Monday, 7 December 2015

National Gallery ~ Simplicity

We visited the National Gallery last week and since we had another engagement in the afternoon, we gravitated to the Keppel Centre for Art Education, where the activities were suitable for families with young children.

At our first stop, the children were each given a dot-to-dot worksheet to do. The children in our party were engrossed in the task while the adults hurried them, thinking that the activity was trivial and could be completed at home. Every child in the group took the work seriously and was reluctant to leave till the task was done. I was gratified to see that. In this day when children are so stimulated by electronic devices and the likes, simple activities like dot-to-dot may bore some. I remember when my Primary 6 students organised games for some visiting kindergarten children, the kindergarten children scorned at Musical Chairs and did not want to play the game as it was "boring". I think our children reminded me that pleasure could be derived from simple things.

The children were told to design their future homes and vehicles at the Project Gallery.

We purchased the Boat in the Sky toolkit at $4 for the children to construct their imaginary vehicle. The toolkit consists of a big and a small boat, so both J and An could share a kit. A bus kit was also available.

Nets of cones were also provided. The children could draw the rooms in their future homes on one side of the net, then roll it up to form a cone as shown below. I could see that most children were contented with their current homes as most rooms featured were similar to what rooms are currently like. An alternative explanation would be that we need to work on instilling creativity in our young. :p

Pictures of the Art Playscape have been flooding social media and I was glad to finally see it. The children were allowed ten minutes inside and they wasted no time in exploring. The sounds of scurrying feet could be heard as soon as the kids were let in. Little An was particularly exuberant and explored every nook and corner. I was snapping pictures after pictures as I admired the pretty art work.

Even though the recommended duration at the Who's in the Woods room was five minutes, the children stayed at there for about fifteen minutes as there was a queue of children waiting their turns. Here, they could choose their desired animal and fill it up with colours or designs. After that, the animal could be "sent" to the wall. Again, the activity was simple but the children were thrilled to see their designs appearing on the wall. I am looking forward to going there again when it is not so crowded so we can spent more time selecting colours that we really like instead of rushing through the activity.

We ended our outing at the National Gallery by visiting the Art Corridor. We were waiting for a friend to meet us so we stayed there for a considerable amount of time. At first, the children placed the coloured discs in the slots one by one. Then, J gathered a stack of discs and deposited then into the slots at once to explore the effect of colours. He also observed the combination of colours and said that when many discs were placed together, black colour was formed.

I was glad that all the children in our party seemed to enjoy themselves. Even when the activities seemed simple to the adults, the children made them interesting for themselves. I pray they will always have the right attitude towards learning.

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