Sunday, March 3, 2013

Learning About Firefighters

The historic fire station (built 1909, really old for Singapore)
So far it's been a bad health year. Either R or I (or,often, both) have been sick since we got back from Japan (which was in JANUARY for crying out loud). As a result, we've done hardly anything of interest. Outings have mostly been restricted to wandering around our new complex, swimming in the pool, and playdates. Boring!

This Saturday R was finally getting better (she's had a sinus infection for the last week) so we visited Singapore's main fire station with a little friend of hers. R is quite interested in firefighters (she loves reading Richard Scarry on the subject) so it seemed like a natural fit.

The station is open to the public every Saturday morning. Admission is free, and includes a short guided tour, various demonstrations, and the chance to explore some of the fire fighters' equipment. The tour was not suitable for R (since it involved standing still while listening to a lecture), so I didn't get the chance to listen, but the demonstrations were pretty interesting (we got to watch firefighters sliding down a pole, modeling the use of the emergency equipment, and using hoses).
R wandering around during the lecture
Haha, I'm in the truck!!
R's favorite part was getting hands-on with the equipment. She got to climb behind the wheel of several different vehicles (apparently there is a whole range of fire trucks with various specialized functions: I had no idea) and try on a couple different helmets. The older kids even got to use the hoses!
Helmet on
Visor down! (R was not a fan of this: note she is already taking it off)
Driving the truck is more fun
Inside a different truck
After the tour was over, we visited the Civil Defense Gallery, a museum of firefighting history (admission is free here as well). It is a very child-friendly place, with all sorts of cool interactive exhibits, and I would highly recommend a visit to anyone with toddlers or older children (up to 10, maybe?).
Museum entrance
Lots of interactive exhibits making use of video, sound, etc
R and her friend exploring a decommissioned engine
Taking a break (you can climb inside this fire truck)
More manipulation opportunities
Overall it was a very fun outing, though I think R was a bit on the young side (some of the demonstrations frightened her and her friend, especially the ones involving loud equipment). I think any children aged 3 or up would love it (and I'm planning to take R back once she's a little older). Highly recommended.
Also dioramas (this one shows rescue workers)
And chances to dress up in firefighter costume: sadly R didn't want to wear it (her friend was really cute though!)
(As far as health goes, R and I both came down with a cold that very evening, and had to spend today at home, much to my chagrin as I thought health had finally returned. She spent most of the day creating and serving elaborate meals to her dolls: the toy kitchen was a good investment!)

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