Thursday, September 20, 2018

KidsSTOP at Science Centre Singapore

If you have been following me on Instagram, I think it is fairly obvious that I am incessantly on the hunt for child-friendly activities to engage my kids during the weekend. Having a well-maintained, safe and stimulating environment for my twins to play in without me having to play the unenviable role of referee every 10 min not only keeps the little ones happy but also keeps my sanity in check! Although my kids have a proclivity for water parks, I am less enthusiastic as there is always the risk of them catching a cold and/or cough from these visits. Prioritizing their weekly swimming lesson, I prefer to scout for places that offer a dry solution to overcoming weekend boredom.

I had been to the Science Centre and Snow City a few times before my children were born but never after that. I had heard from a few fellow pre-schooler mommies that there was a designated area for younger kids called KidsSTOP to explore and play (which I had been unaware of) so I had made a mental note to check it out. One Thursday afternoon, I impulsively booked online tickets (which was a breeze by the way) with the intention of taking the kids on a mother-daughters outing to the Science Centre on a Saturday morning. I was surprised to note how reasonable the tickets were despite me choosing a peak duration.



KidsSTOP is Science Centre Singapore’s dedicated Children’s Science Centre. Officially opened in June 2014, children from 18 months to 8 years can learn to inquire, investigate and innovate in a safe and conducive 3,000m² gallery that focuses specifically on science for kids.

With more than 20 exhibits designed to introduce concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, children are provided with ample opportunities to learn through interactive play.


We reached KidsSTOP early to beat the crowds and I was happy to note that the strategy paid off. I knew it was a positive sign when my kids were preoccupied with the red slide at the entrance giving me ample time at the ticketing counter to secure our admission into the main play area.

I would have loved for my kids to have checked out each themed zone slowly and systematically but at the time of our visit they were 3+ years old so naturally they were going to bolt like lightning to the first place that visually appealed to them! And with an attention span of barely 10-15 min, it was not enough time for them to grasp the "science" behind each theme. I was trying my best to give them a basic explanation of each exhibit only to have them notice something eye-catching and take off in different directions!

My kids had marked preferences to certain areas of the gallery and so I left them to their own devices and refrained from coercing them to go where I wanted them to go just for the sake of doing a blog post on the subject 😝 Yeah I can still manage to be cool that way! 😛



The Science Centre website has detailed information about the individual exhibits and most of the information that you see here is taken from there (so please don't credit me with any of the  technical explanation you see below 😁).

Image Source: KidsSTOP Official Website
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I don't have photos of all of them but the ones I have are of the exhibits that my 3+ year olds enjoyed the most! And on the subject of photos, pardon the quality for I know it is not up to my usual standard.

Here is a round up of all the exhibits and their features.

Four Seasons
Although we experience only tropical weather in Singapore, the Four Seasons station teaches children about seasonal changes through hands-on activities. This exhibit also aims to promote numeracy skills as children learn to match, create patterns and count. 

Smaller World
Smaller World is a magical garden where the children can identify different creatures by listening to the sound they produce.

Built Environment
Your little one can become a builder and have fun operating the crane, maneuvering the wheelbarrow and transporting the balls. The Built Environment is a simulation of a bustling building site and provides ample opportunities for kin-aesthetic learning. Role-playing as a builder encourages children to be creative as they find ways to activate wall gears and transport balls from one place to another. 

Although it looked pretty interesting to me, my kids weren't interested in this zone at all and simply bypassed it in favour of others 😕 

Flight & Space
The Flight and Space station is designed to promote early interest in astronomy through exploring the fascinating galaxy. Children will be able to create their very own constellation and enhance their creativity, eye-hand coordination and motor skills.



They were very excited indeed to be in a mock cockpit!



Older or more adventurous children can enter the Typhoon Simulator and experience the effects of a typhoon without having to worry about the danger of flying debris. The enclosed space is subjected to wind speeds that go up to 120km/hr. I took my kids inside and they were thrilled to bits by what they experienced! Not sure if they really understood what a typhoon is all about though 😛


Dino Pit
This seems to be a very popular zone with most kids. I mean, which child doesn't love a sand-pit?!

The Dino Pit is designed to provide children with sensory experiences as they utilize tools to uncover the dinosaur fossil in the sand. Children can work together as a team to find and identify the different parts of the fossil, all while learning about the process of scientific inquiry and building communication skills. The interactive game board also widens children’s knowledge of dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles, and how animals have evolved over time.

My kids played here for about 20 min and when the novelty wore off, scampered to explore other areas but they couldn't resist coming back here and played for an additional 15-20 min just before we left.



Nature
The Nature Area offers a complete sensory experience for a child. It will acquaint children with the wildlife and ecology of Singapore as they use mounted binoculars to search the canopy and surrounding trees to discover artistic representations of animals found throughout the island.

Know Your Body
This is a good place to teach your kids about the human body and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

With a variety of interactive exhibits such as Run with Max, Cycling with Sally, Lift Yourself, Goodnight Belle and 4 Emotion Pods, children are engaged through play and hands-on while learning about the importance of exercise, good sleep habits and identifying and handling their emotions. 

On top of that, children will be able to view 4 different body systems of skeletal, muscular, circulatory and endocrine through the Kinetic exhibit in which the reflected body system image will match itself to their height as well as mirror their movements!


Supermarket
Okay, this was a clear favourite with mine!

My children spend a considerable chunk of time at home playing with their shopping cart, toy vegetables and kitchen set so imagine their delight when they found themselves in a life-size toy kitchen complete with gadgets, ingredients, produce and cooking accessories.



The Supermarket Zone engages children and teaches them how to identify foods with the Healthier Choice Logo by taking part in a ‘game show’ called My Healthy Plate. They can also learn about the importance of drinking enough water.

Children will also continue to have fun and learn while role-playing roles of a shopper, a cashier or a cook and find out about the origins of some food items at an interactive digital kiosk



Ocean's buddies
The Oceans’ Buddies station features a virtual ocean with three-dimensional sea creatures to educate children on marine life and how they can do their part to protect the environment. Children can personalize their own sea creature and learn about marine conservation. Guided by our educators, children can see their creations come alive with immersive technology on the virtual ocean floor.

My twin A who is fascinated with art unsurprisingly sat down to do a spot of coloring while her sister tossed a bored look in her direction and proceeded to more appealing pursuits!


Virtual Pond
The virtual pond is filled with life. Children will have fun chasing pond creatures such as frogs and fishes by jumping from lily pad to lily and see the movement of these animals and interact with them ‘virtually’.


Critters
The Critters Room features live animals such as chicks, tree frogs, hermit crabs and gerbils to bring nature closer to young children. Given that most children in Singapore grow up in an urban environment, it is essential for them to be closer to nature, as it encourages them to care for the environment and gives them a head start on a better understanding of environmental conservation.

Kiddie Theatre
The Kiddie Theatre gives children the opportunity to learn about the performing arts and the special effects techniques used in film-making. Children can perform on stage and sing to familiar tunes as they express themselves through songs, dance and creative movements.

PlayMaker Studio
A versatile space, PlayMaker Studio can be separated from the rest of the exhibition area and be transformed into a programming space.

PlayMaker activities take place every Thursday & Sunday from 3pm - 4pm  

Tinkering lab
Tinkering Lab features worktables, surrounded by cabinets filled with materials and tools for an infinite number of tinkering projects or activities. 

Tinkering activities take place every Tuesday & Friday from 3pm - 4pm 

Giant J
A must for thrill seekers, the Giant J Slide is where children get to safely experience the sensation of free fall before they slide to ground-zero from a height of seven meters. Children make their own decisions on how high they would like to be lifted up the slide as they challenge themselves and build confidence while having fun.

We didn't check this one out as the girls were too young for it but we have set our sights on it for when we are eligible! 

The Big Dream Climber
The Dream Climber is a lofty 9-metre high climbing structure – the signature piece of KidsSTOP. Children can climb and explore different unique hanging elements (fashioned after clouds, fanciful doors and gears) and make their way to the top where the Music Room awaits them!

I wasn't sure if my kids were going to climb up this structure but there was no hesitation from either one and within 2 minutes, they had disappeared into it and I had to crane my neck to spot them! Judging by the rules, I think I ought to have supervised them in a more hands-on manner but I wasn't sure if my rotund frame could fit through those openings as easily as I would have liked them to 😝




The Dream Climber is a favourite among children as it allows them to take risks safely. Children develop their coordination skills and physical strength by moving between the platforms. They can enhance their navigational and cognitive skills as well as their spatial awareness as they navigate the structure.


Music Room
I didn't go after my kids on The Dream Climber so I didn't get to show them the Music Room or maybe they explored it by themselves (I'm not entirely sure!). I' would definitely want to check this out next time.

At the Music Room, children can select different musical instruments and make their own music. Children will learn to recognize sounds from a variety of sources in the environment and encounter different materials that can be used to make musical instruments.

Small World
Small World represents a bright, colorful and imaginative space reserved for infants and toddlers, who will be acquainted with colors and textures here. This area also features an infant nest and a Nursing Alcove.

My kids really liked this space and spent more time here than I thought they would.


After exploring the gallery, we realized we were quite hungry and even though I had packed some sandwiches, we headed to the McDonald's located within the Science Centre for some fries and ice-cream.


We had left home at 9:15am that morning and returned only by 12:30pm just in time to give the girls a bath and put them down for their afternoon nap. We spent close to two hours at KidsSTOP and the kids had a lot of fun but I do feel like 4-8 year olds will be better equipped to fully appreciate what the place has to offer. Nonetheless, it was a productive morning indeed and I very much look forward to taking them again but maybe when they are a year older (and hopefully less excitable!).

So if you are looking for a truly meaningful experience with your children, visit KidsSTOP today to imagine, experience, discover and dream!

KidsSTOP
Science Centre Singapore
15 Science Centre Road
Singapore 609081

Tel: (65) 6425 2500
Fax: (65) 6565 9533
Email: customer_care@science.sg

Opening Hours
:
KidsSTOP operates via two 4-hour sessions (each ticket covers only one session)

Morning session: 9.30am – 1.30pm (last admission 12.45pm)

Afternoon session: 2pm – 6pm (last admission 5.15pm)


Ticketing prices:

Image Source: KidsSTOP Official Website



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Peak Period: 
Be aware that KidsSTOP may experience a high number of guests during peak periods. This includes Weekends, Public Holidays, Teacher's Day and Children's Day.

Important information:

  • Buy tickets that are specific to KidsSTOP (it is not the one to the Science Centre)
  • Keep a pair of socks for your child and yourself. Socks are required for Giant J, Dream Climber and Small World.
  • Restrooms, nursing room and diaper-changing rooms are available inside KidsSTOP
  • Try to go during non-peak periods to enjoy all the exhibits but if you have no choice but to go during peak periods, then go early. 
  • Some exhibits are more crowded than the others. Take your time to discover all the exhibits  (remember the Music Room is above The Dream Climber and a inconspicuous corridor at the end leads you to more exhibits) and finish the ones that aren't crowded first

Acknowledgement:
Information in this post has been obtained from here


I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Have you been to KidsSTOP with your little ones? What did you think of it? Leave a comment to let me know!



Cheers,
Megha


P.S. - This is NOT a sponsored write-up

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