Free and Cheap Activities we did this week!

The challenge for me this June holidays was to create at least one engaging day with a series of activities to bring K a week, without burning a hole in my pocket. So what did we do this week and was I successful in my attempts?

  • Art Garden at SAM

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Lovely installations, an improvement from last year to engage the children, however, there was no attempts to make the themes from the art installations meaningful for the kids. Drawing and Colouring activities (a popular choice for SAM every year), were added to most of the activity stations.

I heard that some parents were able to spend many hours with their kids at Art Garden, something which I didn’t think will be possible with the three kids.

Time spent at exhibit : Only 1 hour

  • Island Adventure at National Museum of Singapore

There wasn’t much happening apart from the interactive displays as we didn’t plan our visit around the roving acts and story-telling sessions, and Pauline and I didn’t want to get the craft kits at $5. So all the kids did was to ‘invent a Singapore dish’ by putting together some cut-outs of food illustrations,

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Attempted to piece together a ‘jigsaw’ of different cultural costumes,

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Watch wayang peep shows and look at colored photo prints in the 50s and 60s.

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Time spent at Island Adventures interactive display : Barely 10 minutes

The kids ended up spending more time at the community exhibition; Trading Stories: Conversations with Siz Pioneering Tradesmen, an exhibition on old trades in Singapore and how these tradesmen have coped with challenge of changing times.

I think having to watch some moving visuals through local documentaries on screen, and being able to see and touch some of the ‘real life’ items on display kept them alot more interested in the exhibits.

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Time spent at exhibit : Approximately 20 minutes

  • Play, Eat, Love Cafe

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The moms spent $5.00 for a 2 hour craft per child. Relatively affordable, if the craft activity can keep your children busy for 2 hours, while you can enjoy tea with your friend at the side. Unfortunately that didn’t quite happen when barely 10 minutes into the activity, K asked for 2 more sheets of paper, was not too thrilled that he had added too much glue on his craft and decided to trash it. It turned out that the pack of plastic toy soldiers that cost me $5.00, provided him with imaginative play that kept him busy playing with his friends for the rest of the time we were at the cafe.

Time spent at craft activity : 15 minutes, while imaginative play with toy soldiers and the snacks we ordered kept them occupied for 30 minutes.

  • Leave a Mark

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Draw, doodle or just scribble whatever you want on the large format photos on display on the Leave a Mark exhibition . K left his ‘stickmen’ doodles in many of the pieces and the kids were happy with the crayons, markers and stencils given for this open-ended doodle activity. It was a simple exhibit, but I think letting the kids interact and add their little inspirations to the photos was an intriguing concept for them.

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Time spent doodling : 30 minutes

I think it is not difficult to find activities for kids in Singapore, especially during the school holidays, and spend little money to occupy their time for an hour or so. Craft and open-ended activities work the best to keep them engaged, and I think being in the company of friends helped to make the activities more enjoyable.

From what we have experienced from Children’s Season 2013 so far, visiting two exhibits from Singapore’s two key museums have reminded me that I should continue to keep my expectations low and let the surprises unfold (haven’t been surprised yet), if we intend to visit more museum activities in the next few weeks.

On a side note, I will be taking a break from Photo *Heart* Fridays these 2 weeks, as I have encountered a technical bug with my linky and will be getting it corrected soon.

 

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