Dragon Playground at Toa Payoh - check. Dove Playground at Dakota Crescent - check. And so, it was time to hunt down the elusive Elephant Playground next in my continuing quest to bring the monkies to experience Singapore's playgrounds of yesteryears.
And ulu - or secluded - it definitely is, for it is located at the farthest tip of Pasir Ris Park. In fact, it is within the compound of the Home Team (NS) Pasir Ris Chalets.
Just like the boys, it was also my first time coming into contact with this playground. And I was immediately taken in by the innovative use of the elephant's trunk!
Was there any doubt what the boys chose to do first?
This playground was built around the same time as the dragon and dove playgrounds but surprisingly, it still looks quite new and well-maintained. I guess the isolated nature of the playground would most likely be the reason for this.
But one thing is for certain - the iconic usage of terrazzo and mosaic tiles is still there and that already brings back lots of childhood memories for me and the wifey.
Pity though, that Ale slept through it all. So she missed the chance to go all sliding crazy on the elephant's trunk.
While the boys were having fun on their own, a memory came to mind. I remembered my mum used to sit around the raised platform that surrounds the sandbox as she kept a watchful eye over me.
And that somehow became a social place for parents and caregivers to sit around and catch up with one
another at the same time. The playgrounds that we have today don't have this raised platform anymore. Instead we have benches and sometimes the seating area just isn't enough to go around. Is that why the community spirit isn't as strong now?
But community spirit or not, our own spirit was still going strong as we set out to find the remaining old playground of the day.
This was definitely a unique sight - a Watermelon Playground complete with holes to represent seeds!
Originally, there were 2 Watermelon Playgrounds in Singapore. But the one at Pipit Road has just been demolished earlier this year and now, only this one at Tampines Street 83 remains.
Even then, the Watermelon slide was barricaded up while we were there so the boys didn't get a chance to test out the slide. I do hope that it is undergoing maintenance as opposed to demolition.
Just 20m away from the Watermelon Playground, there lies 2 huge Mangosteens connected together by a bar. The bar used to have swings hanging from it but has since been removed.
Other than the novelty factor, the Watermelon and Mangosteen playgrounds clearly lack the same fun factor when compared to the Dragon, Dove and Elephant playgrounds.
Whatever the case, I believe we will do well to continue to preserve these old playgrounds for they have become a collective memory for Singaporeans due to their unique designs. I shudder to think if Ash, Ayd & Ale will remember any of today's plastic playgrounds in 20 or 30 years' time.
Inside the NS Home Team Chalet
125A Pasir Ris Road
Behind Block 858
Tampines Street 83