Surrounded by greenery and sounds of nature, the Nature Playgarden at HortPark is designed with pre-schoolers in mind to encourage children to spend more time outdoors and reconnect with nature. Let children’s imagination run wild as they explore the nine different play features!
Things to Note:
- Although HortPark is opened from 6am to 11pm, the playgarden is lit by natural sunlight only. For your own safety, please refrain from entering at night or during bad weather.
The Building Huts
These two zones feature three teepees, and the ground is filled with sand and gravel respectively. Using sand and gravel allows children to create structures, modify the landscape, or interact with the medium. All teepees have open sides, so children can build upon it with twigs, branches, or big dried fronds found in the play areas. This feature can stimulate creativity and aid in the development of motor skills for children, and through teamwork and playing together, children can also develop their communication and social skills.
Children can work together to build houses and castles using natural materials such as timber cookies, wooden poles and tools provided at the Tool Board next to The Building Huts. This encourages children to use their imagination.
The Singing Seeds
This area for musical play is made up of hanging bamboo poles of different sizes, creating different pitched chimes as children move the poles, or when the wind blows. There are also hollow musical seesaws and wheels filled with seeds from the Saga Tree (Adenanthera pavonina), Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis) and seed pods of the Rattleweed (Crotolaria retusa), where children can rock and spin to listen to the percussion of the rolling seeds. This allows children to connect to nature with their senses through the sounds and materials of the equipment.
The Magical Woods
Clusters of Dillenia species such as Dillenia excelsa, D. philippinensis and D. suffruticosa create a series of tunnels and hideouts for children to explore, or seek refuge from the main flow of activity. Children can also get up close to the plants and observe birds and insects that pollinate the flowers and eat the fruits of the Dillenia species.
In this area, children will encounter water flowing through a series of channels carved from logs. The sight and feel of water stimulates the senses and allow children to explore materials that can float or sink, and manipulate the flow of water as they construct their own dams in their imaginative play.
This area for kitchen play has a table surrounded by fruit trees in The Treasure Trail where children can pretend to cook with some cooking tools. Loose materials such as dried fruits and leaves will be placed here in boxes as “ingredients”, for the imaginative play of children.
The Big Fig Adventure
This log play area within a grove of Fig Trees features a collection of logs that are made into steps, a table for gatherings, and a log hill. Besides a material connection with nature, the stepping stones allow the children to challenge themselves as they climb, balance, or jump, and develop their motor skills and physical fitness.
The Log Valley
Children can explore the valley made from logs, by climbing or balancing. The logs were placed along the existing topography of the area. This helps in developing physical fitness, motor and social skills and promoting self-efficacy.
Connecting the The Kitchen to The Big Fig Adventure is a series of crossing decks made of logs. After rain, children can also observe the flowing water in the drain, enhancing the experience of the place through seeing and hearing water, and alludes to the natural process of the water cycle.
The Secret Den
Children can take shelter from the elements, or to spend some quiet time individually or bond in small groups under a grove of bamboo. The sunlight streaming through the bamboo also creates diffuse lighting with changes in light and shadow as time passes, adding an extra dimension to the space. Children can also peek out and overlook The Log Valley.