Father’s Day out

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I’m not sure about other parents, but I have a thing about watching Donald and Ollie play. Or rather, watching Donald play with the kids.

I guess it is knowing that both Donald and the kids share a different kind of bond that they share with me. And I enjoy watching that closeness. It gives me hope that the kids will be able to share their lives with Donald, as much as they would with me.

We woke up a little later than usual this morning, quickly making a decision that we would go to the McDonald’s at the airport. Donald was thinking of a place with a big enough area, not so much human traffic, so that Ollie could give it a shot on his skate scooter, as he had seen other kids to so.

scootin' around

scootin’ around

Hah, so much for scooting around the airport. Ollie could barely maneuver left and right, and ended up “crashing” into the seats. Kua kua…

Then..there was the dilemma of what to do next after breakfast. It was Father’s Day afterall. It was just so tempting to say let’s go home and sleep with the boys. Each week, we kinda struggle with this dilemma. Where to bring Ollie for a new experience. Not that it is a must, but we kinda figured Ollie would love to have the opportunity to have a run around outside, considering he is indoors most of the time during the week.

We finally decided on the National Museum where it was the Children’s Season going on, to coincide with the school holidays in Singapore. We wanted to go during the weekdays so it would not be too crowded but some of the exhibits would only be available during the weekend so we thought, weekend it is then!

Such awesome parents we are. Hahaha. BUT…kua kua, it rained just as we got there, and Ollie didn’t get to try those exhibits anyways. Whhhhhhy?? *grumbles*

Okay, to be honest, it was also the first time I had ever been to the National Museum. Right. But to share the experience with my kid, how nice. =) (or rather, Donald had to do most of the work chasing Ollie around whilst I watched them..haha) We were a little new to the museum so we did things in the wrong order. Then again, with kids, there is no such thing as a right or wrong order. You just follow where the kiddo wants to go.

We started off at the Glass Atrium on Level 2, where Sculpture Scribble was at. It was an exhibit of works by famous Dadaist artists recreated into interactive installations that the public can touch and play with. It was a little abstract for Ollie who basically did it his own way, and we got stuck at only two exhibits cos they were the ones that interests him the most. Doh.

trying out one of the Dadaist installations.

trying out one of the Dadaist installations.

We then proceeded to the Platform, around the corner from the Glass Atrium, where the Rouleaux exhibit was. There was a collection of miniature dioramas installed in “walls”. These dioramas are made out of reused toilet rolls! There were craft areas where children could make their own dioramas, colouring them first before pasting it onto a separate sheet of paper.

dinosaur diorama

dinosaur diorama

 

Ollie & Daddy doing their own diorama

Ollie & Daddy doing their own diorama

Next to the dioramas exhibit, there was Word Out. Basically it was an interactive spelling game, where you have to use body movements to form letters in front of a screen which picks up your every movement. I had a little giggle watching a kid do it together with the facilitator. He was doing very well! Except..all that slinky, bendy, curvy body movements was a little too much to handle. hahahaha.

Whilst the boys were colouring, I was visually checking out Level 3 as I had briefly read something about a kids area on that floor. Level 3 had 3 rooms, namely Explore, Create and Perform. Only the rooms Explore and Perform were open to the public today as there was a workshop running in Create.

In Explore, the room was designed with play-cooking area, paper embossing, food group magnet boards, a mirror dress up area, a tree/plant puzzle, a gigantic tv performance area. It allowed kids to be able to be imaginative. Ollie could pretend to be a cook, learn more about the types of food that goes into local dishes, pretend to be in costume by sticking a decal-like ethnic outfit on the mirror and standing in front of the mirror, fit puzzle pieces into a wall or tree, and stand behind a gigantic tv screen and pretend to perform in front of tv audiences.

food groups

food groups

paper embossing

paper embossing

gigantic puzzles

gigantic puzzles

playing with sounds

playing with sounds

cooking area.

cooking area.

Ollie ran around exploring before deciding that the food section was where he would really liked to be. He loved being able to identify food items like eggs, noodles, bread, and matching them to the right shadow.

In the Perform room, it was a sensory room using lights and sounds. Participants were given a flashlight to “draw” on an interactive board that was dotted with purple circles. As your “strokes” hit a circle, a sound would emit. It was all pretty cool, though still a little too abstract for Ollie who was more interested in just “drawing” some lines before being more interested in poking at the flashlight. Doh.

We decided that it was probably enough for Ollie who had been running all around the whole morning. On our way out, we stopped by one last stop at Level 1 in the Salon. It was the Come & Play installation where there were exhibits made out of cardboards. For a $2 donation, the kids would be given a piece of cardboard, a sheet of construction paper and a sheet of stickers. We chose the stickers that depicted local food.

stickers!

stickers!

giving the chalkboard a go

giving the chalkboard a go

installations made out of cardboards (1)

installations made out of cardboards (1)

installations made out of cardboards (2)

installations made out of cardboards (2)

there were other play areas that we did not participate in as we felt Ollie would probably have no clue what was going on, one being the life-sized old school games like five stones and pick-up sticks.

pick up sticks

pick up sticks

five stones

five stones

I reckon Ollie had loads of fun cos he keeps referring to the museum as the library (don’t ask me why). He told me this morning that he wanted to go to the “library and press the red and green button and put the magnets”. I had to explain to him that the library is a place with lots of books and the museum doesn’t. Daddy Ting said he didn’t mind going back to the museum again since it was free. Haha.

To be honest, I am surprised that the museum had a play area like this for kids. My impression of all museums is that it is a solemn place with boring exhibits. Looks like the museum has changed with times and is catering to kids. Good stuff and highly recommended!

Masak Masak: My Childhood runs from 24 May to 3 August at the National Museum. More information can be found at the National Museum website

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