Monthly Archives: April 2010

Uncovering History through Play

Andrew: The post title sounds like it could be a title for a paper about student-centred pedagogies for the teaching of history, but it’s actually the theme for a ‘history trail’ date that Dearie and I had today. The inspiration was this article on CNNGO about Singapore’s playgrounds of the past, which featured the addresses of old HDB playgrounds which still exist. “Visit them before they disappear altogether”, the article exhorts – and so we did!

Playgrounds 1 & 2: Mangosteen and Watermelon Playground at Tampines St. 63

I was really glad that most of the playgrounds were located around the Eastern part of Singapore, which was where our churches were. I guess the Eastern part of Singapore still has these little pockets which remain less ‘touched’ by modernisation.



(Andrew wears polo tee from Far East and Levi’s jeans; Jazzy wears shirt from Fred Perry and swallow skirt from Goblinmarket)

 As you can see, Dearie and I were going for quite different kind of ‘shots’. Her idea was to dress up very stylishly to serve as a stark contrast to the playgrounds (this will become more evident in the next few photoshoots), whereas I was dressing up in a more young manner (rather, I was trying to wear the new polo-shirt and t-shirt that we bought at Far East a few weeks ago).

I relived some of my childhood days by climbing up the mangosteen:

IMG_8189 IMG_8190

I remember that my brother, cousins and I used to be very bored just doing what the playgrounds ‘expected’ us to do, i.e. to slide down the slide or to climb up the dragon and we always tried to do different things, like running up the slide or climbing on the outer railings of the dragon instead of on the inside, just for more excitement.

The kids around were rather amused as they saw us playing in the playground. We were rather embarrassed to get others to take photos for us, and only managed to get one timer shot with the mangosteen:


So the mangosteen, we decided to move on to the watermelon playground, which of course  necessitated a change in wardrobe for Dearie:



I like how the glass panelling is supposed to create the effect of a watermelon being chewed away. Heh. Playground designers of the past definitely had much more creativity! The outfit isn’t very clear in those pictures, so here’s her ‘outfit’ for the watermelon:


(Jazzy wears owl blouse from Far East and skirt from wholesale market in Beijing)

After Tampines St. 63, it was off to our next playground at Elias Road, which was just another 10 minutes drive away!

Playground 3: Boat Playground at Elias Mall

This was where I did my change of ‘costume’, i.e. shirt to wear the cute Power Ranger/Darth Vader shirt that Dearie bought me a few weeks ago.


(Andrew wears t-shirt from Lyndon’s)

Dearie changed to her recently purchased Raoul dress, which I thought quite suited the ‘theme’ of the playground as it did have a ‘marine’, sea-blue kind of look to it. Heh.


(Jazzy wears Raoul dress, offset by a bunch of tan accessories for a more relaxed look)

The playground was more ‘timer-shot’ friendly here, so we managed to get more shots together:



Playground 4: Elephant Playground at Home Team NS Holiday Chalets

IMG_8215Our final stop for the day was situated just another 10 minutes away from Elias Mall at the far end of Pasir Ris, beyond Pasir Ris park.


(Jazzy wears custom-made dress bought off Etsy and shoes from H&M)

This was the dress I liked the most out of all the costume changes. I also felt it achieved Dearie’s purpose of ‘clashing’ with the playground theme the best.

Here, we had a lot of fun playing around with geometry, layering and picture composition:








Just as we finished our final photoshoot at this playground, the rain started coming in.

We decided to postphone the rest of the playgrounds (some located in the North of Singapore) to another time and ended off with a hearty dinner of sliced fish noodle, lemon chicken and wanton mee at Old Airport Road.

Watch out for Part 2 of the Historical playground hunt and also our post on the second ‘trail’ that we’ve embarked on – a Ramen Trail!