There’s a new Nature Playgarden at HortPark. Designed for preschoolers from three to six years old and with natural material, it offers nine play features.
Here, your kids can climb over logs at Big Fig Adventure and Log Valley.
They will love making music by running through hanging bamboo poles at The Singing Seeds, and build unique structures in a sand pit located around The Building Huts.
The other features are called Magical Woods, The Stream, The Kitchen, The Secret Den and Treasure Trail.
The National Parks Board (NParks), which runs HortPark, wants children to engage with nature in a fun, free and unconstrained way.
Your kids won’t be just having fun for themselves – they are also helping NParks to conduct research.
The Nature Playgarden is a test-bed for NParks’ Biophilic Playgarden Plan, which aims to transform future playgrounds by integrating them with more natural elements such as trees, dirt and sand.
Biophilia refers to the innate emotional connection that humans have with nature.
NParks said the plan was conceived with preschoolers in mind, to encourage them to spend more time outdoors to enhance their overall well-being, increase their self-confidence and creative expression, and let them reconnect with nature.
“We want to see if the children behave according to what the design set out to accomplish,” said Tan Jun Chao, director of park planning for NParks.
He added that the research will help improve the design guidelines for recreating more Biophilic Playgardens, which is set to be released early next year (2020).
The Nature Playgarden’s design capitalises on natural terrain and about 99 per cent of the 0.35 ha area is made out of recycled material, cutting down on construction costs.
The design principles were inspired by similar parks such as the Cincinnati Nature Centre in Ohio, the United States, and NParks will consult with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC) for further design options.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photos: The Straits Times, Facebook/NParks; video: The Straits Times)