Wall Murals In The Heartlands at Tampines HDB Void Deck Feature Nostalgic Childhood Games From The Singapore's Past
Today's kids spend time playing virtual games in virtual environments. They play away everyday from life and the streets. They are unaware of social games of the past. There were once children's games that colored our lives. Nowdays the kids grow up without knowing the life, touching the life and sharing but only touching the screens. This is especially more apparent in big cities. Children growing up in big cities today neither know the street nor are they aware of the neighborhood culture. The adults cannot hear the joyful sounds of children rising from the streets.
I’m one for nostalgia. There’s something nostalgic about looking back at all the traditional games we played while growing up in Singapore. The games of my childhood always bring back fond memories of carefree afternoons spent outside. These games take us back to a simpler era when life seemed to move at a slower pace and all we really cared about was having a good time with our buddies. There is a set of murals at Blk 857 Tampines Street 83 featuring nostalgic childhood games from the past. They were done by a local artist Jaxton Su. It was a flashback to the past when I saw these murals ! Although not all traditional games were showcased in this artist's collection, let's remember the forgotten children's games and in the name of the joy of the streets!
Hopscotch isn’t just a traditional game in Singapore, it’s a classic played by kids all over the world. Much like its name implies, hopscotch involves hopping from one square to another while doing your best to balance and avoid stepping on the grid lines.
Five stones is often one of the first games that come to mind when people talk about traditional games in Singapore. It started out as a game for little girls who used actual stones but it’s since evolved to become the version we know today. Aside from being fun, it’s also a great game for people of all ages to improve their dexterity and sharpen their reflexes.
Goli is traditionally played with glass marbles and there are many different ways to play the game. The most popular version of goli involves either placing all the players’ marbles in a circle drawn on the ground or lining the marbles up in a row. The players would then stand at an agreed distance from where the marbles were placed. Each player would hold a marble in reserve to serve as their ‘striker’. Players would then use the ‘striker’ to try and knock as many marbles as possible out of the circle. The player who knocks the most marbles is declared the winner!
Chapteh is a traditional game in Singapore that’s good for improving dexterity, balance and aim. The chapteh itself, is a rubber disc topped with brightly-coloured feathers. While there are many variations of playing with a chapteh, the main objective is to keep it in the air for as long as possible. Whoever fumbles first loses!
In the past, the streets were the only place for children to have fun. For children, the street meant playing games, sharing and communicating. The street was running. It was the best place to play a football match, jump rope with friends, play a line game, and hit each other with dodgeball.
I guess this is the most popular old game, Hide-and-seek, in which one player closes his or her eyes for a brief period (often counting to 10) while the other players hide. The seeker then opens his eyes and tries to find the hiders; the first one found is the next seeker, and the last is the winner of the round.
Another common shooting game is the Catapult Hunting game (a.k.a. slingshot). a slingshot made from twigs and a rubber band. A slingshot could be made by carving fallen branches and discarded car tyres, and even rubber seeds as bullets. This is how traditional games work. You just use the materials from nature. No need to spend money.
Pick-up sticks sounds like a strange name for a game but it was one of everyone’s favourite traditional games in Singapore. Gather all the sticks in a bundle and then let them fall naturally onto the floor or table. Players then take turns to remove sticks from the pile one at a time without touching or moving any of the other sticks. This is a game that requires creative thinking, intense concentration and a steady hand — almost like a messier version of Jenga.
Traditional games in Singapore may be a thing of the past now and seeing these murals just bring back so many wonderful memories. If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, visit the murals at Blk 857 Tampines Street 83 to relive them with your friends or introduce them to your kids so they too can appreciate the games of yesteryears!
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