It's the first week of the school holidays and I will admit it, I really just want to stay in bed and sleep in. As the designated driver, I have been doing lots of ferrying to and fro, often with squabbles in the back seat and um it is not very fun! I wish I had a glass window that separated me and the kids in times like these, just like in limos. Ok, I know I should be thankful and things could be much worse. Well, today I thought I would share with you something that I was glad I got out of bed for.
Before the school holidays began, I had signed up my older son (8y) for a 3D sculpture workshop at the Asian Civilisation Museum. I had emailed the organisers to ask what materials they would be using and was told that there was wire and clay involved. Sounded quite unusual, so we were pretty keen to check it out.
When we arrived, we were ushered into the new Children's Season wing which was themed Once Upon a Time in Asia : The Story Tree. The room was relatively small with five main areas of play, each appealing to our fives senses.
In each play zone, there were activity sheets planned for the kids. For example, in the I SPY zone, kids were introduced to real and imaginary creatures by searching for them. My son and I sat for a while on the bench spotting animals as he filled up the missing words. I certainly enjoyed it more because some of the creatures were dressed up in eye-catching patterns.
Over at the Sniffy Whiffy station were various test tubes filled with wafting scents that we had to identify. I only managed to identify two! Cinnamon and Sandalwood.
In the tutti fruitti section, we saw seed sculptures but didn't have any time to play with this activity as we were gathered under the story tree for the start of the workshop.
Here, the storyteller began by telling us The Story of the Mousedeer who escapes being eaten by his quick thinking and loves to chant " As quick and smart as I can be, try and try but you can't catch me". You can read the story here if you like.
Next, we were led into the galleries where we heard a few more stories about the exhibits that were inspired by creatures that lived on trees as well as other creatures that roam the land. Finally, the kids were led into a room for the 3D sculpture workshop.
In line with the story tree theme, the kids were given the opportunity to create their own 3D sculpture of a tree.
First, they were given paper to sketch out a tree. Then, they were asked to twist a long wire to form the shape of the tree. This formed the skeleton which would help keep the tree up.
Then the kids were given clay to mould around the wire frame. As the tree took shape, they also used ice cream sticks to carve out veins along their tree trunks.
It was a new experience for my son (8y) who is a very keen creator and we were both excited about playing with a new material. The clay was cold and felt messy but it washed off really easily with a bit of water. The class was taught by Artist Luis Lee, who has been playing with clay for many years so he really made sculpting look easy. After they kids were done with their trees, he also showed them how to make an animal and encouraged them to try different types of sculptures at home.
I had initially thought the class was meant to be unaccompanied and was planning to get some work done while he sculpted away. But they told me that parents were welcome to join in so I did. It turned out to be a great one on one time with my older son and I know he was glad for it.
So if you would like to make your own tree at home or gather some friends to do so, here is a list of the materials that we used:
- chipboard (daiso or artfriend)
- terracotta clay (artfriend)
- wire (daiso)
- staple gun (to fasten the wire to the chipboard)
Asian Civilisations Museum Children's Season 2014
Once Upon A Time in Asia : The Story Tree
31 May to 2 November 2014
10am - 5pm
Recommended for 4 to 9 years old and the young at heart