Family Learning Journey – Art Galleries
By Chan Hoi Ki on 07/07/2022
Art galleries are a great way for kids to get more engaged with art and these outings may even spur the hidden inner artists they have in themselves! Before bringing your children to an art gallery for the first time, it may be ideal to first set expectations on their behaviours beforehand.
Young children may find some behavioural constraints of an art gallery too demanding (eg. keeping quiet, not touching artworks, walking). Do take breaks as and when needed, let your children lead the way and take their time looking at the exhibits and reading the descriptions. At the same time, probe them questions on how they feel and what their thoughts are, for example:
- “What do you think this art is about?”
- “What do you see in this artwork?”
- “How do you think the artist made this?”
To get them more engaged on the spot, bring along a sketchbook and colouring materials to let them create art spontaneously. They can mimic what they see ahead of them, or draw out what they feel. Alternatively (if the gallery permits), you may take photos and follow up on the art gallery visit back at home.
In Singapore, there are a few art galleries that host family-friendly avenues for kids to freely roam, explore and interact. Especially during the June school holidays, there are some specially curated events that cater to children!
- National Museum of Singapore (新加坡国家博物馆)
This exhibition features the experiences of children growing up in Singapore during the 1950s and 1960s. Personal anecdotes and interactive installations are on display that provided the foundation of a multi-racial Singapore culture during the post-war times. This was a turbulent period for Singapore due to the changes from self-governance (1959) to merger with Malaya (1963) and then to independence (1965). Singapore was struggling to find an identity it could call its own and faced its own set of uncertainties and challenges.
An interesting section of this exhibition is the Toy Story – where today’s children are invited to donate some of their own treasured toys along with sharing its precious memories. These toys show a stark contrast (or perhaps similarities!) as compared to the toys of the 50s/60s’ children back then.
#MuseumFromHome: Get Curious!
Permanent / Online
The National Museum has put together a bunch of free online craft resources for families to enjoy together at home. Materials are easily sourced from a typical household and video tutorials are also included to guide the activities. The type of activities include making your own toys, colouring artworks, body movements and even activities involving the grandparents’ generation to connect both the elderly and the young!
These activities are recommended for families with children aged from 1 to 10 years.
- National Gallery Singapore (新加坡国家美术馆)
This venue is a dynamic space with large immersive spaces to encourage children’s imagination, self-led exploration and creativity. The centre also lines up several programmes targeted to children all year round. Entry is free of charge. There is a studio workshop, story corner, ink studio and large imaginative play spaces.
The Children’s Biennale is currently ongoing till Dec 2022. There are tons of installations lined up throughout the gallery that are free of charge and certain family programmes scheduled. Take a look at the brochure for a more in-depth guide to the event! There are a total of 9 physical installations that will leave your kids reflecting and intrigued.
Featured Image Source: National Gallery Singapore
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