National Museum of Singapore: Masak Masak: My Childhood 2014

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Looking to re-live your childhood together with your children?

Now, the young and young at heart can do so at a special all-new exhibition entitled Masak Masak: My Childhood. As part of Children’s Season 2014, this all-new exhibition will be a mainstay from this year onwards.

2014’s theme of My Childhood features familiar playgrounds with a modern twist and larger-than-life games of yesteryear. Interactivity is a key focus and parents will have plenty of opportunities to share their own childhood stories and play games with their children through the installations by local and international artists.

Singapore Bouncy Playgrounds
Saturday and Sunday only (till 31 August 2014)
11.00 am to 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm

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Bouncy DragonIt’s hard to miss this. Singapore’s legendary Dragon playground comes alive on weekends only, right at the front lawn of National Museum of Singapore. Once built with mosaic tiles, this familiar HDB playground from the 1980s has been recreated as a modern-day bouncy castle.

The Elephant playground makes an appearance too for the tinier tots.


>> Read more about Singapore’s Heritage Playgrounds and find out where in Singapore they still are.

“Come and Play”
By local artist Justin Lee
Salon, Level 1

Merry Go RoundAs children, some of us may have had the experience of creating make believe toys out of cardboard. Enter the whimsical world created by Justin Lee where everything is made out of cardboard and you can “come and play” with your children.

Cardboard Displays

Create your very own object and get a chance to exhibit it straightaway on the display shelves!

Cardboard House

Kids CraftThis turned out to be largely popular with the children who tried out the installation and Justin Lee had a young fan club going by the end of the media preview.

Larger-than-Life Childhood Games
In collaboration with the School of the Arts (SOTA) (Singapore)
Concourse, Level 1 


Marbles was a common childhood game of the 1980s. It was a game of strategy and accuracy and the winner would be the one who knocks out the most marbles placed in a circle drawn on the sand with their own marble in their hand.

MarblesSOTA students (Liu Nuo Lin, Tan Choon Kang, Leong Hui Jun, Luke Ang Duanwen, Scerri Diacono Nina and Siew Guang Hong) came together to redefine the experience in a contemporary context using brightly coloured balls. While the principles remain the same, players in this game are required to roll their balls into the hole in the middle and avoid potholes along the way. With the undulating fabric surface, it’s not as easy as it looks and parents will certainly have to chip in to help their little ones.


A SOTA student’s mother shared with her daughter how Pick Up Sticks was her favourite game when she was young. However, back then, they were made of real branches and not the colourful plastic sticks that we see today. Traditionally, players would need to remove their chosen sticks without moving other sticks placed randomly in a pile.

SticksIn this new version by SOTA students (Ryan Benjamin Lee Meng Kiat, Fiona Seng, Heng Xin Yue Rachel, Damien Koh and Erika Kamiko), players create their structures together in a strategic manner instead of deconstructing them. You can compete as a family to see who builds the highest structure or remove sticks without collapsing others.


Five stones, another popular game, is enlarged in this re-interpretation by SOTA students (Bruce Leong Jun Ngee, Yap Soke Kee, Sim Mei-Ann Katherine, Gwen Lim Pei Ying, Chin Wy Li Celine and Koo Xin Ting Nicole). Players have to stand within the circle and toss the stones in the air, with one less stone each time, till all the stones land within the circle.


Word Out
By National University of Singapore, Division of Industrial Design (Singapore)
Platform, Level 2

Word OutThis is a fun way to teach your preschoolers how to spell – with their bodies! Designed by Kelly Yap, Felicia Clare Paul and Christabel Goh, kids get to experience the form of each alphabet by twisting themselves. Once formed, a new letter appears until the entire word is formed. Have fun demonstrating to your kids at this installation!

“Rouleaux” – paper art installation
By French artist Anastassia Elias
Platform, Level 2

InstallationFrom a distance, this may not look like much, but come up close and you’ll get personal with stunning miniature dioramas made out of the simple toilet rolls!

Little Eye

You’ll find interesting scenes of “What I want to be when I grow up” made with just a pair of manicure scissors and tweezers by Anastassia Elias.


Centre Roll

It’s an interesting conversation starter indeed as you peer at these intricate designs with your children.

Sculpture Scribble
By Guixot de 8 from Spain
Glass Atrium, Level 2

SculptureOld scrap materials from a recycling and composting site are given a new lease of life as they are transformed into fun installations, modelled after works of art by famous 20th century artists.


The best part of it is that all the entire collection by Spanish group Guixot de 8 can be touched, not just admired. So go ahead and experiment on the physics behind the art with your kids!

Drawing of Sounds
By Ludicart (France)
Perform, PLAY @ NMS, Level 3


If sound can be drawn, it will be in this dark room where you can doodle away with an LED flashlight. This multi-sensory installation by French artist Ludicart allows you to be imaginative, paint with light and experience sound in a whole new way.

Masak Masak: My Childhood Exhibition
Dates: 24 May 2014, Saturday to 3 August 2014, Sunday
Time: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm daily
Admission: Free
Where: National Museum of Singapore
Suitable for: Children aged three to seven

Masak Masak: My Childhood Special Weekend
Dates: 20 and 21 June 2014, Friday and Saturday
Time: 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm
Admission: Free

The interactive artworks and installations will be open for these extended hours on this special weekend. Treat the young ones to two special film screenings under the banyan tree at the museum the weekend before school reopens:

20 June, Friday, 8.00 pm: Ninja Kids!!! (100 minutes)
21 June, Saturday, 8.00 pm: The Rink / A Dog’s Life / The Kid (122 minutes)
Venue: Stamford Garden

Masak Masak: My Childhood is one of the over 40 programmes at Children’s Season 2014. Read on for more details of Children’s Season 2014.

READ: What Parents Need to Know for a Fuss-free Day Out

READ: Little India lights up for Deepavali

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