The big, bright red apple…spinning, spinning, spinning, that’s the memory I remember most about my favourite playground as a child. Can you think back to yours? And how often nowadays do you see kids at the playgrounds around your neighbourhood?
In an urban landscape like Singapore, kids find themselves going from classes to malls to school and home. Hence, it's my personal mission to scout out the best creative playgrounds locally so they can enjoy a bit of fresh air in their daily lives.
First, here are three airplane playgrounds where aviators can let their imaginations soar. Lamenting all those lost pandemic travels? That’s no reason to let your wings be clipped. Instead, take flight at some airplane themed playgrounds. After which, you'll see railway train and military vehicles themed playgrounds which I managed to find in Singapore too. Planes, trains and automobiles are a big hit in any community. Kids love the creative play that all types of transportation provide, and there are transportation-themed components that make-up imaginative themed playgrounds in Singapore.
1. The Oval in Seletar Aerospace Park (No. 2 Park Lane)
This playground at The Oval@Seletar Aerospace park is so creative. From a colourful propeller plane play structure, to air traffic control tower slides to a helipad merry-go-round and swings; the Seletar Aerospace park playground is definitely on theme being next to Seletar Airport. And next to it is a ‘Control Tower’ where kids could climb up and slide down via a super curvy slide.
There is a smaller jet plane at the same playground in which the swings have bucket seats.
Another highlight of the playground at The Oval@Seletar Aerospace Park is the Airplane Ludo (Chess) Game, a.k.a "Fei Xing Qi" 飞行棋. It just made the whole aeroplane theme at the playground complete.
2. Prop Airplane Playground in front of Block 338 Bukit Batok Street 34.
This yellow and-green airplane playground has a camouflaged pattern on its fuselage and it looks similar to the red-and-blue airplane playground at The Oval in Seletar Aerospace Park. However, the airplane playground in Bukit Batok has two propellers on its wings rather than the one at its nose in Seletar Aerospace Park.
I love how all the play equipment here and the Oval@Seletar Aerospace Park revolved around the aeroplane/airport theme. Like how the main play sculpture is a plane, with slides coming down both sides as those escape slides of real planes?
There is a teeter-totter at the same playground in line with the airplane theme, which is a blue aeroplane which can accommodate two toddlers.
3. Jet Plane Hanger Playground in front of Block 157 Yung Loh Road.
This silver jet airplane metal-framed playground offers aviation dreams where you can climb in and out of the plane's cockpit to imagine as though you are the pilot or co-pilot to "take off" the plane.
Slung under the wings are the housings of two jet engines.
Whenever I am in a foreign country, I always try to take a railway train ride. There is something very exotic and romantic about train journeys that one cannot explain using mere words. Everybody loves a window seat in a train and it doesn’t matter how old you are, you’d always yearn for a window seat so that you can observe the pleasant countryside through which your train is scampering wild to its destination.
4. Life-sized Tilted Train Playground at Tiong Bahru Park
Tiong Bahru Park is a haven of tranquillity for the nearby residents of Henderson, Bukit Merah and Lower Delta Road. Right in the middle of Tiong Bahru Park is a unique train playground you will not miss. The main attraction of this playground is the uniquely designed tilting train, which is not just another instagrammable spot but one that allows children to climb, run and slide in a topsy-turvy environment.
The whole train consists of an engine, three carriages and a caboose at the end. Elevated off the playground’s sandy ground, the wood-clad carriages and caboose trail behind the engine at an angle as if it's about to derail.
There are multiple entry points and slides leading off the train, to invite kids to explore the ins-and-outs of the locomotive.
5. Choo Choo Train Playground in between Block 852 and 853 Yishun Street 81
This Choo Choo alike train is designed to look like a 19th century railway train, some say it looks like the Thomas The Train too. Imagine that it moves slowly, and the train driver can set off the bells and whistles (choo choo!) as well as put out real smoke.
Put your conductor hat on and all aboard! Take a ride on the Train Themed Playground and let your imagination run free here.
6. Military Truck Playground at Keat Hong Mirage (in front of Block 817B at Chua Chu Kang Avenue 1)
Vroom vroom an army truck is coming to bring you to a playground, the Keat Hong Truck bright green military-themed playground. The main attraction of this playground is undoubtedly the bright green army truck. There’s also a watch tower to climb up and a fireman’s pole to slide down, and we like how the rubber mat underfoot echoes the military theme, as well.
The truck has a driver’s seat on the left which kids can hop onto and simulate driving the truck. At the rear of the truck, there are “army crates” stacked up which lead to a slide for kids to get off the truck.
7. Tank Playground at Keat Hong Quad (Block 815C at Chua Chu Kang Avenue 1)
A short distance away from the Military Truck Playground is a Tank Playground. The playground is dominated by a white tank play structure. Kids can climb on to the tank from the outside, and climb inside too.
This area of Choa Chu Kang used to house Keat Hong Camps I and II, the old training camps for Singapore’s Armed Forces. These two playgrounds in Choa Chu Kang certainly salute the military heritage of the area where army camps once stood nearby. These playgrounds span across each large residential development, and creating a unique identity for the site while giving each playground a distinct and unique theme is so innovative. Surfacing colors and graphics have brought these transportation themed playgrounds to life.
I always think that playgrounds are meant to provide learning opportunities for children to develop physically, socially, emotionally, imaginatively, and cognitively through different types of safe play. If you ever pretended a jungle gym was a spaceship, you know that playgrounds inspire creativity. With no guidance from adults, children are free to experience a playground however they want. They can make up games using their imagination, try equipment in different orders and come up new systems to play with others.
You may wish to browse my other recent blog post here on "Whimsical Alice in Wonderland and Hansel & Gretel Themed Playgrounds in Singapore", if you have not. Enjoy and have fun at these playgrounds !