/bɪ ə gʊd gɜ:l/ n. moniker of she who blogs here [also known as, bie]; adj. personal awesome advice to all female kiddos

meet the fam #thechennies

meet the fam #thechennies

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Day at the Museum(s)

There's just something about museums which I adore. I always make it a point to fit at least one museum on my itinerary when I travel: National Palace Museum (before I was active on social media so no snaps to share but please make time for it when you are in Taipei, you won't regret it), Kensington Palace, Osaka Castle Park & MuseumShisanhang Museum of Archaeology, and Natural Museum of Natural Science are just some of the museums I've set foot on while travelling.

Back home, we have a really good range of museums too and ever since they dangled free entry to NHB museums for all citizens and PRs, the deal became even more attractive I'm sure! Of course, there are still private museums where admission is chargeable, but it just means you get more bang for your buck. I previously blogged on ArtScience Museum (unrelated outfit post but if you're interested), Children Little Museum and even the Trick Eye Museum (which isn't actually a museum museum, but still good for the kids anyways).

What I really like about the recent policy shift regarding museums here, is that there is more emphasis on getting children introduced to them too. Everyone seems to think that museums are booooooring but more exhibitions are catering to the young 'uns. Well, maybe not that recent, NHB has been having Children's Season (a museum roundtable with activities for littlies) during the mid-year hols for the past seven years. We were really excited when we got to bring Bielet to Art Garden, SAM at 8Q last year, and it was such a resounding success (because Bielet absolutely loved it) that we tried to fit in other CS visits but alas, Bieny decided we were having too much fun without her and popped.

During CS this year, we went to the Asian Civilisations Museum's Once Upon A Time in Asia: The Story Tree and both girls had a blast. Bielet busied herself with all the activities (although some were a tad challenging for her, like the 26 'I Spy' animal silhouettes - all starting with different letters of the alphabet) while Bieny was so excited and crawling all over the place to try to keep up. The brightly lit and colourful space was really welcoming for the children, but I realise this post comes too late because the exhibition just ended its run on 2 Nov!

I give up! I can't identify the animals! LOL

The children got to piece together their own cardboard trees in the likeness of this. 

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (acting all artsy)

Papa on babysitting duty

Rubbing various patterns onto her sheet of paper

And adding her little message onto the wall of hearts.

Butttttttttttttttttt, you can check out this other museum space dedicated to children at the National Museum of Singapore. Called Play @ NMS, it just opened this year in conjunction with the CS festivities and is FOC for all (not just citizens and PRs). It is touted as "the first dedicated area for young children to take their first steps towards museum-going with interactive exhibits and special activities that encourage learning through play." I brought the girls along with my good friend KL (cum special babysitter-of-the-day) to check the space out last month.

First up, we had to feed the rumbling tummies. Nosh was at Food For Thought. Its three branches (other two being Botanic Gardens, where we had Bieny's 1st birthday bash, and 8Q) serve up different menus and I still like Botanic Gardens the best!

"Hello, kids! What do you want to eat today?" Bielet chose the risotto for the girls to share.

Bieny poring over the Play @ NMS floor plan. Very serious planning here.

While Bielet torched some calories (no more to burn already hullo!) pushing the pram up and down.

Play @ NMS is located at the third floor of the building, and those with prams and need the lift have to go from basement/first floor to the second, then look for signs to transfer to the third. Very troublesome. Ps. For those who bring prams, you'll need to park them strollers outside.

If in doubt, follow the little children silhouettes and the colourful alphabets.  

There are four areas to Play @ NMS's EXPLORE section, and is set up like a home environment, including an outdoor garden patio. (Photos by KL are indicated with a red watermark, all others are mine.)

1. Kitchen
Inspired by NMS's Food Gallery

There are two cooking areas: the one of the left is for older children as it is a little higher while the one on the right was at a perfect height for Bielet!

Bieny didn't get the memo and headed for the high stove. Here she's studying the cookbook which has recipes for local favourites such as Chilli Crab and Nasi Lemak.

Which you will need to complete this puzzle! I love the cute magnets!

While you can't cook the real thing, you can emboss an outline of your favourite hawker food and bring it home to colour in. (Ask the museum rep for their special paper to emboss.)

Bieny arranged a feast for Aunty KL!

Um, I also dunno why she's looking so grouchy.

2. Bedroom
Inspired by NMS's Fashion Gallery

I didn't take a full picture of the mirror, but it looks like a wardrobe and there is a whole range of local costumes which you can 'put on'. Just pick whichever you fancy and stick it before you pose - the costumes are all decals!

And of course, you need somewhere to snooze in your bedroom so tadah, the ultimate man cave. HAHAHA

There are pillows and a carpet for visitors to lounge on and watch a few short flicks, but be warned. The tent smells a little funky.

3. Living Room 
Inspired by NMS's Film & Wayang Gallery

The Goldilocks couches for visitors to sit on while watching teevee. Actually there is a function on the TV to snap a picture of the patrons, but it was spoilt when we were there.

The museum rep snapped a photo of us four (I'm not posting that because I look so puiz) as well as this one.

The ginormous TV set! It's not that obvious but there are two puppets onscreen - our mini ventriloquist was staging her concert performance song. There are also two video clips to view at this point (that wall to the left of the picture).

And this adorbs picture is by KL! Good snap, eh!

4. Garden 
Inspired by William Farquhar's collection

The indoor garden has wooden pieces for little ones to match on the tree and bushes. Bielet was in charge of the tree while,

Bieny was in charge of the bushes. This cheeky little imp is 16mo and still doesn't wanna walk by herself. Princess problems.

The patio! KL is hysterical here because Bieny's mega pouts are tickling her!

There are chalkboard walls and pillars to doodle on. Fun!

Did you spot the creatures in the trees? Bieny did and was happily pointing to them.

And we have a lovely picture to end the day. Thanks for the super day out, Aunty KL! :))

We went on a weekday so it was nice and quiet (read: empty) but on weekends or special events, there are two other areas for children to create artworks (CREATE) or perform to an audience (PERFORM). Just the other day, Bielet was asking if we could go back to the museum. I guess NMS got it right! And we might be heading back there this weekend because the Singapore Writers Festival's Little Lit! which started last weekend will still be on 8 and 9 Nov. See here for event details.

Now, who says museums are boring?


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