Welcome to Playeum’s Children’s Centre for Creativity at Block 47, Malan Road, Gillman Barracks. Co-founders Sumitra Pasupathy and Jennifer Loh are excited that they have finally found a home for their organisation, which has been promoting children’s play and creativity for the past six years and has reached out to 60,000 children of which 20% were from less-privileged backgrounds. Their wish is that the new premises would be an excellent illustration of how a space that allows children free rein to play and explore would look like.
Together with Executive Director Anna Salaman and Creative Director Isabelle Desjeux, they will present the Centre’s first exhibit “The Art of Speed”, which will run from 19 Sept 2015 – 3 Apr 2016. The Centre is carved up into four main areas to cater to the different moods and energies of the participants aged one to 12, namely, The Main Space, The Play Maker Space, The Dark Space, and The Workshop. Each Space seeks to encourage the player to interact with the exhibits and create his or her own play. As Isabelle puts it, playing is all about experimenting. Parents with tiny tots under one can also get to experience The Art of Speed in The Toddler Space.
Main Space: Children get into the exploration of speed through cars and ramps. Trained facilitators are around to guide the children. (Photo credits: Preschoolmarket.com)
The whole set-up is a provocative one, awaiting little creative hands to add their magical touch. You might see frowns and some staring into space; you could hear a soft mutter of “Yes” and perhaps squeals of “Awesome!”. In this place you will find open-ended materials and structures provided solely for children to experiment and discover – for them to be free to simply play creatively.
Play Maker Space: An excited girl showing Isabelle the works she has created using the range of mediums available. (Photo credits: Preschoolmarket.com) In line with its belief of equal opportunities for all children to express and indulge their imagination, the centre has a special donation programme, Play-It-Forward, to help fund children from less-privileged backgrounds to visit the centre. Your child can have a birthday party with a difference at the centre with a 30mins workshop included and instead of bringing presents, you can inform your guests to donate to the centre. As a registered non-profit organisation, all donations made to Playeum will be matched by the National Arts Council. Here are some thoughts by the parents:
"We liked the Playeum space! It was thoughtful and appealed to both my 5 and 7 year olds. Micah, 7 years old, said his favourite part was building his Lego car and letting it go on the ramp. Ezra, 5 years old, loved the toddler corner and the toy accordion. I liked that it allowed the kids to exercise their imagination.” Judith Xavier
“I loved the concept and desire to encourage children to play and I'd like to see more of these places in Singapore. I like your art of speed design and the tinkering space it was very creative and enjoyable for my (5 year old) son.”
Yen Siow, Founder of Discovering without Borders
“David loves the fact that he not only had the opportunity to build his own car but also got an awesome platform to put his creation to action! He also enjoyed building his own combination of ramps using the green strips and testing them out with little cars. I was surprised at how my girls enjoyed building cars and tested them out on the ramps- 1st time ever!! Dayna particularly loved the whole range of materials provided at the craft corner. It was so inviting and inspiring that she just had to make something! My littlest one followed suit using straws and pink duct tape to make her own chicken drumstick for lunch!;)”
The Centre will change its exhibits three times a year so there is always something new for visitors/participants to look forward to. School groups and groups of above 20 pay a special rate for entry to the exhibition area as well as workshop participation. The Centre is open every day of the year except Mondays and Christmas Day. Its convenient location at Gillman Barracks means just a five-minute walk from the Circle Line’s Labrador MRT Station. Tickets are bought at the door. So hurry, plan your visit now!
For more details and information, please visit www.playeum.com