The walk to Play@NMS looks promising. Greeted by colourful signs and the entrance of NMS, leading all the way to level 3 where Play@NMS is located, we had our expectations set up high.
There are technically 4 areas at Play@NMS. They are namely Explore , Garden, Create, Perform. However when we were there, only Explore and Garden is accessible. The create space is open only for workshops , while the perform area would be for performances.
EXPLORE is divided into 4 play areas consist of Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom and Garden. There are interactive activities within these play areas.
You could take a photo, watch some old tv programmes at the living room.
Once you took a photo, it can be saved from the Play App. The play time in the Living room took only 5 minutes. A little too short in our books.
Next stop is the kitchen. Here you can cook and play masak masak.
This is where the boys spend the most time. They spend about 20 minutes cooking up a storm for us.
There are also interactive panels and paper printing activites. However in terms of learning through play, we do think that it is limited in the exhibits on site.
Compared to our recent visit to Kidsstop, Play@NMS was a poor cousin. We were expecting a playground type of environment for the kids. Instead we were greeted by mostly static exhibits that does not encourage extended play,
The concept was good , but it was led down by the execution. No doubt the premises is free, but compared to other museums ( with kid's area) we had visited overseas, there seem to be a lack of creativity in the exhibits.
Take for example the bedroom. Here you are greeted by a huge tent where you can crawl under to watch a show.
Sadly other than this activity, there was not much of anything else to entice the little ones for extended play.
The Garden has a tree with slots for mix and match.
There are also some touch and feel stations. In less than 5 minutes, the boys to decide they had enough fun.
I always take the boys' reaction to a place as a gauge of how engage they are. Play@ NMS falls short in this aspect.
Before we left, we made a quick stop at the Gardens located outdoors. Here we were greeted with large panels of chalkboard walls for use to unleash our creativity. If truth be told, this would be the place we enjoy the most.
If you intend to visit Play @ NMS on its own, you might be a tad disappointed with the facilities. However if you intend to bring the children to the musuem to explore the museum as a whole , Play @ NMS can provide the little ones some moments of fun. From what we see, Play @ NMS is best for kids from 2 to 5.
Play is opened since May 2014. We do hope that it could be improve to warrant repeated visits. Otherwise it might just be a part of history.
PLAY @ NMS
Opens daily 10am to 6 pm
National Museum of Singapore