Maker spaces, indoor dirt, gadgets to take apart and a washing machine on a wall... Playeum's new exhibition, Going Play-Ces: A Wanderful Exploration of New Lands has it all and more
This piece was originally written in 2018. Playeum at Gillman Barracks has now closed. For more information, check out Playeum’s website here.
We’re not going to lie to you, we were over the moon when we heard that one of our fave indoor play spaces, Playeum, Children’s Centre for Creativity, was flinging open its doors on a brand new exhibition! And we certainly weren’t disappointed when we got to check out the space along with our mini-reporters. The verdict? Going Play-Ces: A Wanderful Exploration of New Lands might have had big shoes to fill following the huge success of its predecessors, Making It Home – Dreaming Rooms, Making Spaces, Creating Places and Hideaways: Creating With Nature , but with one of the most exciting maker spaces we’ve ever seen, a patch of dirt to get mucky in and a ton of recycled e-waste and ten million toilet rolls to tinker and create with, neither the kids, nor us, wanted to leave!
The ethos behind the awesome
The new exhibition has been designed to allow kids aged one to 12 years use their imagination while exploring different landscapes created with sustainability, innovation and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) in mind. The ingenious result is a host of playscapes that bring an element of sea, jungle and city to creative play, while kiddos – and grown ups – explore and engineer the environment around them with zero boundaries. There are also great sustainability and social messages to be found while adventuring through the thoughtful spaces.
The first port of call is Homeland, a cosy corner where staff greet families to explain the concepts behind the spaces, and how the exciting array of materials throughout the space can be used in endless imaginative play – oh, and we loved the kitsch rocking chair!
A thought provoking outdoors space that encourages children, through hands-on play, to think about how much plastic we are all throwing in the ocean! (It’s pretty shocking…) It’s also a good excuse to discuss the effect pollution has on our oceans and marine life, and how we can change our mindset to really conserve the environment in every day life. Kids (when it’s not too hot outside) can tinker with plastic materials to create ripples and waves, while the big ball of plastic bags packs a huge visual impact that encourages us all to start making small changes in our lives to help with the plastic problem (reusable sandwich bags and eco-friendly grocery bags for starters!).
While this playspace might sound like it’s from binge-worthy TV series, Stranger Things, it’s actually a journey into space and provides infinite interplay where concepts of light, colour, pattern and symmetry rule. Designed to let kids think outside the box and to consider what is not obvious to the eye, the darkened space room was a big hit with our kids. Especially when mum had to squeeze her ample bottom through the tunnel to enter… Look out for the washing machine on the wall (or is it? It’s amazing what kids see beyond the obvious!).
Nature has literally been brought indoors in the Jungaloo area where our little ones (and big ones) loved crawling through a manmade jungle made from recycled fabric. The aim is to add and grow the jungle with materials from around the space to help children understand the concept of growth over time. And let’s just take a moment to talk about the big pile of soil that has been brought indoors… THE space to kick up bare feet in a dirt pit of varying heights that allows young explorers to feel and understand natural growth and their surroundings. Warning: kids *may* get a tad dirty, and will they care? Not a jot.
In this experimental space there is no such thing as waste! Playeum believe – and we wholeheartedly agree – that kids can create imaginative genius with stuff that might otherwise have gone in the bin. Huge cardboard tubes, hoses, tires and pipes are perfect for fun projects. When siblings work as a team to create a tire tunnel, you know you’re onto an activity winner.
The Future Maker Space
This is, quite frankly, one of the coolest play spaces we’ve ever seen. The verdict of our 10-year old? “This is the best place for craft I’ve ever been to. I literally can make ANYTHING, and I don’t even have to search all over the house for the bits I need. It’s all here.” And she’s not wrong! With everything from old cassette tapes (they took a bit of explaining!) to discarded piano parts, retro phones to Yakult pots, there is no end to the creativity to be had thanks to The Scrap Droids cupboard. The six-year old was just thrilled to have free reign to take things apart…
The official verdict?
The little one cried when it was time to leave, and the bigger one made us promise we would come back every week during the school holidays. Say no more.
When: Now until 28 April 2019, open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm
Where: Playeum Children’s Centre for Creativity, 47 Malan Road, Singapore 109444
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
The great HoneyKids green-fingered experiment: Growing plants from scraps
10 ways to teach the kids to be environmentally friendly
Must see museums and exhibits to check out now
Guide to summer camps for 2018