Play away at the National Museum of Singapore!



FIRST PLAY AREA FOR MUSEUM’S YOUNGEST VISITORS OPENS AT NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE
PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore gives children aged three to seven a first-look at Singapore history and culture, encouraging museum-going from a young age
Singapore, 24 May 2014 The National Museum of Singapore presents its first dedicated area  for young children to discover Singapore’s history and heritage in a fun and relatable way, with the opening of PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore. Officiated by Minister for Community, Culture and Youth, Mr Lawrence Wong, the new 700sqm wing is themed after content from the Museum’s Living Galleries. This new area reflects the National Heritage Board’s increased emphasis on heritage education as well as ongoing efforts to cultivate a greater passion for heritage among younger Singaporeans and families.
Director of the National Museum of Singapore, Ms Angelita Teo, said, “The National Museum of Singapore is always looking for new ways to engage our audiences, and our young visitors are no exception. Our ongoing revamp presents a great opportunity to create a permanent offering for them. PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore thus hopes to give our children an exciting and enriching museum experience, and offer them a lively area to look forward to with every visit.” 
Designed with the museum’s youngest visitors in mind, PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore is an area where children aged three to seven can freely express their curiosity and creativity. The design of the place allows children to learn in a tactile manner and interact with other children through fun installations. Content was also developed with the participation of parents in mind, as PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore hopes to encourage bonding between adults and children through the sharing of experiences and memories.
“In working closely with children, preschools, MOE and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), the Museum has come to better understand the need to start the young early in heritage education, and the educational approaches that work best for our young visitors. These are approaches that we have incorporated into PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore, allowing the new wing to also be used as an enhanced learning platform by parents and teachers, for the benefit and enjoyment of their children. All of this will go towards the nurturing of a museum-going and heritage-loving generation,” Ms Teo added.
Content for PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore draws inspiration from the Museum’s collection, such as the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings, as well as everyday heritage reworked into engaging, larger-than-life play spaces to give young visitors their first journey into Singapore’s history and culture. The bright, colourful area of open spaces consists of three main sections. They are –
·         EXPLORE
EXPLORE is the largest of the three spaces, consisting of a spacious indoor and outdoor area that encourages children to discover our local history and cultures in a fun way, with interesting activities to see, touch, and do. This space has a design inspired by the popular childhood game, Ludo, and borrows on the concept of a home, and – it includes themed spaces like a living room, kitchen, bedroom and garden. Activities centre on photography, food, film and fashion, translated into relatable context for the young visitors.
·         CREATE
An activity room for young budding artists to get their hands dirty and create their own artworks, the CREATE space will be open to the public from Fridays to Sundays every week, while other weekdays will be set aside for school programmes.
·         PERFORM
PERFORM will be a room that offers specially curated programmes for children to unleash their creative potential for performing arts, and is equipped with a modular stage and dividers to transform the space for different purposes. It can also be used as an exhibition area during highlight programmes like the Museum’s annual Children’s Season and Night Festival.
More details of each section can be found in the Fact Sheet.
Programming will be organised regularly to complement the play spaces and learning experience. A list of exciting activities organised for the wing’s Opening Weekend can be found in the Annex.
PLAY @ National Museum of Singapore will be open from Saturday, 24 May 2014, at the National Museum of Singapore, Level 3 (entrance from Platform or Fort Canning Entrance). Opening hours are 10am to 6pm daily. Admission is free.

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