Back to nature at Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Have you been to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden (I mean the extended version) yet? I think most of you have been there, except us? Haha, this is how suaku (meaning uncool/unworldly) we are because we usually try to avoid crowds, especially with newly opened places.
Finally, we made a trip there recently and it was interesting not only for the kids, also for the adults too. Their staffs greeted us with a big smile on their face (it was a weekend) and they gave us a map to explore the place. The staffs even encouraged smarties to try out the new flying fox in the Forest section. Seems like flying fox is a noteworthy place.
Image taken from https://www.nparks.gov.sg
We started off with the Learn section and there was an activity running at the Nature Play Pavilion where baskets of mini stones and pebbles were placed around the area. Everyone is free to take and make some designs out of it. At the end of the play, you just need to place everything back into the basket. Smarties only played with this for a short period of time as they got bored very soon. Gor gor then planned the rest of the day with a map in his hand: where he wanted to explore and what he wanted to do.
The next section that he wanted to head to was the Explore section. Along the way, there were really many discoveries! During our home learning Science lesson, we started learning about fungus. Guess what, over here in the garden, gor gor spotted different types of fungus along the way. He was busy trying to recognize and identify them. At the same time, his sister was following and learning from him. Now, this is what we call learning in nature and nature is the best teacher.
Every few steps they took, they discovered something new and/or familiar. Throughout the day I could hear the smarties shouting out to me, “Look, mom! We learned this before!” or “Look, mom! What is this?” I would scurry around them to see what their discovery would be.
Smarties were amazed at how things, such as this boat here, can be recycled for growing plants in it. It looked pretty nice too!
They have a book about baobab trees and we actually saw it here! The kids were so excited that they requested to take a photo with the tree. Yep, the tree was a celebrity for a moment.
Do you know where the food comes from? I have chatted with my many children and many of them thought the food comes from the supermarket, only. With all the gadgets and malls sprouting around us, it is no wonder the children do not know exactly where the food comes from. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden did very well here as they have set up a section where it explained where the food actually comes from with illustrations.
There is a mini greenhouse where all the potted plants were displayed and we were trying to figure out what those plants were. Do you know if this is bell pepper or tomato?
Right next to the greenhouse, there were some compost bins. What does compost means and why the need for compost bins? Composting is actually a process of recycling material such as leaves and vegetable scraps into a rich soil amendment that gardeners can use for gardening. These compost bins are used for collecting the materials.
We opened up one of the bins and we saw insects and worms in it. Smarties immediately closed it.
There were different types of playgrounds to let the little ones to enjoy and have fun. If you are hungry, there’s even a cafe located there within the area.
Finally, we found the flying fox but there was a long queue for it hence smarties didn’t want to join and preferred to explore the nature further. So we headed off for more discoveries instead.
While we walked out of the flying fox section, smarties found a board explaining how cola is being made. I didn’t even know it was from the tree. How interesting is that!
The trip to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden was fun and enriching. There’s always something new to discover and something old (what we have learned before) to remind us. Learning outdoor is an immediate absorption of knowledge because we get to see, feel and connect to it. Most of all, I love the moments where the big brother explained and shared his knowledge with his little sister. It was a great family bonding session for all of us.
We are truly blessed with limited land space yet we have the largest children’s garden in Asia that is dedicated to children with a complete nature-learning environment. Thank you for such an awesome job done for our next generation.
8.00am – 7.00pm (last admission at 6.30pm) The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is closed on Mondays (except when it falls on a designated public holiday)
Refreshments are available at the entrance of Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
Free admission. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is designed for children aged 14 and below. Children aged 12 and below must be accompanied by an adult. To promote a safe environment for children, adults are permitted entry only if accompanying a child. Adult visitors without children must consult the Service Desk for entry, which is normally permitted only when accompanied by NParks’ staff.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
For more details, do check out their website at: https://www.sbg.org.sg/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=686&Itemid=249