A World Full of Stories. How does that sound to you? This is Playeum’s current hands-on exhibition that is designed for children aged 1 to 12 years old. The exhibition provides environments and installations in which children can create their own stories and is certainly a space where they could let their imagination run wild.
Faith and I went down to take a look and I regretted not bringing Dan along.
Spaces within the exhibition
Story Cubes. From far, this space looks like a maze that is made up of cube-shaped structures. The surfaces or panels are magnetic and this provides for opportunities for story-making using the materials that are found in the boxes. The children could pin the pictures onto the panel and create their own story. At the end of the maze is a book corner that is filled with some of the best story books for children. So, grab a book and let your imagination run wild. There’s even a tent where the children can relax in as they read.
Creative use of the Story Cubes by Faith includes playing peek-a-boo, police and thief and …story-telling.
Chalk Wall. I personally was enticed by this chalk wall. I mean, how often do you find such a wall nowadays? I got Faith over to draw a thing or two, to add on to the landscape that is drawn by cartoonist Cleo Ding.
Story Caves. One is a multi-sensory cave which appeals to younger children and the other is a Listen and Speak cave which encourages children to experiment with sound tubes, speaking cups, and echo-distortion mechanisms. Makes me think of my Science lessons during Primary School days. Faith had fun with the sound tubes and yes, you do need to get down on your feet to enjoy this space with them.
Sandplay. Kinetic sand seems to be a hit with most children. They spent their time building sandcastles and decorating them with shells and pebbles. Faith was going on for about 30 minutes until I had to urge her to move on.
The Story Raft. A hit with boys especially, this space encourages children to play ‘being at sea’ on a bamboo and rope raft with a flag-flying mast and rudder for steering. Children could also craft their own sea creatures and enjoy art activities to create their own marine environment.
Using chalk and water to paint on the glass door. Create a marine environment. Under the sea, under the sea.
Story Writing. So I wish Faith could pen a story. Fact is, she couldn’t. However, that did not stop her from attempting to write and post a letter. She was really focused on her task and spent much time writing letters and posting it in the end, hoping that the recipient would get it soon. Play-pretend at its best.
Puppet Making. There is a large space devoted to play making. Here, children are encouraged to create puppets using found and recycled materials. Children could make their own hand-puppets, finger puppets, spoon puppets, whatever, and after completing it, could even use them in a puppet show.
Faith loves craftwork and we really did spend quite a lot of time here, from choosing materials to working on a puppet. While the kid works, take a breather and be amazed by what they can create.
We didn’t manage to play ‘dress up’ even though we have been in Playeum for two hours. I reckoned it would be a tad challenging for a 4YO to make her own costume for a fantasy character and discarded the idea. I could only imagine the fun older kids could have with the sewing machines and the hot glue gun in creating their own unique costumes.
We didn’t manage to listen to stories read by some of Singapore’s finest storytellers at The Dark Space. This space showcases a specially commissioned storytelling film, where each of the five storytellers will be orating a story from a specific culture. Faith was in it for a few minutes and went out, obviously attracted by the other stations.
A World Full of Stories exhibition opens to the public from 15 November 2016 until 30 April 2017. For a list of holiday programmes, please refer to this.
Blk 47 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109444