Children’s Season 2020 – join Ai and his grandfather on a journey of discovery as they explore the wonders of Singapore’s many museums, virtually and physically

Jointly presented by the National Heritage Board (NHB) and the Museum Roundtable (MR), the annual Children’s Season aims to provide cultural and educational experiences that will inspire and engage the young, on Singapore’s collective heritage.

Running from 18 November 2020 to 3 January 2021, participants can enjoy an impressive spread of family-friendly offerings of more than 70 exhibitions and programmes by 22 participating MR museums.

Children’s Season 2020 will feature the lovable character, Ai, a six-year-old boy who travels the world and shares a strong bond with his grandfather. It will see Ai “visiting” the museums where he makes his appearances through a virtual Hide-N-Seek game as well as in the form of onsite Ai standees.

The game and standees will feature different versions of Ai which have been designed to reflect the unique features of each of the 22 partner museums, for which NHB worked closely with Singaporean artist Peter Draw, the creator behind Ai.

Play Hide-N-Seek with Ai

Families can embark on a physical hunt around participating museums to find the Ai standees within their galleries, while enjoying ongoing MR programmes onsite at selected museums. From 21 to 30 November, all 22 Ai standees will be on display at the Malay Heritage Centre’s (MHC) lawn, before they are relocated to their respective host museums from 3 December onwards. From then, visitors can embark on a physical hunt at all partner museums to try to locate where the individual Ai standees are “hiding” within the galleries.

Visitors can also go on a virtual hunt for Ai through the Ai Love Museums: Hide-N-Seek web or mobile game. They can navigate panoramic 360° photographs of the MR museums’ spaces, to discover clues to hidden treasures which are embedded and hidden behind key spots in the photographs to reveal Ai’s special outfit for the particular museum.

These virtual ‘explorers’ will also be able to click on icons to read nuggets of information about the featured artefacts or selected spots in the galleries. The game has 22 levels, and each is correspondingly themed to a participating museum.

The game will be launched on 28 November and can be accessed through the Children’s Season 2020 website, or through the QR codes found on the physical Ai standees at each of the participating museums. Children can also learn how to draw the various Ai characters via drawing tutorial videos by Peter Draw, which will be available on the website in mid-December 2020.

To make the exploration even more fun, NHB will be offering weekly giveaways of limited-edition drawstring bags which feature all the Ai designs. The bags can be won in two ways:

  • Ai Love Museums: Hide-N-Seek game – Players will have to provide an email address and complete at least three museum games/levels to qualify. Up to 100 prizes will be up for grabs each week, and winners will be notified through email from 15 December 2020 onwards.
  • I Love Museums Facebook page (@ilovemuseums) – users can answer questions and post their photos taken with the Ai standees to qualify for the giveaway. 25 winners will be chosen through Facebook each week.

A diverse range of friendly-family offerings

In addition to the virtual game and standees, a number of participating MR museums have also come on board with a wide array of online and onsite offerings that cater to children of all ages. This includes MHC which is presenting a host of children’s programmes based on its upcoming Urang Banjar: Heritage and Culture of the Banjar in Singapore special exhibition.

MHC is also offering its popular Heritage Hunt programme which will allow young heritage hunters to go on an online quest to learn more about the Urang Banjar (Banjar people). Children can also visit MHC and operate mini excavators to dig through a sandpit to find hidden treasures, learn more about gemstones through onsite workshops, and enjoy a series of dramatised online storytelling sessions.

Indian Heritage Centre and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

MHC, together with the Indian Heritage Centre and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, are also calling for children aged 12 and below to create their own “mini museums” at home. Titled the Mini Museum Challenge, children can simply feature three to five objects found in their home and submit a short video of them providing a guided tour of their “mini museum”, and the top videos will stand to win book vouchers.

MINT Museum of Toys

The MINT Museum of Toys has created a series of online Augmented Reality (AR) story-colouring books for families with young children, enabling the exploration to continue even while the museum is temporarily closed for renovation. With storylines based on the toy collections across four thematic levels of the museum, namely Outerspace, Characters, Childhood Favourites and Collectibles, young readers can better understand the toys’ personalities while learning important values as they colour in the characters and watch them come alive with AR.

Gem Museum

The Gem Museum will also be conducting their special Rockstar Junior workshops, which track the journey of gemstones from mining to the market. In this workshop, children have the opportunity to “mine” for gemstones and learn about different gemstones in the world. Additional programmes include gem art workshops and other craft programmes.

Singapore Tyler Print Institute

Over at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), the young can sign up for hands-on craft workshops and try their hand at recreating the iconic rose from the Beauty and the Beast fairy-tale, or learn how to create a festive scene in paper fit as part of a Christmas Special workshop. Family-fun is also guaranteed with STPI’s new Digital Activity Guides, where parents and children can experiment with simple and fun printmaking activities which they can try out from the comfort of their own homes.

Participating Museums

NHB Museums and Heritage Institutions

  1. Asian Civilisations Museum
  2. Indian Heritage Centre
  3. Malay Heritage Centre
  4. National Museum of Singapore
  5. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Museum Roundtable Museums

  1. ArtScience Museum
  2. Chinese Heritage Centre
  3. Eurasian Heritage Gallery
  4. Former Ford Factory
  5. Fort Siloso
  6. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
  7. National Gallery Singapore
  8. NUS Baba House
  9. NUS Museum
  10. MINT Museum of Toys
  11. Singapore Discovery Centre
  12. Singapore Maritime Gallery
  13. Singapore Mobility Gallery
  14. Singapore Science Centre
  15. STPI – Singapore Tyler Print Institute
  16. The Gem Museum
  17. The Intan

Please refer to the Children’s Season 2020 website for the full programme line-up.

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