Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

Mummy: I was really inspired after reading this article to bring Dylan to experience nature more after reading this article about the benefits it has on children. Dylan can get abit restless being cooped up at home all day, especially when the adults are doing their own thing, so it’s quite a change to see how quiet, engaged and independent he was at Jacob Ballas. Being outdoors provided different sensory experiences for Dylan that can never be replicated in an indoor playgym- although some of the built play structures were more suitable for older kids, I could see how the natural environment encouraged him to hone his vestibular sense (sense of balance). Dylan walked gingerly to hear the crunch of gravel underfoot, smelt pandan leaves and touched mini-banana plants, and even tried balancing on a fallen tree trunk with Daddy’s help. Who knows, I may even try some nature-related extension activities with him at home when I go on maternity leave!

Andrew: I must say we are really quite blessed in Singapore to have so many places to bring children too, especially outdoor spaces! I’m a big fan of outdoor spaces and activities, whereas Dearie enjoys more indoor spaces (malls!). However, for the sake of Dylan, she’s been more willing to go outdoors!

So, we took a little trip down to the Children’s Garden. Granted, most of the areas there are more suited for kids 3 and above, but Dylan had fun nonetheless, just being out in the open! We put him down and he just kept running around and exploring on his own. We’ll let him relate his experience.

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Dylan: I remember Mummy and Daddy had wanted to bring me here when I was still in Mummy’s womb, but the people there didn’t allow them in because I wasn’t seen as being a ‘kid’ then…. Hmph, so strict! Technically I was still a kid, though stuck in Mummy. I could sense Mummy’s boiling anger then beneath her deep blue evening gown… Must have made her ‘glow’ more during the photo-shoot later though! Heh.

Anyway, we finally made our way here after Mummy pestered Daddy to go. Our first stop was the treehouse! Faster, mummy!

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This treehouse was obviously for older kids and there were many of them running up and down, sliding down non-stop. Mummy and Daddy just love to stretch me, exposing me to activities that are above my ‘level’ – in more ways than one…   

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Mummy, I want to go to the slide… 

There were these little cute tree stumps at the base of the tree-house, which were just the right height for me! Daddy, can I have one of this chairs in our home? After all, we already have a bar-counter that looks like it was taken from here too, made of rotten wood?

(Andrew: Actually Dylan, that bar-counter is extremely expensive and the wood had to be varnished specially to preserve it in that ‘rotten’ state.

Jasmine: Don’t exaggerate Daddy! That table was a real steel and it’s ‘mango wood’ from Indonesia, which is sustainable.)

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Okay Daddy, I have made my selection. I like the design of THAT chair… Take it for me!

Daddy was too weak to lift those chairs up and bring them home. Boo! Instead, we went to these huge, scary mushrooms behind the tree-house! Are these the truffles that Mummy loves so much in her pasta? 

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We went to the potting garden, but it was closed…. Daddy wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t want to, so I just ran off to the gravel pit in front!

Which was my favourite place in the whole park 🙂

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Mummy and Daddy were bewildered that of all the cool treehouses and play areas, my favourite was this bare, empty gravel pit. I guess I’m just a simple little man 🙂

Stomp stomp stomp… Love the feel of these rocks under my feet. Let’s have some of these at home! In fact, I heard Mummy telling Daddy she wants to convert our balcony to a ‘gravel pit’, since we still haven’t found a use for it. There was quite a long silence after that…. 

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Loved playing with these dye-ing plants too…. There was a nice fragrance of pandan all around.  I spent such a long time there. Mummy and Daddy kept trying to get me to move on, but I refused.

They brought me to the log nearby to use as a balancing beam, but again, that was too high level for me….

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I want to go back to the gravel pit… Let me go!

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There were many planes flying over that day. Granny told me to cover my ears whenever I heard those sounds.

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Mummy wanted to take a short break in this hut (she wanted to take breaks everywhere, actually), but I just wanted to run out! This was a better balancing beam for me. After this hut, I ran all the way to the swinging suspension bridge….

Daddy kept rocking the bridge cos he was so heavy… I wanted to run away from him!

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Stop holding me back Daddy!

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Go ahead of me Daddy. I want the bridge all to myself!

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After the bridge, we went over to the cave and waterfall! Daddy tried to relive his teacher days by telling me that it was a waterfall – DUH?… it’s water that’s falling? No wonder Daddy’s an English teacher. 

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Bored by Daddy’s ‘lesson’, I ventured into the cave on my own to explore, which was way more fun! 

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And Mummy was totally off-topic. She was going on about how the flooring would make nice toilet tiles. No wonder Daddy had to go into his man-cave as u will see later..

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I was so attracted to the water… Why can’t we have a shower like this in our home?

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Below’s a pic of Daddy again, sitting down trying to teach me about the ‘man cave’… Something about how every man needs to have his own space from time to time.

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Well I could relate. I needed my own space too, away from my parents and their camera, so on to the highlight of my trip – baby bananas!

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I could easily eat 10 of these!

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Oh… the plane sound again!

Next up, we went to the maze! Honestly, this was the one area I could have really played in, but Daddy was too warm, so all we did was…

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… Take a photo there. Didn’t Daddy read all those articles Mummy sent him about the importance of free play? (Psst.. scroll all the way up, the article up there is Mummy’s favourite)

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SO, we didn’t get to play in the maze, but went on to the sand pit with a see-saw that was way too big for me (and too small for Daddy). 

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And this musical play area with various percussion-like objects…

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I heard Mummy mumbling about the objective of the trip being nature exploration.. But really, what I liked most was being able to walk by myself…

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And run!

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Had to take the chance to run ‘coz I’ve been overhearing whispering about getting me a baby leash for shopping malls as I run too fast now *doe eyes* that’s baby cruelty!

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Dylan: That ends my first trip to the Jacob Ballas Garden. When my baby sister is born, I’m gonna bring her here and introduce her to the awesome gravel pit.

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