Locally designed playgrounds were introduced to Singapore’s housing estates in the early 1970s by the Housing & Development Board (HDB). These pioneer generation playgrounds mostly consisted of merry-go-rounds, swings, see-saws and slides.
In the late 70s, HDB began to build playgrounds that reflected Singapore’s culture and identity. One such design was the iconic dragon playground designed in 1979 by Khor Ean Ghee, HDB’s in-house designer. He drew his inspiration from the Oriental dragon commonly seen among the Chinese community in Singapore.
However, these old playgrounds were phased out in Singapore in 1993 due to safety concerns and were gradually replaced by ‘plastic’ playgrounds imported from overseas.
Some of the specially designed playgrounds of yesteryear include the dove and pyramid, clock, sampan, elephant, mangosteen, watermelon, etc though many have already been demolished.
TNAP did a quick search and rounded up the last remaining heritage Dragon Playgrounds in Singapore for you.
1. Full Dragon Playground Toa Payoh Lorong 6
The most famous one of the 4 dragons is located at Toa Payoh Lor 1 (opp SAFRA Toa Payoh). This is the only one with a sandpit.
The Toa Payoh dragon playground was picked by New York culture blog, Flavorwire.com, as one of 15 amazing playgrounds from all over the world. As announced by HDB, the iconic playground at Toa Payoh with a sandpit will be preserved. You may like to read more at Dragon Playground Toa Payoh Lorong 6.
2. Mini Dragon Playground Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Somewhere nearby is a smaller version of the dragon at Toa Payoh Lor 1. With just stairs on one side and slide at and will be more suitable for younger children. More pictures at Mini Dragon Playground Toa Payoh Lorong 1.
3. Full Dragon Playground Ang Mo Kio Ave 3
Travel abit up north and you can find another full sized dragon at Ang Mo Kio Ave 3. This is a fully mosaic playground, including the slides. Find out more at Dragon Playground Ang Mo Kio Ave 3.
4. Baby Dragon Playground Pipit Road MacPherson
The last dragon is located a little to the east which is also another mini one that is similar to Toa Payoh Lor 1. Read more at
Dragon Playground Pipit Road MacPherson.
While the iconic Toa Payoh playground will be left unscathed, the rest may not so do hurry and bring your child to visit before they are gone forever.
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