By: Jiaqi Tay
Along the stretch of shophouses along Arab Street, lies a quaint toy museum. A giant old-school robotic figurine guards this toy museum. This museum is called ‘Children Little Museum’. As the name suggests it is a place that showcases toys, to be exact, antique toys.
Stepping into the store is almost equivalent to you stepping into a time machine that travelled back in time. The first floor is filled with old radios, gramophones, television sets, clothes, watches, a Jackpot machine, clothes and many more.
Moving to the back of the store, one would find a motorcycle placed strategically for people to take photos with.
In order to gain access to the second floor, one would have to pay an entrance fee of $2. The second floor is filled with toys, educational materials and stationaries that perhaps, your parents or grandparents would be most familiar with.
One would be able to view toys from the past; textbooks used back then, stationaries your parents and grandparents used. You can also find a pushcart replica of how a dessert store would look like in the past. It is no longer possible for you to find a glass soft drink bottle in Singapore. However, you will be able to find many bottles placed around the whole museum.
A barber’s station complete with scissors and shaving knife can also be found. At the back end of the second floor is an enclosed area filled with plastic dolls, tin robots and plastic toys. Prams that are from the past are hung on the walls.
Children Little Museum is co-founded by Mr Mohamed Haikel, Mr Patrick Neo and Mr Terry Chua. All the antiques are collected piece by piece over time. Some were bought through dealers or picked up from thrift shops. Some of the antiques were their very own collections.
“Majority of the robot tin toys are from my very own collection,” said Mr Chua.
It has been seven years since Children Little Museum is opened. Over time, it saw steady stream of people.
“It’s relatively quiet during the weekdays. We would, however, have more visitors during Fridays and Saturdays,” commented Mr Chua.
“This place helps the young catch a glimpse of what are some of the things the older generation used. And hopefully make them be grateful with the items and toys the young get to play these days. On the other hand, this can also be a place to allow the older generation to reminisce the good times of their past,” said Mr Chua.
Adelene Wee, 17 year, a polytechnic student found the place really interesting and informative.
“It allowed me to see and experience what are some of the things my parents and grandparents used when they are young. It is amazing to know that they only get to play with these toys in the past. From that, I can safely say that I am very fortunate,” added Adelene.