The Little Singapore Book Comes Alive at Children’s Season 2017

Children’s Season opens tomorrow and we can’t be more excited. Starting 27 May until end of July, kids can literally walk into the pages of The Little Singapore Book at the National Museum.

The authors and illustrator testing out the puppet theatre.

Two installations for the Children’s Season brings The Little Singapore Book alive in full, walk-in 3D! Diane’s amazing illustrations now stand child-height, complete with fun activity stations, and additional landmarks not featured in the book.
The exhibits highlight three old forms of transport in Singapore — the trolley bus, trishaw and bumboat (or tongkang).

The first installation, on the first floor foyer of the museum, is the Bumboat Trail. Created in collaboration with first and second year visual arts students from the School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA), it’s a fun-filled space that brings to life the landmarks along the Singapore River on which bumboats used to ply. Our favourite is the re-creation of the Cavenagh Bridge, complete with silver cables and the old sign prohibiting cows and horses to cross. The Old Parliament House is done in miniature too, and doubles up as a puppet theatre, while the Fullerton Building’s former role as the General Post Office is remembered by the mail sorting game.

Kids can even pen a postcard to themselves, stick on a read stamp (all provided by the museum) and mail it off at the vintage red British mailbox in the middle of the installation. The museum will get it into our real postage system and kids will receive their postcard at home a few days later. How cool is that?

Upstairs the Trolley Bus & Trishaw Trial is a larger installation, created in collaboration with students from NTU. In this small, colourful space, kids can sample Singapore’s old cultural and entertainment landmarks, including Haw Par Villa, Chinatown and the Happy World.

There are lots of photo ops here — look out for the very detailed wall of Peranakan houses — and fun stations like colouring Peranakan ’tiles’ and creating your own heritage town. Remember to read the exhibition panels — like in our book, it offers nuggets of little known information about Singapore years and years ago.

Please bring your kids to enjoy the National Museum. Grandparents too would probably enjoy this blast from the past, and have lots to share with the family.

Beyond our two fun spaces, there’s also a tongkang bouncy castle on the front lawn, a sleeping giant in the basement, and a giant suspended netted lounger at the main rotunda where you can climb into and enjoy the view of the coloured glass dome.

Craft for Kids: Tiger Mask

A long, long time ago, tigers roamed the virgin jungles of Singapore. Changi, in particular, was very popular with the tigers, who swam across the Straits of Johor and landed at an area called Fairy Point.
1 tiger v1 flattened
These days, the only live tigers you will spot are the ones in the Singapore Zoo. The last wild tiger on the island was killed in the Choa Chu Kang area in the 1930s. Still, tigers are very much part of the island’s rich, varied history. Here’s a easy fun way to bring them to “life” for the little ones in the family.

A Note to Grown-Ups: This activity is ideal for children aged 5 to 8, with adult supervision. Younger children (aged 2 to 4) will need lots of help with cutting and gluing the bits together, and drawing in the tiger’s mouth. But you can be sure they will have as much fun, if not more, pretending to be little tigers around the house!

TigerCraft
You will need:

White paper plates
Penknife
Orange paint & paint brushes
Craft sticks or ice cream sticks
Scissors
One sheet of black construction paper
One sheet of orange construction paper
Black marker pen
Glue
Clear tape

  1. Trace and cut out two holes in the paper plate using a penknife, like in the picture above. These are for the tiger’s “eyes”.
  2. Now paint the reverse side of the paper plate and the ice cream stick orange.
  3. Set them aside to dry completely.
  4. Draw 2 triangles on the orange construction paper. They should be the same size, roughly measuring 6x7x7 cm. Cut them out.
  5. Draw 8 triangles on the black construction paper. They should be the same size, roughly measuring 4x7x7 cm. Cut them out.
  6. Draw another triangle on the black construction paper. This is for the tiger’s “nose”. It should be curved on one side and measure roughly 3 cm on the other 2 sides.
  7. When the paint on the paper plate is dry, glue in the two orange triangles near the top of the plate. These are the tiger’s “ears”.
  8. Next, glue on the black triangles: two between the “ears” in the centre, and three on each side below the “ears”, like in the picture. These are the tiger’s “stripes”.
  9. Glue on the last triangle, the tiger’s “nose” just below and between his “eyes”.
  10. Use the black marker pen to draw in the tiger’s mouth, like in the picture.
  11. Lastly, tape on the ice cream stick to the back of the paper plate. You are ready to play tiger!