The hubby was on leave for the past couple of days. It was hazy, so we decided to bring the kids one day to visit the ArtScience Museum's exhibition "The Deep", since the older two love learning about sea creatures.
This exhibition was created by Claire Nouvian, who was inspired to research more about the creatures who lived in the deep sea, after watching a documentary in the Montery Oceanarium in California. It houses more than 40 rare animals, and almost 70 backlit images of sea fauna.
It was interesting to walk about to view the specimens, and read more about the various creatures. To keep to the theme, the entire exhibition is show-cased in almost pitch darkness, with the images being back-lit and the specimens highlighted using spot-lights. However, the presentation of information could have been much better: the images were usually clustered together in the center of the wall, with all accompanying text at the sides. This meant that if you wanted to identify a creature presented in an image, you had to squint to find the number that was tagged to the image (the images were backlit, but the numbers were not, so we were actually using our handphone lights to find the numbers!), and then move to the side to read the information, which was presented in text that was rather small. This was a little hard to do, especially if you are trying to keep track of three little boys running about in the dark! Audio guides are available though, so those who opt for that would probably find it easier, or join their public guided tours.
There are other activities available for children, such as storytelling, workshops, as well as an activity area where kids can make their own glowing anglerfish or upcycled sea creatures (details here).
Thankfully, the boys still enjoyed themselves, especially Junior J, who really loves learning about animals in general. He was kept busy trying to complete some of the activities in the activity booklet, such as matching the lures of the various anglerfish (get your kids to bring pencils, and collect these booklets at the ticketing counter).
While I'd say the actual exhibition isn't too suitable for kids, what helped was that the older two had prior knowledge about the deep sea and the creatures living there. They've watched episodes of "Octonauts", so they could identify and talk about some of the creatures in the exhibition, such as the spookfish, vampire squid, yeti crab, oar fish and siphonophore (you can try searching for the Octonaut videos on Youtube, and let the kids watch them before visiting the exhibition).
Videos aside, here are two books that might be useful for a visit:
We spotted the second book being sold in the souvenir store, and Junior J was most interested as he loves drawing sea creatures. However, the book was being sold for $45! (You can purchase it on Amazon for half the price, or if you don't want to have to checkout a whole cart, the book is also cheaper on Book Depository.)