Little Planet Playland: Toddler playpen unlocks your kids’ minds!
The play area is divided into sections: there is a market place, kitchen and café, fishing area, sand play area and a castle role play area.
Singapore has many toddler play areas. Little Planet Playland, which joined the circuit last year, is a play area with a difference. Tucked away in The Centrepoint mall at Orchard Road, this small-scale outfit, is perfect for kiddies who want to explore and dash about, and let their imaginations go crazy. And Mommies, listen up, the benefits of pretend play are numerous.
We visit the playground one evening, to check out what draws the little ones here. Here’s our take...
The play area, though fairly compact, has enough going on inside. The area is divided into sections: there is a market place, kitchen and café, fishing area, sand play area and a castle role play area. “The objective of these themed play areas is to mimic a grown up’s world,” says Jane Tan, founder of Little Planet Playland.
The areas are built in a way that fragile little ones, and rambunctious older ones, can play alongside. Jane conceptualised the idea when she wanted something similar for her 2 year old son, who wasn't fond of the other indoor playgrounds with the slides and jumping equipment. "The other similar place is The City at Liang Court, but ours is based on a different theme," says Tan.
The kitchen play area is a bit hit, and makes kids feel like mini chefs in a real kitchen. Love the level of detailing they have put into designing the space: besides the pots and pans, cutlery is organized like a real kitchen. There are drinking cups, chopping board et al. There are multiple kitchen stations so that kids can play alongside. It was super cute watching little ones in action, from washing their hands to stirring make-believe porridge.
Alongside the kitchen area, is a mini grocery store. The kids instantly take to the mini-carts, which they can tug around. For a change, they are in control, without having to sit in a stroller, while mommy shops! Little bubs can shop for their favourite fruits and vegetables. Yes, they have a wide stock of apples, bananas, cabbage, cauliflower and the like!
A bakery station is also present, where breads and other baked goodies like cake and muffins are lined up, like a real bakery. They have tiny tongs that kids can use: a great activity for developing fine motor skills. Perhaps, it would have been a better idea to do away with such a large cake section. Appears like some kids had imagined it to be the real thing, and bitten away!
We move on to the fishing area, where tiny fishing rods are stacked for kids to use. Fish with magnets in the mouth, are strewn across the play area. The older ones with better hand-eye coordination can try a hand at fishing, but the little ones will love playing with the fish. My daughter took a fancy to the little boat stationed there, and wanted to fall over and catch the fish from the boat. Children have wild imaginations!
The sand play area is also fun, but sand is replaced by cassia seeds, which makes it less messy. "Also if a kid eats it, its totally safe," says Tan. My 2-year old loved digging with the tools. She tried making a sand castle, but funnily it did not stand! A second garden area, where kids can harvest vegetables (perhaps appropriate for an older age) is also interesting.
Check out the castle play area, with a tiny slide. This is small, but entertaining. If you are going out with a group, you can engage in some role-playing and story telling in this area.
The play was a huge hit with my 2-year old daughter who absolutely loved this compact play zone, and did not want to leave.
A tip for mommies who are visiting: strollers must be parked outside. Remember to bring socks, both for you and the baby. You cannot carry snacks inside, so ensure your bub is well-fed. There is no toilet inside, but use the one on the same level, down the hallway.
A great play area for rainy days, and otherwise.
Do you have any other play gyms that you love? Share with us some of your favourites.