Future World: A new children’s play space at Art Science Museum

The kids had a really awesome time last week exploring Future World, the new permanent exhibition at the Art Science Museum. It was a whole new world of play.

Future World is a collaboration between Art Science Museum and TeamLab, an award-winning Tokyo-based art collective of “ultra-technologists” that includes artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects and designers. Future World is touted to be Singapore‚Äôs largest interactive digital playground, and I think the kids have to agree with this.

Future world_table

There are 4 different spaces within the exhibition – Nature, Town, Park and Space. Our favourites were Park and Space. Most of the exhibits are designed to be highly interactive. Take this Table Where Little People Lived, which comes to life when visitors “play” with its inhabitants. Try moving the wooden blocks around the table and the little people will react and change their movements accordingly. It even responds when you place your hands on the table! JJ was very excited trying to “catch” the little people, and observing how they react to different things and movements.

Future world_screen

This huge screen is the Sketch Town installation. It includes recognisable landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands, ArtScience Museum, the Merlion and the Singapore Flyer. The kids got to colour drawings of buildings, cars, and even spaceships. Then watch their creations come alive (in 3D) after they are placed on a scanner and “transported” into Sketch Town itself. Very cool!

The same drawings can be scanned into a 3D paper model version that they can bring home and cut and fold to form their own 3D models.

What’s more, kids can interact with the screen by tapping on buildings and cars, and watch them hop, dance, or skip, with accompanying music. And watch out for the dragon who comes to attack Sketch Town – when you see it, tap on the fighter jets on the screen and they will start shooting at it!

Future world_colouring

There is a similar installation called Sketch Aquarium, a digitally rendered aquatic world of underwater animals. Both Vera and JJ were busy colouring (and scanning) in different fishes and marine life.

After a while, JJ got distracted with the Light Ball Orchestra, made up of luminous multi-coloured giant balls. The balls react when touched and played with, they glow and change colour, and create different kinds of sounds when kicked and rolled over. A multi-sensorial experience!

He was content rolling and frolicking with the balls for a pretty long time.

Future world_balls

Then he discovered the Create! Hopscotch for Geniuses…now this is where he really got hooked.

Here you can create your own game of hopscotch by arranging different shapes on a tablet, which are then projected onto the floor. As you hop your way through the course, different light and sound effects are triggered. Also, specific shapes and colours create different visual effects on the forest background projected onto a separate screen, so it’s interesting for older children to observe.

Like the Light Ball Orchestra, this was a great game for JJ, who like most boys can’t stop moving their bodies. ūüėõ

Future world_hopscotch

Finally, we come to the final highlight of our visit – the Crystal Universe, a beautiful and intriguing installation made up of over 170,000 LED lights arranged across the room. There’s a tablet here that allows you to create different lighting and movmeent effects. Vera said this was her favourite part of the exhibition. It definitely was a magical experience so I can understand why!

Future world_crystals

Future World, the new permanent exhibition at ArtScience Museum, is now open. Ticketing information here.

Admission prices (for Singapore :

  • Adults:¬†S$14
  • Child (2-12 years):¬†S$7
  • Family (2 Adults + 2 Children):¬†S$35
  • Senior (65 & above):S$11
  • Every Friday is Family Friday! Up to four children under 12 years old enter for free with every adult ticket purchased.

Timed-entry has been introduced from 1 April 2016. Admission times are: 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm, 4pm and 5.30pm (last entry).

It’s definitely worth a visit, so go check it out!

In every child, there lies a superhero

In every child, there lies a superhero…

superhero me!

Meet Captain Robot. At the press of a button, this robot makes super funny faces and even dances along. His superpower is to make people smile, laugh, and leave the room happier than when they came in.

And Ms Blessing Fairy. She flutters all over the world with her trusty pair of recycled cardboard paper wings, and sprinkles blessing dust onto all of mankind. It’s hard to spot her because she’s really quick and nimble!

Their superhero costumes were all made from recycled material, provided in a little toolkit put together by the creative folks at Startwell for this year’s Superhero Me Festival – Singapore‚Äôs first costume crafting festival aimed at empowering children to grow a stronger sense of self, through creativity and imagination.

Head on down to the National Library in your self-made Superhero Me costumes on 27 June from 1pm to 3pm to stand up for childhood and meet other superheroes! The first 100 children in costume will get a goodie bag. Kids will also get to participate in story-telling and craft activities. Register here!

The best of June

I can’t believe the June holidays has come to an end. Time flies by when you’re having fun huh? Here’s a peek at what we got up to this hols.

We kicked off with a Chinese holiday programme at Ed-Quest Chinese School. Food was the theme for this holiday programme, and Vera had loads of fun exploring food and learning the language at the same time. From the photos, you can see that she had a taste test with blindfolds on, and made ice-cream with the red ball-like gadget (bottom pic). Obviously with such fun and engaging activities,¬†Ms Vera¬†loved attending class, and I didn’t hear a single complaint. She kept telling me she wanted to go back and attend more classes! (Now, I think that alone speaks volumes about the sessions!)

Ed-Quest chinese school

We visited the National Museum masak masak exhibition. The kids had fun “cooking”, making and decorating cardboard houses, admiring miniature toilet roll cut-out artworks, and even exploring the laws of physics with eggs and other interesting materials. And don’t forget the bouncy castles at the front lawn! (PS. Exhibition runs till 3 August.)

Play @ National Museum

We took advantage of I Love Museum’s Children’s Season, and visited the Police Heritage Centre for a quick tour. The tour turned out to be more suitable for older kids (less interactive and engaging for those below 5 or 6 years old), but the highlight was dressing up the kiddos in uniforms at the end of the 1-hour session!

We also went for the Central Fire Station’s Open House¬†and had fun learning more about our civil defence force and exploring fire engines and testing out water hoses.

We also visited KidsStop the week that it opened (Below, top right: playing doctor), and found that it’s one giant indoor playground. The kids had fun pretending to be paleontologists digging for dino bones in a sand pit, playing with giant musical instruments, and acting as construction worker, supermarket cashier, and doctor for a day. (More pictures here.)
play-pretend

During the last week of the hols, I decided to take it easy, and just had some playdates out at MacRitchie Reservoir (we wanted to see the monkeys!) and at nearby playgrounds. Somehow all the playgrounds we went to were really quiet and I guess it could be because most families are still away on holiday.

We made random words with leaves and twigs, collected pine cones for painting, had fun feeding fish, admiring butterflies and building sandcastles. The weather was kind to us, and thank God (while crossing fingers and toes), no haze!

outdoor fun in Singapore!

The holiday programme and the activities were great. But I think the parts I enjoyed best was being able to spend quality time with Vera and JJ, just going about our daily mundane things like grocery shopping, stopping for a cuppa (this one is for me of course), and also getting to explore our own backyard in Singapore.

This quote describes it all…

“The wonderful thing about having kids is that we become tourists in our own country again.”

10 great travel games for children

Petite Travellers - 10 great travel games

June is a merry month for travels, and many of you are already in various stages of travelling – be it packing, planning or already on your way.

It gives me great delight to share with you a little collaborative travel blog project called Petite Travellers. It was born one day the way most great ideas are born – unexpectedly, out of the blue, but almost always in the presence of good company.

Petite Travellers (or P.T. as we fondly call it) is focused on delivering great travel experiences that are family-friendly and child-approved. It currently features family-friendly destinations and travel tips, but give us some time, and you’ll definitely see more exciting and helpful features.

Here’s my first contribution – 10 great travel games for stress-free holidays. These games are nifty for little hands, easy to carry around, and pretty accessible in terms of purchasing. Do hop over to check them out!

PS. It would absolutely make our day if you were to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the site, or even what you’d like to see in future. Do also visit Petite Travellers’ Facebook Page and like us for more updates!

Playdate @ Cool de sac playground at Suntec City

We had a playdate at the new Cool de sac playground at Suntec City last week. Needless to say, the kids loved it. First up, flying fox, tents and tunnels, and a giant tic tac toe board. This spacious play area also has hula hoops and skipping ropes available for the older kids.

cooldesac open play area for tots

What’s an indoor playground without slides? Even JJ had an adrenaline rush sliding down at high speed. For tots younger than two, it’s probably safer to slide with an adult! There are also spots to climb up and down safely at this station, so it makes it less worrisome for parents. (Whew.)

JJ was drawn like a magnet to the ball-pit (as usual). I was a little surprised that it was quite small. It probably can’t take more than three kids without hands and feet getting entangled! But thankfully we were there on a weekday, so the boy pretty much had the pit to himself.

slide and ballpit

The Treehouse is probably designed for those aged three and up. It features a wooden bridge, a tyre swing, and netted ladders for climbing.

cooldesac_treehouse

One special point about this playground is that it comes equipped with lego and craft stations for lego-maniacs and little tots who prefer to play with scissors, paper, punches and glue. It’s a nice relaxing station for parents too, because we get to sit down and take a break from running and climbing! ūüėõ

Lego and craft stations

Finally, we got down to the dressing up area. Vera loved this the most I think. You know how it’s like with little girls and clothes; they just have to try on everything…The mirrors and all gave a nice dressing room effect. So did the stage and disco ball.

JJ: I’m going to poke you with my fork! ROARRRR!

Let's play dressing up

What I like about the place:

  • Security – Each parent is matched to your child with a coloured tag. So no one can bring your child out of the premises, except you.
  • Friendly and helpful staff are stationed around, especially at spots like the flying fox station, to help little ones out and keep them safe.
  • It’s relatively spacious and spaces have been well thought out.
  • Offers diverse and open-ended play tools.
  • There’s real food served be a bistro that has a connecting door to the playground. Lots of seating available in the playground area too, so parents of older children who can play independently can afford to sit down and sip a coffee.
  • It also offers party rooms and packages for rent.

Tips:

  • Remember your socks! (We forgot ours, but didn’t mind paying for new ones as the kids received nice colourful socks!)
  • It may be worth bringing a pouch or sling bag to hold all your valuables and mobile phones as the lockers don’t have locks. (You can rent a padlock though.)
  • If you want to avoid the crowd, do check it out on weekdays! It’s cheaper too ($10 for <3yo, and $20 for >3yo).

Venue details:

  • Open weekdays (10am-10pm) and weekends/PH (8.30am – 10pm)
  • Located at Suntec City #02-379 (Next to The Cocoa Tree)
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