Indoor playgrounds are a blessing or a bane for parents, depending on how you approach playgrounds in general. HDB and NParks has put in public-access playgrounds into just about every estate and park in Singapore, and a number of them are even quite interesting, though most are admittedly very basic. You’ve got play areas in shopping malls, too, but seasoned parents will tell you it takes more time away from actual shopping since you usually can’t just leave your child in a shopping mall playground without supervision.
The mark of a successful paid-entry indoor playground, then, is enough complexity to engage your child for hours and as little complexity in parents’ concerns during children’s play. That’s a very tough balance to maintain, but it seems almost effortlessly executed at The Polliwogs @ Robertson Walk.
The main arena
Having opened its doors in early July 2012 (and officially opened on 31 August), the 8,500 square-feet “Family and Children Entertainment and Recreational Facility” is the second Polliwogs installation after its 3-year-old East Coast Park establishment. The play area boasts a 2-level maze of giant wave slides, ball pits, a rock-climbing wall, a flying fox and a ball cannon enclosure that really redefines the term “war zone” for both parents and kids, though meanings will differ between the 2 generations (your children will typically play gun-wielding soldiers while you get victimised as civilians).
For the toddlers
Tucked safely away from the war zone is a toddler’s area where much less challenging but no less engaging slides, enclosed ball pit and a padded spinning pagoda are housed. The feature backlit mini-slide is particularly eye-catching, with a beautiful blue flowing waterfall encased underneath the slide’s surface, so the only wetness you need to deal with here is your child’s perspiration.
The water bed
Of special mention is a similarly back-lit water bed tucked in the heart of the main play area, which can be either relaxing or invigorating, depending on who’s sitting on it at the time. It can be quite scary for a large parent (like me) to step on for fear of bursting the flexible transparent overlay, but don’t worry too much. If it’s strong enough for up to 8 kids to bounce on, it’s probably strong enough for you. Probably.
The Polliwogs @ Robertson Walk also handles parties for up to 100 people at a time with their modular function rooms tucked at the back of the premises, complete with little tables and chairs. But The Polliwogs also conducts activity sessions on certain days at both their centres, so do check for availability.
There’s also a hand-washing area and nursing room sandwiched between the cafe and function rooms, but the nursing room can really only has space to handle one nursing mum at a time. Also, toilets are located outside of the establishment, so clear your kid’s system first before you head in to avoid any “accidents” (the centre charges a $30 clean-up fee, so diapers are also compulsory for non-toilet trained kids).
There’s more than ample seating at the cafe and along the side of the main play area (so sharp-eyed parents can look through the nets to see how their kids are doing), as well as free wifi and an international selection of reading materials for parents.
If you’re the kind of parent that charges head first with your kid into the ball pit (like me, because I had a rather deprived childhood), you may have experienced other indoor playgrounds with kid-sized crawlspaces that may take a toll on your back. The Polliwogs @ Robertson Walk is no different. But remember, they made it for your kids, not you. That being said, The Polliwogs does want to encourage healthy parent-child bonding through multi-sensory play, and will soon be introducing more multi-sensory, multi-disciplined programmes for parents and children (both alone as well as parent-accompanied). Kidlander will keep you updated in about what’s in store.Posted in Uncategorized