Project Nostalgia: Dragon Playground.

Hope you’ve had a great lunar new year.

Largely inspired by Rediscover Singapore, I’ve undertaken a personal project, to capture forgotten bits of our past. Coincidentally, one of my first projects involve the old dragon playground, and I thought it be apt to kickstart the Dragon year with this post.

One of the few remaining sandbox playgrounds, this mosaic dragon sits in front of Blk 28, Toa Payoh Lor 6.

I still remember being greatly saddened by the sudden disappearance of sandboxes. It first started with the one I frequented after school, and almost immediately, every playground I saw was made of plastic and rubber.

The swift demolition of sandboxes happened in 1993, after a tragic mishap that led to investigations concluding concrete sandboxes to be unsafe for children.

I miss the innocent joy of burying random objects found, and then digging them out again the next day.

While I was there, the boy in this picture, as boys are, made one of the girls cry. As their parents weren’t around, I had to play mediator. At once, all memories of childish fights came back.

There was this other boy, who hurriedly took off his shoes, all ready to dash into the sandbox as his family heads home. He pleaded for a few minutes of play but his father wouldn’t allow. Sulkily he put on his shoes again and ran off.

We always lament about how different kids are nowadays, but I feel some things never change.

“Come here and wash your hands,” I heard a guardian say this familiar sentence after her kids done playing.

While it is good that playgrounds are now safer, I can’t help but feel a certain loss with the demise of such iconic structures. Below is a video excellently shot and edited by Rediscover Singapore, which I think everyone should watch.

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