To be absolutely honest, I have always thought that museums are for older kids. How can toddlers appreciate art or arty exhibits? Even though there are no shortage of research that indicates the benefits of museum visits for toddlers, I was sceptical.
So when I heard of the Children Biennale at the National Gallery Singapore and seeing the buzz it created on social media, it did cross my mind that it was merely an Instagram-able place and never really thought much about bringing Junior there. The long story short of what prompted me to go was because of work. Lo and behold, all three of us actually enjoyed ourselves.
We were there on a Sunday afternoon and perhaps because the event was already running for a while since May, the museum wasn’t mad packed. There were altogether 10 exhibits but we only had time for 6. Our favourite has got to be the Homogenizing and Transforming World.
Being my first time in the National Gallery, I was impressed with what I saw. With how modern the entire place was and how comparable our museum is with some renown ones in other parts of the world. It was extremely clean, spacious and surprisingly calming even though it’s a Children Biennale which meant kids were rowdy and running about.
What really changed my mind about art and toddlers was how I was Junior’s imagination come to life and into play. With the many hands-on and interactive play, he was able to explore his curiosities and creativity. I thought he would have felt trapped in Homogenizing and Transforming World or be afraid of the Firewalk: A Bride of Embers. On the contrary he enjoyed himself very much in both exhibits and wanted to revisit.
He also looked at art in his own abstract way and rattled off what he saw. While some observations hardly made sense (like how he thought the bird resembled papa), I could see his imagination at play. It’s good how he didn’t get bored. In fact, he was so busy scuttling around, he didn’t want to leave when we had to go. We are definitely going to add museum visits in our list of places to go.
Although the Children Biennale has ended now, pretty sure there will be upcoming exhibits that could be just as entertaining. Check out the National Gallery Singapore website for more information on upcoming exhibits.