Tag Archives: museums

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Musem opened its doors to the public on Tuesday and I went to check it out without the kids in tow. The most important thing you need to know before making your way down is LKCNHM that you have to purchase your admission tickets through SISTIC (online or at SISTIC counters). They do not sell admission tickets at the venue.

So here are some things you can expect to see at LKCNHM. I didn’t really go into details about the displays because the whole point is to go to the museum and see them for yourself, right?

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

at the entrance

at the entrance

About 4 years back, we visited Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research that was located at the Science Faculty of NUS. That was a much tinier place compared to LKCNHM. The new museum is spacious and beautifully done up. The staggered admission timings also ensure that it doesn’t feel uncomfortably crowded. Many of the specimens from that museum can now be found at LKCNHM.

spacious

plenty of room to move around in

a slice of the Changi tree that was thought to be locally extinct

a slice of the Changi tree that was thought to be locally extinct

common trees in Singapore

common trees in Singapore

fungi

fungi

The ‘Towards Animals’ display is simply fascinating. Do you know what Venus’s Flower Basket and Lazarus Jewel Box are? What about a sea mouse? Do the Smiling Worm, Fireworm and Peanut Worm look like their names?

A tip for the ‘Towards Animals’ display: the details for the items on display are all on the left. Instead of moving back and forth to check the information whenever I saw something interesting, I took a photo of the information and magnified it on the display screen of my camera so that I could look at the display and the information at leisure.

I really liked this 'Towards Animals' section

I really liked this ‘Towards Animals’ section

frog

Malaysian Borneo Frog

huge spider crab

huge spider crab

see how big it is in relation to the two men??

see how big it is in relation to the two men??

something's bugging me about this place

something’s bugging me about this place

nature is amazing

nature is amazing

big fish!

big fish!

crocodile

crocodile

more frogs

more frogs

rainforest

rainforest

check out that big skull!

check out that big skull!

Man vs. Wild

Man vs. Wild

For most, the highlight of a visit to LKCNHM would be the dinosaurs. The three dinosaurs arrived in Singapore (in 53 crates!) between 2012 and 2013, and took two weeks of 12-hour days to assemble. There were more than 1 000 elements to the 150-million- year-old skeletons, with some bones weighing more than 200kg. Apollonia, Prince and Twinky are truly impressive and I’m so proud that we are able to see real dinosaur fossils in Singapore.

the dinosaurs

the dinosaurs

half-hourly light show

half-hourly light show

One of my favourite sections is the one on the geology of Singapore. This can be found on level 2. I think most of us living in Singapore don’t even know what is under our own feet so it was quite an eye-opener to see the type of rocks that can be found in each part of Singapore and be able to touch some of these rocks.

fascinated by this section on the geology of Singapore

fascinated by this section on the geology of Singapore

rock samples

rock samples

you can even see the plants outside

you can even see the plants outside

I remember that guy from RMBR

I remember that guy from RMBR

looking down at the skeletons

looking down at the skeletons

museum shop

museum shop

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
(next to University Cultural Centre)
Faculty of Science, NUS
2 Conservatory Drive
Singapore 117377
Tel: 6 601 3333
Opening hours: Tue to Sun and Public Holidays – 10 am to 7 pm
Admission fees: Adults – $15; Child/ Student/ NSF/ Senior Citizen/ Disabled – $8 (Local resident rate)

Read more about Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum over at Life’s Tiny Miracles!

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Imaginarium at SAM at 8Q

We always look forward to the annual contemporary arts exhibition for children at Singapore Art Museum and this year’s offering, Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas, will run until 19 July. We popped by on Saturday to check out the Children’s Craft Fair and decided to hang around to explore the exhibits.

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas

SAM at 8Q

SAM at 8Q

swinging around

swinging around

First stop: We Built this Estate! by Chiang Yu Xiang. Squishy blocks shaped like Tetris pieces allow the kids to build whatever they want, and then run all over what they have built. This room is the most baby-friendly and Baby D had fun running around catching balloons and tearing velcro-ed motorists from the walls.

We Built this Estate!

We Built this Estate!

man down!

man down!

Don't worry, I'll help you!

Don’t worry, I’ll help you!

parking lot

parking lot

We took a long time to walk up the stairs to the next level because the kids were busy looking for their favourite doodle out of the impressive Imagin-a-doodle illustrations by the Band of Doodlers on the walls. Look for the Merlion!

impressive work by Band of Doodlers

impressive work by Band of Doodlers

choosing their favourite

choosing their favourite

folding origami and writing letters in the moonroom

folding origami and writing letters in the moonroom

For the crafty kids, the Let’s Make! Studio by Izziyana Suhaimi is a dream come true. Kids can make pom poms, weave yarn, or try some embroidery. Anya and Adam made some pom poms (with some help from the husband, of course) and have been carrying them around like little pets.

Let's Make! Studio

Let’s Make! Studio

pom poms

pom poms

instructions for weaving, embroidery and making pom poms

instructions for weaving, embroidery and making pom poms

Our favourite room is Greenroom II: Interstellar Overdrive by Vincent Twardzik Ching. Lights and sound are generated when you cycle so you get some exercise when admiring art. Not bad at all! They should totally have this system at the gym so you don’t get to watch TV or listen to music unless you work for it. I love that the bikes had baby seats so Adam and David could be part of the experience even though they are too small/ too short to reach the bike pedals.

where are we going?

where are we going?

Greenroom II: Interstellar Overdrive

Greenroom II: Interstellar Overdrive

words activated by Anya, circular lights by Adrian

words activated by Anya, circular lights by Adrian

Our last exhibit for the day was Dream House by Lee Jeeyoung. When the kids saw the sweet set-up, their faces lit up and they had a fun time hanging up sweets in the garden. It’s a good thing that they couldn’t actually eat the sweets.

Dream House

Dream House

picking up sweets

picking up sweets

hanging sweets on trees

hanging sweets on trees

To be honest, Kiko’s Secrets by Kumkum Fernando made me feel a bit uncomfortable with the UV light, the strange music, the psychedelic colours, the insects, the eggs made with tiny objects, etc. and there’s a notice outside that children below 1 year old should not enter. The kids thought it was a bit creepy but liked the bit where they got to fit plastic shapes into fish scales.

Kiko's Secrets

Kiko’s Secrets

looking through a kaleidoscope

looking through a kaleidoscope

eggs

eggs

insects

insects

filling in shapes

filling in shapes

You can buy a limited-edition Passport to the Moon! at the front desk and take selfies at The Original Selfie Machine in the lobby. Make sure the kids are tall enough or standing on the seat when you take your pictures. Check out the details about programmes, workshops and film screenings here.

SAM at 8Q
8 Queen St
Singapore 188535
6589 9580 / 6589 9564
enquiries@singaporeartmuseum.sg
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 10am to 7pm; Fri: 10am to 9pm

Admission:
Citizens/ PRs and children under 6 – Free
Foreigners: $10 for adults and $5 for students & senior citizens

Sensorium 360° at Singapore Art Museum

I’m rather disappointed that there’s no Art Garden at Singapore Art Museum this year. The kids love it and we usually go more than once if we can. But we managed to check out Sensorium 360° the other day and there are some installations that are appealing to and suitable for kids. It’s an exhibition of Southeast Asian and Asian contemporary art that explores how sensory experiences locate us in understanding the world and knowing the self and is on until 22 October.

Sensorium 360°

Sensorium 360°

I was there with Anya and her classmate and The Overview Installation was their favourite and they went through it at least 3 times! You have to put on a pair of goggles that replaces your normal viewpoint with an image streamed from closed-circuit televisions so you see yourself from a third-person point of view or from above or ‘god view’. I tried it too and it’s like a computer game and the effect is quite disorienting. A simple maze becomes extremely difficult to navigate!

The Overview Installation

The Overview Installation

this is what they see

this is what they see

making their way through the maze

making their way through the maze

Another favourite was noon-nom where the kids got to jump around and hide in a roomful of boob cushions. The kids called it the xiao long bao room and I can totally see the resemblance. The installation supposedly questions prevailing attitudes towards the female breast in order to reassert its significance as a natural form that symbolises nourishment and comfort, and emphasises the importance of touching and feeling as a means of reconnecting in human relationships.

noon-nom

noon-nom

boobs everywhere!

boobs everywhere!

Cage  uses green lasers to create two virtual cages and is supposed to trigger instinctive responses of disorientation and even anxiety in viewers. The kids didn’t seem anxious at all and had fun trying to climb over, wriggle under or squeeze in between the laser beams without getting the light cut off.

Cage

Cage

climbing over laser beams

climbing over laser beams

In The Sensoroom, visitors can relax in a reading corner of specially selected books and participate in the activity stations that explore the senses of the human body. Some of the items in the touching station were missing and probably taken away by other kids (or adults).

The Sensoroom

The Sensoroom

what's inside?

what’s inside?

There were a few other rooms that the kids didn’t find that interesting and one that was full of glass so I was a bit nervous when they were in that particular room. But we still spent a couple of hours there and I had to drag them away eventually. You can refer to the exhibition guide for more information about the different installations in Sensorium 360°. I like how all the installations challenge the way we use our senses and our perceptions.

There is a Tree in the Heart of Death

There is a Tree in the Heart of Death

smells

smells

leaving a message

leaving a message

hanging up her disc

hanging up her disc

honey

Project: Honey Sticks (6,425)

My favourite was Twinning Machine 4.0 because I actually managed to take a photo of myself (taking a photo of myself). An interactive installation, the video captures the viewer and projects the life-sized image onto a screen, but with a few seconds’ delay, so it really feels like you are looking at a twin or a ghost of yourself.

Twinning Machine 4.0

Twinning Machine 4.0

I'm there too

I’m there too

I’m glad we managed to have a good time at Singapore Art Museum even without Art Garden but I’m really hoping that they will bring it back next year in some form or other. Sensorium 360° is until 22 October and there are programmes you can sign up for and worksheets for older children to guide them along.

Read more about Sensorium 360° at Mum in the Making.

Seeing is Believing at Alive Museum Singapore

Anya and I accompanied my aunt to Alive Museum at Suntec City level 3 today and had a lot of fun hamming it up for the camera! Alive Museum is basically a place with 2D art that creates interesting visual illusions at certain angles. You’ll see what I mean from the photos below (and yes, I need a haircut badly).

If I’m not mistaken, Alive Museum is only officially open to the public from 12 June but is now holding previews for trade partners. Word of advice: don’t go there in a skirt because you’ll have to lie down on the floor for some of the shots!

I'm such a cute foetus

I’m such a cute foetus

Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid

there's a dog peeing on my face!

there’s a dog peeing on my face!

dream boat

dream boat

I'm so flexible

I’m so flexible

kayaking down rapids

kayaking down rapids

a crucial table tennis match

a crucial table tennis match

this is Anya's favourite

this is Anya’s favourite

I'm a giant

I’m a giant (and obviously I don’t know how to play basketball)

handstand

handstand

kungfu attack!

kungfu attack!

Alive Museum is good fun and we enjoyed ourselves even though I felt quite silly posing for some of the shots. It’s a bit pricey but I think there’s a family package for tickets so check their Facebook page for more information regarding the official opening date, etc. You can also get 20% off tickets with PAssion Card.

Alive Museum
3 Temasek Boulevard #03-372, Suntec City Mall (between Towers 3 & 4), Singapore 038983
Ticket price: Adults $25, Child (aged 3-12) $20, Family Package $60 (2 adults, 1 child, $10 for each additional child)
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm daily (last admission 9pm)

Children’s Season 2014 – Masak Masak at NMS (Part 2)

We headed upstairs to the second floor for more fun. I love the whimsical ‘Rouleaux’ by Anastassia Elias. Inspired by the theme of ‘What I Want to be When I Grow Up’, the artist created miniature dioramas in toilet rolls using just manicure scissors and tweezers. Really amazing!

Kids can attempt to make one on their own by colouring, cutting and sticking a template. It’s a great activity but I had to ask the facilitators to sharpen the colour pencils because they were all blunt or the lead had broken off. I also think it would be good to have stepping stools for kids to look at the ones that are higher up. I took photos of the ones out of Anya’s reach and showed them to her on my camera.

Rouleaux by Anastassia Elias

Rouleaux by Anastassia Elias

what's inside?

what’s inside?

amazing little dioramas in toilet rolls

amazing little dioramas in toilet rolls

making her own

making her own

‘Word Out’ by NUS Division of Industrial Design is a fun game where you literally have to spell out a word with body language. I wish I had something like this at home so I can get the kids to learn spelling AND exercise at the same time!

Word Out

Word Out

spelling out a word

spelling out a word

Our favourite section was ‘Sculpture Scribble’ by Spanish group Guixot de 8. Using materials from a recycling and composting site, they recreate works by famous 20th century artists into interactive installations that encourage play. We spent quite a bit of time here trying to achieve the objective of each sculpture. Maybe I would have been better at Physics in school if we had these sculptures to bring the various laws of Physics to life.

making the wooden cylinder roll around

making the wooden cylinder roll around

trying to open the lid by kicking the ball in

trying to open the lid by kicking the ball in

hitting the ball with the foot pedal

hitting the ball with the foot pedal

supposed to join the two pieces together without touching!

supposed to join the two pieces together without touching!

rolling the ball down

rolling the ball down

joining the pieces without looking directly at them

joining the pieces without looking directly at them

she did it!

she did it!

rolling the ball from one side to the other

rolling the ball from one side to the other

putting marbles into pots

putting marbles into pots

trying to put the finger into the nose

trying to put the finger into the nose

rolling the ball into the basket

rolling the ball into the basket

manipulating the ball onto the other end

manipulating the ball onto the other end

catching the egg

catching the egg

You can also check out this post by Olimomok!

Children’s Season 2014 – Masak Masak at NMS (Part 1)

For Children’s Season this year, National Museum of Singapore has a special exhibition called Masak Masak from 24 May to 3 August. The exhibition centres around the theme of ‘My Childhood’. I think the theme is really fun! Outside the museum, there are bouncy slides based on the dragon and elephant playgrounds of my childhood. Unfortunately, they are only open for playing on weekends.

Masak Masak

Masak Masak

dragon bouncy slide

dragon bouncy slide

elephant bouncy slide

elephant bouncy slide

The first area we came across was Justin Lee’s Come and Play. The entire room was filled with structures and objects made with cardboard and draws upon the idea that with imagination, a cardboard box can be turned into anything. For a minimum $2 donation, kids can get a cardboard box of their own and make it into anything they want. The box can then become part of the installation. Anya chose to bring her box home though.

Justin Lee's Come and Play

Justin Lee’s Come and Play

everything made with cardboard

everything made with cardboard

creating her own cardboard creation

creating her own cardboard creation

caroseul

caroseul

drawing a roller coaster

drawing a roller coaster

Anya then went to play with giant versions of five stones, pick-up sticks and marbles. She spent quite a bit of time just throwing the five stones up into the air and trying to catch them. She looked like she was having tons of fun! I loved playing five stones when I was a kid and Anya has a set now but doesn’t really know what to do with it. Maybe it’s time to revisit the game.

Another childhood game I enjoyed was pick-up sticks where we tried to remove sticks from the pile without moving any of the other sticks in the process. The suggested method for playing the version here is to create the tallest structure possible with the sticks. I wish there were more sticks though! Hard to create anything with so few sticks.

I didn’t really play with marbles when I was a kid but liked collecting them. For this version, the kids are supposed to roll the balls into the hole in the middle without getting the balls stuck in the pothole. Anya quickly figured out where the exit point for the balls was and stalked it to get as many balls as possible.

giant five stones

giant five stones

throwing and catching

throwing and catching

pick-up sticks

pick-up sticks

rolling marbles

rolling marbles

avoiding the potholes

avoiding the potholes

More on Masak Masak in the next post!

PLAY@NMS

We signed up for a preview of PLAY@NMS, the first dedicated museum area for young children, which is opening today at the National Museum of Singapore in conjunction with Children’s Season 2014.

In the EXPLORE component, kids get to move around a Garden, a Living Room, a Bedroom and a Kitchen. Each of these is inspired by other galleries in the museum. For example, the Kitchen is inspired by the Food Gallery and the Garden by the William Farquhar’s collection.

In the Garden, the children can pick up different flowers and fruits and fit them onto a tree. In the Kitchen, kids can play masak masak with toy food, stick ingredient pieces onto a plate, and emboss their favourite dish onto a piece of paper. In the Bedroom, a yellow tent (reminiscent of the chairs-and-blanket tent for pretend play at home) has short animations projected onto it that the kids can hide inside and watch. That was Anya’s favourite section and she basically parked herself there the entire time. There are also decals of traditional costumes that can be stuck on a mirror for kids to ‘try on’. In the Living Room, children can listen to a radio, watch short videos or put up puppet performances.

at the museum

at the museum

fitting flower and fruit pieces onto a tree

fitting flower and fruit pieces onto a tree

cooking in the kitchen

cooking in the kitchen

picking ingredients for a meal

picking ingredients for a meal

the yellow tent

the yellow tent

Anya watching the projected film

Anya watching the projected film

costumes for dress up

costumes for dress up

the living room

the living room

Adam putting up a puppet show

Adam putting up a puppet show

watching the performance

watching the performance

outside on the sundeck

outside on the sundeck

Many of the activities, like the sticking of ingredients onto a plate to form a local delight and the trying on of traditional outfits, were very similar to the ones at Island Adventures last year. I wish they had incorporated some stuff from the 2012 Children’s Season instead as that was a lot more interesting. I think the costume decals in the Bedroom are not going to last very long and the embossing station at the Kitchen is quite difficult for kids to manipulate.

PLAY@NMS is recommended for kids aged 3-7 but I personally feel that it is best for kids between 2 and 5 years old. Adam had fun running around but the older ones in our group were, frankly, not very engaged by the activities in the EXPLORE gallery and lost interest quite quickly. However, I think it’s great that there is a dedicated section for young children in the National Museum and I hope they continue to develop and improve it.