Nov 22, 2012

Singapore's Old Playgrounds: Elephant & Fruits

(Daddy blogs)

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.

Elephant Playground
Inside the NS Home Team Chalet
125A Pasir Ris Road
Singapore 519121

Watermelon Playground
Behind Block 858 
Tampines Street 83
Singapore 521858

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cre8tone said...

Old but still nice to play with.. :)

NN said...

I just discovered your block and reading this "trip back to nostalgia" entry is amazing haha, i am so excited to read all of your entries now. What a wonderful idea visiting the playgrouds of olden times :D you have a mummy fan right here, am sure its going to be more fun parenting tips and stories yeah <3

NN said...


Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi prince n princess mum,

Yup it sure is!! :)

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Narita,

Many thanks for dropping by our blog, and for your kind words too! :)

Hope that you will find more activities to enjoy with your loved ones too!

Anonymous said...

hey! is the playground open to public or do I've to book a chalet to enter the premise? Thanks!

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Anon,

It is open to public! :)

Melissa said...

So not fair! Wish SG didn't change so much! Memories are important things to human beings, and i barely remember things from my childhood because it's all disappearing so fast in Singapore! I used to spend hours a day at the playground - if you're born in the 80's or earlier, that's where you remember playing and forging friendships - other than at school of course.

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