Singapore’s first museum just for children opens near Fort Canning


kids

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Seated around a table and colouring pictures, three children chatted excitedly about their time travel through Singapore’s history – from when the island was just a port city to the modern metropolis it is today.

Charlotte Heinritz, eight; Rayna Chopra, nine; and Lincoln Pook, nine, were among the first few children who got the opportunity to visit the Children’s Museum Singapore (CMSG) before its official opening on Thursday (Dec 8), and all three came away from it with new-found knowledge of the country.

When asked what the most interesting exhibit was, Charlotte said she enjoyed the Marketplace exhibit the most as she got to learn more about heritage trades in Singapore.

“This museum is really what kids want and will enjoy,” she said. “I really enjoyed my time learning different things through interactive activities and games.”

Echoing her sentiments, Rayna and Lincoln talked excitedly about how they enjoyed the special galleries, where they explored nature and birthday celebrations, all while designing their very own stamps at the Post Office exhibit.

The museum in Coleman Street is the first one in Singapore dedicated to children and features interactive elements that allow children to get hands-on with exhibits and use their senses to fully immerse themselves as they learn about the history of Singapore.

The two-storey space has a permanent exhibition containing four galleries on the first floor and three special galleries on the second floor that will be refreshed yearly with exhibits promising to stimulate children’s senses and evoke curiosity to motivate their learning.

As a museum specially curated for children, everything is designed for them – from the interactive activities to the height of the sinks in the toilet.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who officially opened the attraction, noted that adult visitors to the museum must be accompanied by a child.

“If I was not officiating this opening, I would be denied entry since I have no young children or grandchildren to tag along with,” he quipped.

CMSG director Wai Yin Pryke said: “We also envision our museum to be an inclusive space for children of different ages and abilities, planting the seed for all children to enjoy visiting museums to learn about our rich heritage and culture.”

Heng said he hopes the museum would not just be for children, but by children as well, adding that the space should spark curiosity and enhance the joy of learning.

As they finished their colouring activity, Charlotte, Lincoln and Rayna could not stop talking about their visit and their favourite exhibits.

Said Rayna: “I just know that my siblings and all other children will be as happy as me when they visit.”

Siblings Leanne (left) and Lincoln Pook playing inside The Marketplace gallery of Children’s Museum Singapore. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

All tickets for the museum’s Opening Weekend Birthday Bash, which includes a carnival, on Saturday and Sunday are sold out.

From Dec 13 until March 31, 2023, entry to the museum will be free for all, including accompanying adults.

Ticketing details for admission from April onwards will be announced at a later date.

Visitors will be asked to choose a date and time slot for their visit. To ensure a comfortable visitor experience, advance online ticket reservations are encouraged.

The Children’s Museum Singapore is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 1pm, and 2pm to 6pm.

Admission to all galleries ends 30 minutes before closing time.

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