Saturday, 23 April 2016

Playeum (Hideaways - Creating with Nature)

The two kids and I visited Playeum, Children's Centre for Creativity, at Gillman Barracks. Their current theme is Hideaways - Creating with Nature. We spent a meaningful and educational two hours there and since their activities catered to ages 1 to 12, both kids enjoyed themselves.

Upon entering the premises, the kids gravitated towards Creature Cave. The cave was made of cardboard and housed items with different textures. It was suitable for babies and toddlers but I guess the idea of a cave appeals to anyone and J was quite happy accompanying his sister.

Next to the cave was Dark Space. There were two installations in it and one was related to sounds. Sounds of nature could be heard and if one bothered, he could identify the creatures that produced them. Most of the children seemed attracted to the other installation though. Fabric strips were scattered all over and they could be attached to the wall by velcro. Children weaved 'spider webs' using the strips. J was most engaged at this exhibit and he and some other children came up with quite an intricate web design.

As we walked on, there was a little microscope for the children to view insect specimens. The specimens would be projected onto a screen and we could clearly see the patterns on the wings and the different body parts. Here, there were also pictures and information of insects. J related new information on cockroaches that he had gleaned and I was glad he learnt something.

At the same table, children could draw insects or write cards to them (the insects). The cards could be dropped into mailboxes. The idea was that if humans had mailboxes, insects could too! J asked rhethorically if the insects could really read and I was quite amused by his incredulous expression.

The artists had even built a Bug Hotel and we were told that it had quite successful business with the insects. We could see some creatures from the windows and J was shocked to see a rather huge live spider. Indoors, there was a sensory Bug Hotel. Children could feel the texture on each panel and fit the panels onto the spaces on the hotel according to their sizes.

The blurry image was due to a downpour. 

Children were also given the opportunity to create with clay. At this station, each child was given a small amount of clay to make an insect or a habitat. Little An chose to make a worm, which was mounted on a habitat made by someone else. She was quite thrilled to see her worm transferred onto a greater art piece.

There were other opportunities for children to showcase their creativity. There were given materials to make beehives and the habitats of other insects. A poster on the wall showed very beautiful beehives made by real bees and I was intrigued by those colourful habitats.

I got Little An excited to make a hive using the myriad materials provided. We did one together and proudly displayed it on a display web.

Materials provided
Spot our hive!
We also saw samples of instruments made with recycled or natural resources.

Both J and An were inspired to make their own instruments. Here is J's rocket shaker, which I like a lot:

And here is An's rather pretty one (with lots of help from Mummy):

The visit to the Playeum was a fruitful one. We all learnt new things and the children were challenged to be creative.

Entry for each child (aged 1 to 12) is $20. One accompanying adult enters for free, but subsequent adults need to pay $10 each. The centre is open from 10a.m. to 6p.m. on Tuesdays to Sundays.

Enjoy if you do go. :)

Note: I would like to thank Playeum for inviting us to its premises with no obligation to blog about it. All opinions in this post are mine. 

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