Keppel Centre for Art Education 

The National Kitchen Restaurant

Yesterday following a delicious meal in the exquisite  ‘National Kitchen’ restaurant in the Singapore National Gallery we stumbled on a really fun activity area called ‘Who’s in the Wood’. I’m not sure who enjoyed it most. Our two year old granddaughter or the adults in the party! 


Click here to see more:  ​​​​Who’s in the Woods?

​When we were able to tear ourselves away from ‘We were in for another amazing discovery. The ‘Keppel Centre for Art Education’ 
On the first level of the Gallery, this imaginative Centre for children is made up of four areas. The Art Playscape, Art Corridor, Museum and Project Gallery. The activities and resources encourage children to think creatively, to problem solve and to communicate.  In other words, everything that ‘The Jumbles’ believe in. 

This is such a wonderful learning resource for residents in Singapore but a visit to the National Gallery including the Keppel Centre (and a meal in the’National Kitchen’ ) is also something I would rate as a ‘must’ for families visiting the country. 

For more information and amazing photographs, click on the link below. 

      Keppel Centre

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Haw Par Villa 


We visited the Haw Par Villa theme park in the Pasir Panjang District (MRT Circle Line) for the second time today. 

The park in the middle of massive renovation works and so many of the areas were ‘out of bounds’ and it was very noisy. . 

However, I would definitely recommend this place once the works are completed as it is going to be really beautiful. 

This theme park is named after the ‘Aw Brothers’ who invented the Tiger Balm ointment and, as expected, the gardens contain many tiger statues

Haw Par is best known for its gruesome depiction of the ‘Ten Gates of Hell’ but, with over 1.000 statues and tableaux it is a magical journey into Chinese Mythology. To really appreciate it fully I would recommend acquiring a basic knowledge of some of the stories.

Children will love the animal statues and the numerous turtles and terrapins and will enjoy clambering up the steps and exploring the many tunnels that meander through the tableuxs. 

I definitely would NOT recommend taking them to see the ten gates of hell! 

Below is a very short video I took today of the restricted area. 

After our previous visit a couple of years ago I made a pre-visit video for children.  To view please use this link: 

       Haw Par Villla for Kids

     

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The Lion Dance. Chinese New Year 

Above:  The Lions visit the  Plaza Singapura Shopping Centre in Dhoby Gaut, Singapore. 

Why? 

In a nutshell, to chase away evil spirits and monsters like Nian and to bring good luck and fortune during the coming year. 

There are two men inside each Lion. One at the head and one at the tail. The music follows the move of the Lion. The Lion has a mirror attached to its head and this is believed to expel negative energy. 

The businesses hang a string of green vegetables outside the door. To this is attached a lucky red packet. Usually the businesses have prepaid for the visit by the lions. The dance culminates with the lions ‘eating’ the green vegetables and packet accompanied by a crescendo of drums and cymbals. Then they spit out the chewed up remains. This is a symbolic gesture. The lions are blessing the business with good luck and lots of customers during the new year! In return the lions are rewarded with oranges or tangerines which again symbolise good good luck. 

Often the lions leave a Year Date spelt out in orange segments on the floor. 


In the video below you can see the climax of the lion dance at Plaza Singapura

         LION DANCE. PLAZA SINGAPURA

Come back tomorrow for more fun when we will be participating in the ‘Yu Sheng’. This is a traditional noodle tossing and great fun. Tastes great too! There’s also a DRAGON! 

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Flower Power

 

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Play dough, bought or homemade, is a great creative medium. Modelling with the dough also strengthens little muscles thus improving fine motor skills. 


Introduce different skills like: 

  • Kneading
  • Squeezing
  • Rolling a long sausage on the table first with one hand and then both 
  • Rolling into a ball between the palms of both hands.
  • Breaking the play dough-pulling it apart using a tripod grip. 
  • Squashing balls on the table with the thumb and then each finger in turn. 
  • Building a tower or balls starting with the largest at the bottom. 

I drew patterns and pictures in indelible marker on clear plastic to encourage my kids to use different skills to make different shapes with the playdough. (See above) 

Follow the link below to see Maisie Jumble , inspired by the fibreglass sculptures by Ana Tzaievi , making her own from play dough.

Video link below: 

        FLOWER POWER

Beacons to unite the planet

 

Like everything in Singapore the Art Exhibits are enormous, colourful and striking . They have to be to avoid being lost amongst the huge and spectacular skyscrapers!

I was really upset when the friendly and colourful 'Hippo' pieces disappeared. They were fun and I really liked them!

They have been replaced by incredibly beautiful and equally colourful 'flower' exhibits in fibreglass by world renowned artist Ana Tzarev.

The collection is named 'Spring in the City' and the objective behind the pieces is to unite the world. Ana believes that art acts like a bridge by which to connect the world. She hopes that the flowers will act like beacons across the planet to bring people together and I think this is such a lovely idea.

PEACE. ( Water lily )

LOVE. (Poppy )

 

(lGRACE). Bird of Paradise

 

 

 

 

Jumble Fun visits the Chinese Gardens


The Jumbles really like the Chinese and Japanese Gardens in Singapore. Beautifully designed and  maintained with luscious green foliage they present a green oasis in the middle of towering apartment and office blocks. They offer wonderful opportunities for photographers and artists but are also great for families.


The paths are wide making it easy work with a pram and there are lots of open spaces to play and picnic. 

Unfortunately the cafe has been closed for a long time now which is a real shame but snacks like crisps and ice creams and chilled cans and bottled drinks can be purchased at the main entrance and from the Turtle Museum.   There are adequate toilet facilities and plenty of seats to rest on.  The gardens I believe are currently being developed into the Jurong Lake Gardens so I expect a cafe and restaurant will be included in this plan. 


The pagodas offer great views and are fun to climb and if you are a turtle and terrapin fan then you will enjoy the Turtle Museum and garden. The Turtle garden and Museum are self funded and there  is a small entrance fee ($3 for seniors and children under six and €5 for everyone else). This goes towards the maintenance and support of the rescued turtles in the museum. 

The ‘Bridge of Double Beauty’ connects the Chinese Gardens to the Japanese Gardens but, as the entrance is free to both there is no pressure to ‘see’ everything on the same day and today we were happy to enjoy just the Chinese Gardens. 

The last time we visited it was the Chinese New Year when the gardens were beautifully decorated with lanterns. There is also a Mid-Autumn Festival (September/October) when the gardens resemble a fairyland and there are evening cultural performances. 

This short video is a snapshot of our trip today but, for a more detailed one designed as a pre-visit ‘taster’ for children, see the link at the end of this post.     ​​Today’s Visit.          (20.2.17)



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Georgie visits the Chinese Gardens and Turtle Museum. (2016)

I hope you enjoy the video: 

 For children. The Jumbles visit the Chinese Gardens

It’s nearly time for the Chinese New Year Celebrations

 

On the 8th of February it is the beginning of the biggest festival in the Chinese Calendar. Chinese New Year when a fifth of the world’s population will celebrate with food and firecrackers and parades and music and, of course the very special lion and dragon dances.

China Town is always s feast of colour, music, light, food and delicious smells but as it nears to Chinese New Year well, it nearly explodes!

Take a look at the video below and come back at the weekend to see the spectacular decorations.

 

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