Apr 30, 2019

No slides or see-saws at the new Nature Playgarden at HortPark but it's a must-visit for pre-schoolers!

There is a new playground playgarden at HortPark but you cannot find a single seesaw or slide here. Rather, the Nature Playgarden at HortPark is designed to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors and reconnect with nature.

Built with pre-schoolers in mind, the playgarden is best for kids aged between 3 and 6 years old. And already, the sign at the entrance of the playgarden had won me over before I stepped into the garden.

"Creative and nature play may entail some risk-taking"

How very true! The Nature Playgarden at HortPark is exactly that, as it utilizes natural terrain and about 99% of the 0.35 ha area is made out of recycled material, keeping in tune with its nature theme.

Courtesy of NParks

The first thing that struck me when I ventured into the playgarden was how everything was kept as natural as possible. With wood chips and dry leaves covering the floor of the playgarden, it reminded me of the playgrounds that we visited in Australia.

In fact, this playgarden is NParks' first Biophilic Playgarden, which integrates play features with more natural elements such as trees and sand. Biophilia refers to the innate emotional connection humans have with nature, and the playgarden was conceived to encourage children to spend more time outdoors to enhance their overall well-being, increase their self-confidence and creative expression and let them connect with nature.

In all, there are a total of nine play features at the playgarden.

The Building Huts

These two zones - Gravel Play and Sand Play - feature three teepees, and the ground is filled with sand and gravel respectively. All teepees have open sides, so children can build upon it with twigs, branches, or big dried fronds found in the play areas.

Kids can also work together to build houses and castles using natural materials such as timber cookies, wooden poles and tools provided at the Tool Board next to The Building Huts.

The Singing Seeds

This area for musical play is made up of hanging bamboo poles of different sizes, creating different pitched chimes as children move the poles, or when the wind blows.

There are also hollow musical seesaws and wheels filled with seeds from the Saga Tree, Rubber Tree and seed pods of the Rattleweed, where children can rock and spin to listen to the percussion of the rolling seeds.

The Big Fig Adventure

This log play area within a grove of Fig Trees features a collection of logs that are made into steps, a table for gatherings, and a log hill.

The stepping stones allow the children to challenge themselves as they climb, balance, or jump to their hearts' content.

The Stream

Here, children will encounter water flowing through a series of channels carved from logs. They will be able to manipulate the flow of water as they construct their own dams in their imaginative play.

The Kitchen

This area for kitchen play has a table surrounded by fruit trees in The Treasure Trail where children can pretend to cook with some cooking tools. Loose materials such as dried fruits and leaves are placed in boxes as “ingredients”, for the imaginative play of children.

The Log Valley

This is perhaps the most physical portion of the playgarden. Children can explore the valley made from logs, by climbing, balancing or even going under the logs. After clearing the Log Valley, they will find themselves at...

The Secret Den

Children can take shelter from the elements, or to spend some quiet time individually or bond in small groups under a grove of bamboo.

The Tresure Trail

Conssiting of the Frutiy Trail and Forest Trail, kids can go on a short hike around the playgarden and keep a lookout for fruit trees and other plants.

I have to say the trails are absolutely made for young kids because the trails are short and easy to navigate, with colourful signs along the trails to pique the interests of the young hikers.

The Magical Woods

The Magical Woods is home to a series of tunnels and hideouts for children to explore, or just simply to seek refuge (from parents).

 Overall, I think the Nature Playgarden at HortPark is an excellent place to bring the kids, especially if they are aged 6 years old and below. There are none of the usual slides, seesaws or even climbing structures that one usually associates with playgrounds but I love how the playgarden has ingeniously blended play activities with nature... along with plenty of hideouts for kids to explore.

The playgarden does not cover a large area, which is great for small kids as well since they can play in a contained area. Together with the many elements of sensory and nature play, this is one 'playground' that all parents with pre-schoolers should head to! PLUS, it's FREE entry for everyone!

Useful Information

Nature Playgarden at HortPark
33 Hyderabad Road (off Alexandra Road), Singapore 119578
*Closed on Mondays for maintenance.
*The playgarden is lit by natural sunlight only. For your own safety, please refrain from entering at night or during bad weather.

Email to a friend

No comments :

Newer Post Older Post
................... Home ...................