Children's Museum Singapore set to open next December

Admission to the museum will be free for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
In developing the museum, Ms Prihadi says her team has been asking for feedback from early childhood educators, parents and kids. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Republic's first museum dedicated to children will be opening its doors to visitors next December.

Targeted at families with kids aged 12 and younger, the museum is located at the former Singapore Philatelic Museum.

The team behind Children's Museum Singapore gave an update on Tuesday (Dec 7), unveiling its logo and tagline: Start With Wonder.

The museum was first announced in Parliament last year (2020) by then-Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu. It had been scheduled to open this year, but its completion was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

When it opens its doors in December next year, the two-storey building in Coleman Street will be filled with activity-based exhibitions on local and regional heritage.

Young visitors can, for example, attempt to carry the heavy sacks that coolies used to handle. The Singapore Philatelic Museum's stamp collection will also be on display in an interactive way.

Children's Museum Singapore's director and general manager Tresnawati Prihadi says with a chuckle: "Kids are always reminded not to touch the displays at 'adult museums'. Here, we want to tell them 'Please touch.'"

Quoting the saying "I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand," the museum's curator Mishelle Lim adds: "We can no longer have very passive exhibitions and ask children to use only their eye power."

Ms Prihadi notes that while other Singapore museums offer child-friendly exhibitions, they are usually held during the school holidays. "But at Children's Museum Singapore, kids are very much welcome all year round," she adds.

Admission to the museum will be free for Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

In developing the museum, Ms Prihadi says her team has been asking for feedback from early childhood educators, parents and kids.

Children’s Museum Singapore’s (from far left) curator Mishelle Lim, director and general manager Tresnawati Prihadi, and senior curator Lucille Yap outside the museum building in Coleman Street. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

It helps that the team has experience in working with young visitors. Most of the new museum's staff are from the former Singapore Philatelic Museum, which was also a family-friendly attraction which held activities such as sleepover camps and birthday parties.

Ms Prihadi and her team are also inspired by what they have learnt from the leading children's museums that they had visited. These include the Tropenmuseum Junior in the Netherlands, the Frida & Fred in Graz, Austria and the Zoom Children's Museum in Vienna, Austria.

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