paintbrushes. As the light hits the purple spots on the canvas sounds are emitted. My kids love flashlights so they loved this, especially Noey.
Level 3 is also where you'll find Play@NMS, the new play area dedicated for young children, which will be a permanent gallery at the museum. Do come back tomorrow to read about it. We also have a little giveaway with that so do remember to check it out!
This coming weekend is the last weekend for to catch this exhibition before it wraps up for the season, so if you haven't checked out the exhibition or would like to bring the kids down one more time, don't miss it!