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Senior Programmes at the National Museum

01 Apr 2020 - 31 Dec 2020
Various Venues
Various Timings
Varies with Programmes

The National Museum is committed to supporting the health and well-being of seniors, including persons living with dementia, through meaningful and engaging programmes and resources that are based on the museum’s collection and galleries. These programmes and resources seek to provide opportunities for seniors to share their memories and personal experiences related to Singapore’s history and heritage, learn a new skill or knowledge through hands-on workshops, and have conversations with their care partners and other participants. Check this page regularly for updated programme details and resources.

Care partners of seniors with special needs (e.g. dementia, wheelchair user) might find the information on our Accessibility page helpful.

Email nhb_nm_programmes@nhb.gov.sg for enquiries.

If you enjoyed any of our digital resource(s), we would love to hear back from you and your senior(s) on how the experience was like using them. Click here or scan the QR code below to access our feedback form. 

Digital resources feedback form QR code
GUI video Tutorials

Plants from Our Past: Do-It-Yourself with Ground-Up Initiative
1 video released each Thursday (13 Aug, 20 Aug and 27 Aug)

What are some of Singapore’s native plants that can still be found today? Join the team from the Group-Up Initiative (GUI) who will introduce a selection of plants from the museum’s prized William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings each week. Embark on a weekly Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project using plants and fruits featured in this collection. Watch these videos to learn about some lesser-known edible plants, make your own pickled watermelon rinds and more! Videos will be released here and on our YouTube channel.

Episode 1: Unusual Edible Plants - 13 Aug

Have you heard of the Pitcher Plant? Did you know that in certain places, the fresh pitcher is used to make steamed glutinous rice? In this episode, find out more about the lesser-known plants that are used for culinary purposes and medicines, and learn how to use some of these plants to make a delicious drink at home.

Episode 2: Menacing and Useful Plants - 20 Aug

Can you identify some of the menacing or harmful plants found in Singapore? What about plants that are useful to us? Watch this episode to find out more about some of these plants and their harmful or useful properties. You can also learn how to make your own self-watering planter and grow some useful plants at home too!

Episode 3: Fruits - 27 Aug

Many fruits featured in the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings are common fruits that we eat today. Do you only eat the flesh and discard the other parts of the fruit? In this episode, the team at GUI will share how other parts of the fruit can be used. You can also learn how to make your own pickled watermelon rind and more!

GUI

Live Session with the team from Ground-Up Initiative 
3 September 2020 | 10.30am - 11.15am | Free | Seniors

To conclude the Plants from Our Past: Do-It-Yourself with Ground-Up Initiativevideo tutorialseries, seniors will also get an opportunity to “meet” and have a conversation with the GUI team about plants from our past. This session will be hosted on Zoom and will be conducted in English.

Pre-registration is required. Limited slots available, so sign up today! Click here to register.

Yew Chong (1)

Moving Memories: Colour with Yew Chong Video Tutorials
1 video released each Tuesday (7 July, 14 July and 21 July)

Want to create your own art piece but don’t know how to get started? Join local artist Yip Yew Chong, whose works range from small sketches on paper to large paintings on walls, as he takes you on a journey to explore old scenes of Singapore that have inspired some of his mural paintings around the island. Using the museum’s Moving Memories Colouring Templates (templates found below for download), you will learn colouring techniques using crayons, colour pencils and magic pens to create your own mural-inspired art pieces. Video tutorials will be released here and on our YouTube Page.

Episode 1: Kampung - 7 July

Go back to a time when the tallest landmark was the hill in a distance, where people lived in low-lying houses built on stilts along riverbanks or farmlands. Reminisce with Yew Chong as he shares his memories and highlights interesting features of kampungs in Singapore’s past. Learn how to apply crayon techniques to colour your own kampung scene!

Episode 2: Pasar - 14 July

In the past, it was common for people of different ethnicities to refer to the market as pasar (“market” in colloquial Malay)What kind of things did people buy or sell in pasars? Listen to Yew Chong as he highlights tantalising dishes and distinctive features of some former markets around Singapore. Using colour pencils, you will learn how to apply different colouring techniques to bring your own pasar scene to life.

Episode 3: Provision Shop - 21 July

Before modern supermarkets and minimarts were commonplace, traditional provision shops used to sell a wide range of products and services to the people in their neighbourhood. Did you know that some provision shops used to cut ice directly from a block to sell to customers? In this episode, Yew Chong will share more about these unique features of the provision shop, and demonstrate how you can use magic pens and highlighters to colour your own provision shop scene.    

Satay Ayam Goreng

Tastes of Our Time: Cook with Christopher Video Tutorials
1 video released each Thursday (9 July, 16 July and 23 July)

Have you ever wondered what food items people in Singapore used to eat in the past? How were these food items shaped by the trends and cultural context of their times?Join cookbook author and food scholar Christopher Tan, as he shares stories and recipes inspired by cooking styles and ideas from the various eras of Singapore’s history. Learn a new recipe each week as you find out more about the museum’s permanent galleries from the comfort of your home! Video Tutorials will be released here and on our YouTube page

Episode 1: Nankhatai - 9 July

Singapore was a thriving and cosmopolitan port city by the 1920s and 1930s.  Different immigrant groups who settled in Singapore often brought their traditions and foods with them. One such item is nankhatai, an Indian shortbread biscuit made with semolina or “sugee”. Do you know how it originated? Watch to find out more!

Episode 2: Citrus Barley Water - 16 July

As the people in Singapore coped with the difficulties of daily life under the Japanese Occupation in the 1940s, they also responded to the uncertainties and shortages with resourcefulness and self-reliance. This refreshing citrus barley water recipe is inspired by the spirit of thrift and innovative cooking that flourished during this period of scarcity. Watch to find out more!

Episode 3: Satay Ayam Goreng - 23 July

This version of the satay ayam goreng recipe is a tribute to the inventive and economic local dishes found in Singaporean cookbooks of the 1970s, a time when people were striving against the uncertainties and challenges of the post-war era. Watch this video to learn how to create this dish for your loved ones!

Christopher Tan

Live Session with Christopher Tan
30 July 2020 | 10.30am – 11am (30 min) | Free | Seniors

To conclude the Tastes of Our Time: Cook with Christopher video tutorial series, join Christopher Tan for a chat about the heritage-inspired dishes in the video series, and how Singapore’s diverse and adventurous home-cooking traditions and styles have changed over the years. This session will be hosted on Zoom and will be conducted in English.

Pre-registration is required. Limited slots available, so sign up today! Click here to register. 

All I have to do is dream

All I Have To Do Is Dream – An In-gallery Theatre Performance 
8 August

What does the Singapore Dream look like to you and me?

What did the Singapore Dream look like to our seniors who migrated, grew up and witnessed a pre- and post-independent Singapore?

What did the Singapore Dream look like to our seniors who toiled through the days of rapid industrialisation? 

What does the 2020 Singapore Dream look like to our retiring and active seniors now?
 
Two mysterious figures wake up in the National Museum of Singapore on National Day 2020. Both exist to collect dreams – one has the ability to draw out deeper knowledge behind objects, and another uses sign language, sculpting meaning in the air with his fingers. With the help of a young museum worker with Down Syndrome, they embark on a journey through the galleries, collecting dreams of the past and present.

*Sign language interpretation, captions and audio description (English) services are provided. 

  • Download the Pre-show Notes (in PDF format) here.

 

Title: All I Have to Do Is Dream – An In-gallery Theatre Performance (with Audio Description)

This programme is held in conjunction with National Day Celebrations with the National Museum.

Moving Memories

Moving Memories Resource Kit [*New* Digital Resource]

First presented at the museum in 2017, the Moving Memories installation presents seven of Yip Yew Chong’s life-sized murals which seek to express the romance of “places and moments… that blend sights, sounds, smell and tastes”.

You can now enjoy Moving Memories online, anywhere and anytime. Accompanying this installation is a newly-launched Moving Memories Resource Kit that includes an activity guide and a suggested hands-on activity. This resource kit is created for senior organisations or care partners of persons with dementia to adapt and engage seniors in conversations. 

Please email nhb_nm_programmes@nhb.gov.sg to request for a digital copy of the accompanying Activity Guide. More information about the murals can be found here.

Moving Memories Colouring Activity

Feeling inspired by the colourful murals in the Moving Memories video installation? You can now create your own mural-inspired art pieces and enjoy a conversation with loved ones and friends as you explore familiar heritage scenes and sights. Choose from seven mural scenes created by Yip Yew Chong from the Moving Memories installation and gather your colouring materials to get started. 

This activity is suitable for senior organisations or care partners of persons with dementia to adapt and engage seniors in hands-on activity and conversations.  

Download the colouring templates below: 

1. Kampung template | Download

2. Kopitiam template | Download

3. Barber template | Download

4. Putu Mayam Hawker template| Download

5. Laksa Stall template | Download

6. Satay Club template | Download

7. Provision Shop template | Download

Craft Activity

Resources Based on NMS’s William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings

A. Fruitful Encounters: A Guide for Engaging Seniors on the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings

Fruitful Encounters will introduce seniors to a small selection of fruits featured in the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings. This activity guide includes a suggested multi-sensorial approach to engage seniors as well as a fruit-based hands-on activity. This activity is suitable for senior organisations or care partners of persons with dementia to adapt and engage seniors in hands-on activity and conversations. 

Please email nhb_nm_programmes@nhb.gov.sg to request for a digital copy of the Fruitful Encounters activity guide. 

B. Craft-Based Activity Template

Get creative with familiar edible plants such as the candlenut and ginger in this interactive activity based on the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings! Designed for seniors to learn simple dot painting techniques to create their own masterpieces, this activity also includes conversation prompts for seniors and their families/care partners to share more about their memories and experiences of using these edible plants to create delicious dishes!

This activity is suitable for senior organisations or care partners of persons with dementia to adapt and engage seniors in hands-on activity and conversations.

Download the Craft-Based Activity Template here.

Please email nhb_nm_programmes@nhb.gov.sg if you would like to request for the template in JPEG format. 

Guided Tours

Monthly Senior-friendly Guided Tours - Postponed till further notice
Every first Saturday of the month | 12.30pm – 1.30pm | $3 per senior participant (standard admission charges apply for non-Singaporeans / non-PRs)

Join the museum’s Care Facilitators on a conversational tour of our exhibitions! The tour is designed just for seniors, including persons with dementia and their accompanying care partner. It will explore a different theme every month and allow participants to handle objects related to the museum’s collection. Limited capacity based on first come, first served basis. Pre-registration is required.

Family Time

Visit our permanent galleries with your little ones and play spot-the-artefact! Our colourful Early Learning Resources introduce pre-schoolers to our artefacts according to the themes of Numbers, Colours, and ABCs. Available at $8 per set from the Museum Label shop. For more children's activity booklets, click here.

Museum guide

Download our museum guide (English, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Tamil) to find out about the many treasures in our various galleries. In this guide, you will also find the floor plan for easier navigation. Enjoy your visit!