Come and Play, Learn and be Happy. PLAYEUM.

Play matters because people matter. It reminds us of our interdependence and gives us a chance to really see other people. And in turn, to be really and truly seen. 

Jill Vialet, founder of Playworks

PLAYEUM is still playing around Now in new digs at Common Ground in Bedok – it is still serious about frivolity, imagination, and pretending. Through play we humans learn. By learning, we become interested in the world and that interest and curiosity make us appreciative and accepting of what that world has to offer us as we grow up and become brighter every day. Reaching children of all abilities, Playeum bases much of its teaching on scaffolding where a platform of knowledge is provided to the students before they are wet loose on their own to put the basics to work often to solve problems on their own or with caring mentors. 

Designed especially “… for children from at-risk backgrounds – whether due to poverty, single parenthood, low parental education levels, parental incarceration, or living in a community with a high crime rate,” Playeum is first and foremost a place for all children of any intellectual level to meet other kids and enjoy the challenge of games, puzzles, and technology – all part of modern education that fosters“ lower absenteeism in school, improved communication, greater motivation to learn, improved punctuality, enhanced awareness of and participation in community life. 

Our favorite workshop was Light Painting by artist Mahyuddin Chan is an interactive installation where participants ‘paint’ on a shared canvas with their light sticks. A sensor that captures light sources translate their movements into lasting light streaks on the projected screen, resulting in an ephemeral co-created light painting.

On the auspicious calendar date 11/11 at One Punggol, Playeum collaborated with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) to sponsor “Everyday Play, Everyday Creativity Festival” which included captivating activities: Giant Cardboard Treehouse; Clay-City; Makerspace; Drum Painting; Jungaloo; Light-painting; Reminiscence Game; Fitness Ball Drumming; Bowling; VR Activities; Story-based Activities; and Yarn Weaving. What fun! And what a treat to watch the kids immersed in learning-based fun. 

On 18 November, Playeum (again co-organising with SUSS) will sponsor an Early Childhood Education Conference at the Lifetime Learning Institute aimed at early childhood educators as they explore the concept of play vis-a-vis learning. From the conference organisers:

Research on the positive impact of play on children’s learning and development has been evident. This conference aims to provide educators and practitioners with opportunities to learn and dialogue with speakers to redefine their own play pedagogies, and assessments and consider leadership adjustments needed to support educators and work more effectively with families. 

The conference will have keynote presentations in the morning and concurrent workshops in the afternoon. Invited speakers include both local and overseas-based speakers. The workshops will include interactive discussions, playful and creative activities and reflective exercises.

18 November will see the “Enabling Lives Festival: Open Minds, Open Doors, Learning and Development through Play” at Common Ground. “An open play space for children with disabilities and their parents. Parents and children can explore the play space and receive guidance on how to engage in open-ended play to develop social and emotional life skills.“

18 November to 23 December – As part of the community involvement that is at the heart of Playem, a partnership with Wild Rice Theatre will present Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with all proceeds generously donated to Playeum. Like the mission behind Playeum, Snow White combines sheer laugh-out-loud fun with cultural lessons – Be who you are and prosper.

For years Janiqueel has been a proud part of Playeum. Watching C collaborate with other kids, imagine through various prompts, and puzzle out the challenges of engaging play. Somewhere, ages and ages hence, he will remember if only in the hidden pockets of his brain, the lessons and life skills that he experienced through Playeum.

Research and writing help from JKJ

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