Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bub & Me: Toa Payoh Dragon Playground

Last Sunday was Mid-Autumn Festival and we planned for a nice family day out visiting Toa Payoh Dragon Playground, one of the oldest playgrounds in Singapore before heading back for some mooncakes and lantern fun. It was raining during our afternoon nap but thankfully stopped in the evening.

The mosaic dragon-shaped playground is an icon of olden Singapore. One of the few remaining sand-based playgrounds in Singapore, it definitely hold many precious childhood memories for people that grew up not just in Toa Payoh {a local suburb}, but the whole country.

The boy and I were raised in different parts of Singapore but we definitely remember playing here {not together of course!}. Faint memories of running up and down the steel body of the dragon, sliding down the concrete slides, building sandcastles.... ahhh how precious it is to relive those memories  together and share them with Lil Pumpkin.

The first time Lil Pumpkin walked along the steel body, she was hesitant. She held on tightly to the rails and threaded slowly...

Soon, she gained confidence and eagerly wanted to walk and dance through it a second, third and even fourth time! And boy, did she love the concrete slides!

Nowadays there are a lot of cafes set up with a nostalgic feel, shops selling vintage items and interest groups set up to help us preserve our heritage. Is it really a coincidence that so many reminisce and long for the olden days? Do we hate the modern world?

I think we just wish want to re-capture our happy places. Those were the carefree days where all we had to worry about was what to play, where to play.

I fear our kids will soon not have such innocence and freedom anymore. Studies, exams, homework, stress... surely this isn't all that we want our kids to remember from our childhood.

It is an intricate balance to making sure kids have the skills needed for them to succeed in life, and for giving them time to play & develop themselves. The kids are still young and require us as parents to make the choices for them. Sure we can blame the system for perpetrating such competitiveness, but if we don't encourage it to be such a monster, I believe it won't have such a negative effect on us. Just like eating sharks fin, stop the demand and it will kill the supply.

It may just be my child-like naive thinking. 

But is being a child really such a bad thing?

Toa Payoh Dragon Playground
Blk 28 Toa Payoh Lorong 6
Free and open daily

What childhood memories do you want your kids to have?

Read about the other fun activities we did with Lil Pumpkin here or my list of Kid-Friendly places in Singapore. The Toa Payoh Dragon is of the Singapore Heritage Playgrounds, do check out the Pipit Mini Dragon, Bishan Clock, Dakota Crescent Dove, Tampines Mangosteen, AMK Dragon, Tampines Watermelon & TPY Mini Dragon.



Yvette Bowyer said...

what an awesome ljavascript:void(0)ooking playground!!!

#teamIBOT :)

Anonymous said...

I am so not ready for my son to have the responsibilities of school. They are far too young! I wonder if our parents felt the same way? Looks like a great day out and so neat that you and your husband have memories of the same place before you even knew each other. Maybe you had played together, or at least at the same time!?

workingwomenaustralia said...

That playground looks like so much fun! In our little town, there is a fantastic playground by the river, and my kids constantly ask to play there. I slide down the slides with them and re-live my own childhood ;)

Cynful Pleasure said...

awesome place.. I stayed in Toa Payoh for a while but never chanced in this playground.. which part of TP is that?

Housewife in Heels said...

What a spectacular playground... I think I need to have words with my local council ;)

Ai Sakura said...

Yvette: it is wonderful!

Coloursofthesunset: It's heartbreaking to know of kids that cry at exams or even commit suicide due to bad results. I had a primary school friend that did, and I still don't understand why.

Workingwomenaustralia: I love slides!! And concrete ones are just so cool haha

Cynful: just opp Safra :)

Housewife in Heels: They don't make playgrounds like these anymore. Really think they should!

Redcliffe Style said...

That playground looks awesome! Rachel

Stacy said...

Oo love the look of this playground!

I'm with you on not stressing kids out in school. But I might well develop some tiger mom tendencies when the time comes, coz I do want the best for my kids. Will have to balance things out somehow!

Grace said...

Looks great, Ai. I remember seeing that last photo on IG and thinking how cute it was :) x

SengkangBabies said...

Glad your gal loved the Dragon :)
In case u need more playgrounds, do pop by our catalogue :p


Ai Sakura said...

Rachel: certainly a lot of fun!

Stacy: there's no magic formula and certainly as much as I want her to excel in society, I want her to have a happy childhood too!

Grace: I hope to share more :)

Andy: thanks for sharing. will definitely look for more!

Geraldine said...

Ah, the infamous dragon playground :) I hope it will still be there in a few years time. Looks like you had fun too!

~Summer~ said...

Ahh, I'm so happy to see that there's still the dragon playground in sg! Wrote a post recently after my friend told me all these traditional playgrounds have been demolished and replaced with rubber mat ones. Sob. Anyway I fell from the dragon when I was in primary school. Lol. Hurt my knee so bad that it left an eternal scar. Still, I love all the memories of childhood at these playgrounds! =) Thanks for sharing, Ai!

Unknown said...

I love that playground! Would be so fun to run crazy around after some of my boys there with my camera.


Kylie Purtell said...

That looks like the best park, I would have loved to play there as a kid. I agree that childhood goes too quickly and kids grow up so fast. I will be encouraging Mia to have as much fun as possible and enjoy being a kid as much as she can because once you grow up it's business after that. You can still have fun of course, but it's not the same as those carefree days as a kid.

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

What an awesome dragon playground!! So neat that you went there as kids!

Julia Kukulovski said...

That playground looks so sweet. I love that Singapore is so family friendly

Karmeleon said...

I've brought my littlest one to the DRagon playground at AMK before. It does not have sand, but the design is the same. And there's another modern playground next to it, so lots of options. The dragon one is real cool though!