Visiting the National Museum of Singapore – Witness to War

We brought the kids to the National Museum of Singapore when they went younger, but only to discover that they were not ready for it. Today’s visit was a request by #1 as we browsed through Little Day Out for places to go this December holiday. He was intrigued by the images of the artefacts displayed in the Witness to War exhibition and decided that we should take a look. Since it is free entry for Singaporeans, we decided to give it a go.

Witness to War: Remembering 1942

We began our tour with Witness to War: Remembering 1942. The exhibition features artefacts from 10 overseas museums and institutions, and a space set up for children to understand the complexities of war.

Bring this journal along for your 7-12-year-olds to take notes as they walk through the gallery.

witness to war

The exhibition started off with excerpts from the black and white wartimes movies. Sirens and explosions engulfed the surroundings. After braving an intimidating welcome, my children stepped into the exhibition apprehensively. They both endured through the entire presentation that was consistently dark, depressing and eerie.  Granted, this is a war exhibit is meant for children from 7 years old and above. My children are just not ready to appreciate the works.

Nonetheless, I regard our experience a success. The children have somewhat understood that war is unpleasant and terrifying, and I managed to explain to my son the main parties involved in WWII.

Singapore History Gallery

Next, we moved on to the Singapore History Gallery which is one of the permanent exhibitions. Print this Family Time Guide out to help your children better appreciate the displays.

The tour started off with narrations of rock formations found in Singapore and dated back to the Paleozoic Era and There might also be a settlement that have existed several thousand years ago.

Unlike I saw in my childhood days, the multimedia displays are now highly informative, relevant and attractive to both adults and children.

Just as we passed by the realistic replica of Singapore in the pre-war times, we came across a storytelling session GosTan Back. The story revolves around a boy who gets a chance to save the future by going back in time. The storyteller brought the children around the museum, starting from the basement and towards the upper floors, giving his audience a hands-on experience of the gallery. My children captivated by the storyteller. Alas, a ticket is required, and we were not allowed to follow the group.

Not just any old phone, but a phone that gives a brief explanation of pre-war Singapore.
a reproduction of flats in Singapore’s early years

Story of the Forest

Created by renowned Japanese digital art collective teamLab, the three-dimensional digital artwork is inspired by the fauna and flora in Fort Canning Hill, located behind the National Museum. Our layman camera cannot do justice to the art. You have to immerse yourself in the Glass Rotunda to fully appreciate the fascinating artwork coupled with soothing music inspired by the forest.

Visit the National Museum.

It is free for Singapore citizens! This is a big deal to us because entry fee is waived only in the recent years.

Museum address: 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897. Click here for directions.

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