Watch Out, Parents and Preschoolers!
Before we stepped into Artground, we heard children excited voices and that made my 5 year old super excited. The moment we stepped in, we saw children running around happily. Chaotic, you might say. Yet no one was hurt, children were just immersed in the open space for them. Space is something children love!
We were greeted by the space, inviting colours and some exhibits which children are welcome to interact with. That means, they can climb, play and hide in it unlike many museum exhibits which are only meant for gentle touch. The current display is “I SΦ with my Little Eye”, which looks at the golden ratio that often appears in visual patterns in the natural environment around us.
These exhibits are changed three times a year and entrance is FREE! A clean and safe environment for little crawler, walkers and runners alike. Artground is Singapore’s newest multi-disciplinary arts center designed for children 12 and under. There are 4 venues for children to explore. There is a stage with a beautiful spiral that winds up towards the stage and that is the Baby Stage, for little ones to hang out and explore.
The second venue is the Ground Floor, it has a climbing frame exhibits, magnetic walls, origami corner at the time of visit. It is meant for the older children to touch, feel and explore.
“Is there anything to do there?” my daughter would ask before visiting a place. Yes! Every weekend, there are activities conducted and these activities are conducted in the third venue, WhiteBox. These activities are announced two weeks in advance on their website, https://theartground.com.sg/events/category/events/ongoing-events/. There is a variety of groups and activities. Some of these events look really exciting especially for parents with a year old child who sense that the child loves exploring and wonder what you can really do; these ticketed parent-child events are a small price to pay to try out and expose your little one!
When we were there a local arts group, The Kueh Tutus, was invited and my daughter was so intrigued, she smuggled herself into group which was actually meant for the invited preschool, Cherie Hearts. The children were initially unsure or even puzzled on what they needed to do. There were two performers who wanted to find each other and they could only move if tiles were laid in front of them. Instructions were given by a recording that resembles computer games instruction. It was ingenious to combine performing arts and computer games. I was initially worried for the children and artist (it was afterall a media preview showcase) but the performers were unfazed. Some minutes on, children spoke to each other, observed and figured out how to interact with the performers who were silent. It was beautiful to watch you witness children’s thoughtful looks and finally excitement to place the mats to help the performers reach each other. Strangely, I felt relief for the performers too.
Finally, before we left, we had a little walk around The Good Garden, the fourth venue of the Artground. This is where we want to shout out to preschools! They have learning journeys with activity sheets, and currently to teach geometry (shapes) through arts and nature. Do check them out, https://theartground.com.sg/learning-journeys-isphi/ ! If you school is also interested in arts, be it visual or performing arts, Artground has another purpose of developing local artist. This means, there are in contact with a pool of local artists and they can link you with the artist and the space (themselves). It is worth thinking and exploring.
Artground has a mission to develop audience and to develop local artists, and it is developed in collaboration with National Arts Council. When I spoke to Ms Luanne Poh, the director, she was previously with the Esplanade working on the project PLAYtime! She has a good understanding of what parents or preschoolers and preschools are looking for. Hopefully, this is a good avenue of collaboration for your school.
For a start, if you would like to visit, the address and opening hours are stated below.
Artground, Goodman Arts Center
Block J #01-40
90 Goodman Road
Opening Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 9.30am – 5pm
Fridays-Sundays & P.H. 9.30am – 6pm
*Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
~by Esther, your friend at Preschool Market
Team @ Preschool Market
We are just very passionate for the Early Childhood sector!