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Science, and Science Centre fun! [The Second Part]

July 15, 2014

Imagine stepping into a 3000 square metre indoor playground with interactive zones inviting you to play, play, play – and not stop. And while you play, play, and play, you’re actually learning about science in fun and engaging ways.

Yep, that’s KidsSTOP for you.

KidsSTOP_Entrance

I think if there was such an edutainment centre when I was a kid, I might have been more curious and wanting to explore more as a child. I certainly hope that being there at KidsSTOP would do that for my kids – getting them all curious and making little explorers out of them.

KidsSTOP has FOUR interactive zones designed to engage young children’s imagination and creativity, while encouraging hands-on learning. The zones are IMAGINE, DISCOVER, EXPERIENCE AND DREAM.

Within the IMAGINE Zone, there’s the Built Environment, a recreation of a building site, Dino Pit, a detailed replica of an excavation site, dino “bones” included, and Supermarket, where the littles ones get to grocery shop and play cashiers. This zone gives shape and form to the most creative ideas in a variety of fun settings.

The DISCOVER Zone feature exhibits that answer all the big questions relating to things like nature, flight and space, the solar system and the human body.

The EXPERIENCE Zone, tucked behind the Omni Theatre is the place to get close to nature (Critters, Virtual Pond), as well as immersing oneself in behind-the-scenes production like a budding filmmaker (Kiddie Theatre).

And lastly, the DREAM Zone allows children to explore the depths of their imagination, and opens up the world of infinite possibilities – and that we’re talking about a two-storey Big Dream Climber that leads to a secret music room, a Giant J slide that lets anyone free fall and a Small World that brings LEGO bricks larger than life.

Park Map of KidsSTOP screen-capped from http://www.kidsstop.edu.sg/park-map

Park Map of KidsSTOP screen-capped from http://www.kidsstop.edu.sg/park-map

While I like everything organised and categorised systematically for clarity and purposeful learning, at KidsSTOP, I forced myself to tell the kids to explore whatever they want, however they please and whichever zones they were inclined to (except the sand, for there was no spare change – of clothes, that is). Whilst I would love that they take time to go visit one exhibit systematically after another, read whatever information was presented to them while at that and internalise the concepts to build on existing knowledge, I know full well that my kids are only 5, 4 and 2 which means I had better keep my ‘teacher tendencies’ under control.

They are here to play, was what I constantly reminded myself. Let the learning happen organically.

So no surprises at all who hung around where and lingered around what.

With my littlest, who loves balls, he was found transfixed and completely fascinated at Built Environment.

Nat at Built Environment, engrossed in getting all the balls into the tube

Nat at Built Environment, engrossed in getting all the balls into the tube

The little girl was found – make a guess – talking to herself and cashiering at the Supermarket like a pro.

Cashiering like a pro

Cashiering like a pro

Of course, once in a while, inspiration struck and she decided she wanted to fly to the moon.

Fly me to the moon

Fly me to the moon

Otherwise, she was often found checking the seasonal prices of red peppers and tomatoes again and again.

Scanning tomatoes

Scanning tomatoes

And my five-year-old? He couldn’t be contained within exhibits. There was a world up there to explore.

The Big Dream Climber: Ben spoke of a magic place after you've reached the top and there are instruments to make music there!

The Big Dream Climber: Ben spoke of a magic place after you’ve reached the top and there were instruments to make music there!

The kids also took turns to check out the Human Body exhibit, and it appears that Ben might have a keener inclination to be a surgeon in future. He was so focused taking out organs and putting them back, then suturing imaginatively, like a pro.

Do not disturb: Surgeon at Work

Do not disturb: Surgeon at Work

What about me? Did I just sit around and watch the kids or try to catch a nap while the kids play? Well, I did want to do that. But something was beckoning me.  This thing called the Giant J. I challenged it at 5 metres. Any higher I might pass out hanging on the bar up there.

Mama at Giant J

Mama at Giant J. Photos of me on the slide were made possible thanks to Andy from Sengkang Babies

And it was incredibly, exhilaratingly FUN!

And I'm free... free-falling!

And I’m free… free-falling!

Another place where the Kao kids spent a really long time at was here:

In a room called 'Critters'

In a room called ‘Critters’

Because how much do my children love animals? SO MUCH.

And here as well:

Learning volume through shapes

Learning volume through shapes

This was where I watched with fascination and wondered how long these kids (including Sengkang Babies‘ Boon Xin) can pour and pour and pour and pour those green beans.

Apparently, for very, very long. So much so that they didn’t want to leave.

Until I had to distract them with other things in the room, like this – which then got the boys interested..

There's something to learn from this - just that I don't know what!

There’s something to learn from this – just that I don’t know what!

And this, which got Becks excited for a while.

At Kiddie Theatre, kids can build LEGO at designated corners which would then be captured like an animated film!

At Kiddie Theatre, kids can build LEGO at designated corners which would then be captured like an animated film!

And then it was back to, Can we go climb the Big Dream Climber? Can we go play at the Supermarket? Can we go pour the beans? all over again.

I tell you, this place is where the kids CANNOT STOP.

KidsSTOP equals cannot stop playing. Cannot stop asking Mama if they can go here and there and back to here and then again there. And then repeat ten times.

You can imagine how difficult it was to get all three kids out of there.

KidsSTOP: Where the play never stops

KidsSTOP: Where the play never stops

And it’s no wonder that they have to operate by stipulated sessions at KidsSTOP. On weekdays, the 1st session starts at 12pm and ends at 3pm (last admission 2.15pm), while the 2nd session starts at 4pm and ends at 7pm (last admission 6.15pm). On weekends, the 1st session is from 10am to 2pm (last admission 1.15pm), and the 2nd sessions starts at 3pm and ends at 7pm (last admission 6.15pm). Your admission ticket only allows you to go for ONE SESSION.

Clearly, at KidsSTOP, no hogging is allowed, which is brilliant because all kids get a chance to play and the crowd is kept at a manageable capacity.

We’ve had ourselves a truly enriching and enjoyable time at KidsSTOP, and the kids have been begging to return to play some more. When we left, we saw a birthday party group arriving, and found out that KidsSTOP also has birthday packages! It will be really fun to dream up a party here soon enough, so that, plus the Giant J at 6 metres are reasons for me to plan our return. The kids also made me promise that the next time we go, I’ll allow them to play at the Dino Pit and will not forget to bring a change of clothes for them!

More details:

Disclosure: We were invited to KidsSTOP as part of a Blogger’s Invite. No monetary compensation was received for this post, and all opinions here are our own.

Read the First Part of our fun here.

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3 Comments

  • Reply belle December 20, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    wow… nice place!

  • Reply SengkangBabies July 16, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Your kids are still too small, my older boys were busy with karaok at the other corner.
    Got special effect, and disco light too haha!
    … 4 hours not enough…

    • Reply MotherKao July 16, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      Yes, Andy, I heard their singing. They were indeed having fun!

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