Playgrounds are never just spaces where we play our nostalgic childhood games. They hold sacred memories and imprison our deepest secrets, like the name of our childhood crush or the time we first held hands.
Sadly, several unique local playgrounds — especially the mosaic ones — have already gone extinct.
Eager to relive my childhood nostalgia, I travelled to find the few remaining pieces with a few close friends. The outcome? A compilation of Insta-worthy shots that showcase our inner narcissism.
The iconic, orange dragon playground, with its octagonal eyes and colourful steely-spine, at Toa Payoh is the brainchild of Mr Khor Ean Ghee, who then undertook a project designing play spaces for the new generation of public housing while working as an interior designer in the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
You’ll be glad to know that this playground has been preserved by the HDB, and you’ll still be able to find it standing proudly at Lorong 6 Toa Payoh.
Location: 28 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310028
The other lesser-known, yellow and green coloured dragon playground nests herself within the estates of Ang Mo Kio. Its sandpit has since been replaced with rubber flooring.
Compared to the Toa Payoh Dragon, the Ang Mo Kio Dragon is better maintained and more vibrant. Aside from that single vandalism on its face, this play space is a still great location to feature on your Instagram feed.
Location: Blk 571 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore 560571
Surrounded by several low-rise flats in Macpherson lies the infant dragon playground. Featuring a baby blue and pink colour scheme and a small curved slide, this baby dragon playground is seemingly more aesthetic than the aforementioned two.
Location: Block 57 Pipit Road, Singapore 370053
Located right beside Bishan bus interchange, the clockwork playground is inspired from children’s nursery rhyme.
With a colourful and whimsical front, paired with sleek curvatures, the clockwork playground definitely reminded us of a typical fairytale setting.
Location: Blk 514C, Bishan Street 13, Singapore 570514
Housed behind Elias Mall, the bumboat playground in Pasir Ris features a tyre ladder and a simple slide. It was innovative that its inventor incorporated the essence of a traditional “sampan”, which roamed our shores in the early Singapore.
You can consider clambering and climbing onto the sides of the playground or strike a seated pose at the edge of the slide.
Location: Elias Mall, 625 Elias Road, Singapore 510625
One of the many fruit-themed playgrounds, the watermelon playground sits in the small park along Tampines Avenue 5. The fruit-themed playgrounds were also the creations of Ms Lee-Loy Kwee Wah.
We recommend arriving on early weekday afternoons before the kids rouse from their afternoon naps and dominate the space.
Location: Blk 858 Tampines Ave 5, Singapore 520858
The mangosteen playground is a short walk away from the watermelon playground. Like it’s counterpart, the mangosteen playground was birthed on 1989, also by Ms Lee-Loy Kwee Wah.
Sadly, the swings have been replaced with wooden benches. But this did not stop us from scaling the rotund structure and acting like a kid.
Location: Blk 858, Tampines Ave 5, Singapore 520858
Looking back, I’m sure those playground encounters we once had were mere objects of the past. Bittersweet as they are, I’m glad I actually had a childhood.
I’m pretty sure we missed out on some of the other mosaic playgrounds, so feel free to drop us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.
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