6 Kid-Friendly Museums For Toddlers
There’s nothing like visiting a museum with a happy toddler (and family) in tow. Whether it’s a collection of vintage toys, a dive into Singapore’s rich history, or interactive displays to keep your little one occupied, we’ve rounded up some of the most child-friendly museums in town to keep everyone happy on your next day out.
Here’s where to get your little one interested in museums:
1. Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)
Given that the ACM is the only museum in Asia with a pan-Asian scope, devoted to exploring Asia’s rich artistic heritage through Asian antiquities and decorative art, it would be a shame to not include the family! Sign up your little ones for the awesome ACM Adventures and Let’s Learn About programs and tours, designed to introduce a new topic every month for children, while cleverly highlighting the topic’s artefacts in a treasure hunt down a museum trail. There are also several online activities to keep kids occupied, as well as colourful activity booklets with stickers and postcards to keep them happy. Bonus: the kiddie programs start for as young as preschool kids!
This leading visual arts institution oversees the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art, housed in the two restored national monuments - City Hall and the former Supreme Court. Kid-friendly? We certainly think so! It’s the first museum in Asia to receive the Children in Museums Award by the European Museum Academy and Hands On! International Association of Children in Museums in 2018. This year's Gallery Children's Biennale at the National Gallery features Why Art Matters through nine commissioned online works and on-site installations by local and international artists. Children get to go on different online adventures via interactive online games, animated stories and digital artmaking to explore the topics of Home, Environment, Diversity and Time.
Let your child’s imagination go wild in the 50,000 square foot space with a variety of roaming exhibitions from the classics to contemporary. Embodying the tagline ‘It’s where the future is imagined’, this iconic museum is already famous for its mission of bringing together art, science, culture and technology. In fact, one of its most popular interactive exhibits for children (and adults alike!) is Future World: Where Art Meets Science, created in collaboration with the Japanese art and technology collective teamLab, and best described as “Singapore’s largest digital playground”. We promise it will keep them entertained for hours!
With a history dating back to 1887, the National Museum of Singapore is the nation’s oldest museum, shining the spotlight on the country’s legacy and development. Young children will enjoy the myriad innovative activities and events all year round such as the annual Night Festival, and the permanent Singapore History Gallery exhibit that documents Singapore’s journey from 700 years ago. What better way to get your little one to soak up all that history than by letting them walk around the exhibit past a wooden ship, and enjoy touch-screen displays and smelling pods. Also created especially for young children is the Story of the Forest installation, presenting Singapore’s colonial past in contrast to its present-day modernity by transforming 69 drawings from the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings collections to life in a virtual experience, complete with sights and sounds of Southeast Asia’s lush tropical rainforests. Tip: Download the Get Curious: My Family’s Stories kit before your next visit.
Want to show your kids what life was like growing up without personal devices and 21st-century technology? The MINT Museum of Toys is home to an amazing collection of over 50,000 vintage toys and childhood memorabilia (8,500 of which are on display in the museum), hailing from over 40 countries from the 1840s to 1980s. Displayed across four main themes - Outerspace, Characters, Childhood Favourites and Collectables - the collections boast the only known complete Batman robot toy, the only Mekon Mask from Dan Dare in existence, a 100-year-old Steiff Teddy Bear, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ Doll owned by Alice Liddell, the first mass-manufactured robot before World War II, and much more!
Ice cream never comes to mind when you’re thinking of the museum, but all that changes with the bright pink-hued Museum of Ice Cream in Dempsey, reputed to be the largest and first international museum of its kind. Where else can you teach your little toddler about the sweet history of ice cream than by letting them run wild across 14 multi-sensory installations, including a pink Californian beach, a bright pink bouncy castle, a locally-inspired dragon playground or the Sprinkle Pool, a pool filled with millions of sprinkles? Let their wildest ice cream dreams come true with the eat-as-much-ice-cream-as-you-can reward!