SAFRA Punggol’s indoor wet playground has become the first of its kind to win a top landscape award. Splash@Kidz Amaze took home the Best of Category Award (Playground) presented by the Landscape Industry Association (Singapore), as its themed design and zoned play areas earned top marks across the key criteria of Creativity, Spatial Awareness and Safety, and Overall Layout at the seventh edition of the award.
“With its zoned layout, it caters to families with children of different ages,” explained Sharmila D/O Vijayakanathan, Assistant Director, Education Services. “Toddlers can safely explore in the waters’ safe depth of 0.3m, while older children can enjoy the exciting slides and multiple play decks.” She added that Splash’s unique positioning of play elements, including water jets and clever lighting, helps children slow down and explore the environment. Judges for the awards, a competition that generates awareness and recognition for outstanding landscape projects, had visited Splash to examine its play elements, layout and design, as well as speak to customers. They also considered unique selling points and maintenance plans before awarding it the highest award for its category.
The opening of Kidz Amaze at SAFRA Jurong – its “ball o city” arena, with an 18.5m slide, was Asia’s tallest – in 2009 was followed by the opening of Kidz Amaze Toa Payoh in 2014 and Splash@Kidz Amaze in 2016. The LIAS award is the fourth collective accolade for Kidz Amaze, which has close to 12,000 registered members. Sharmila credited its success and popularity to the passionate staff, who always strive to meet the needs of children and their families through heightened engagement.
“Kidz Amaze takes pride in serving NSmen and their families in appreciation of their contribution to the country,” she said, adding that close to 90 percent of customers are SAFRA members, who enjoy a significant discount of almost 30 percent. So what was the inspiration behind the themed indoor wet playground? According to Sharmila, the concept was first proposed by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress and former President of SAFRA.
To translate dreams into reality, an avid Kidz Amaze team sought input from its young clientele and took serious consideration of all ideas presented before designing and developing the playground, in consultation with professionals.
More To Come
Sharmila, who has a Masters in Education and a 16-year background in the early childhood industry, recognised that play is “serious business” to a child. She added that Kids Amaze aims to be a community enabler in helping children develop holistically by learning through play. “My vision for Kidz Amaze is to be a market leader in the playground industry,” she said. “As a playground, there are so many ‘teachable moments’.” One example is the current Good Behaviour Campaign, organised in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement, to bring out the sense of kindness in children at the playground through a series of characterbuilding activities. Kidz Amaze has also roped in a group of enthusiastic kids for another project to formulate a set of rules called “Our Playground Rules” for all users.
“I ask myself, ‘What do children really enjoy?’ and how do I ensure that family members find their visits memorable and fulfilling, and wish to return for more fun?” said Sharmila. To ensure fun and unique play sessions at all three Kidz Amaze playgrounds, Kidz Amaze is exploring the possibility of integrating digital experiences. As Kidz Amaze continues to work on improving its customers’ experiences and achieving a market-leader status, getting awards only offers some satisfaction to Sharmila, who said: “The greatest satisfaction I derive is from the happy faces of our kids and their families.”
Kidz Amaze is a great place for families with children of different ages. Here are some tips from Families for Life on how to spend an enjoyable day bonding with your family:
1. A healthy breakfast
The first meal of the day helps you gear up for the day’s activities. Rise and shine as a family, enjoy breakfast to kickstart your metabolism, and have an engaging conversation on the day’s plans.
2. Plan a monthly excursion
Think of a new place to visit each month. Consider different themes: a visit to the museum, a walk in the park or even a cooking class to attend together. For more educational fun, get your kids to help plan the excursion on a fixed budget.
3. After-dinner walks
If you’ve already made time for dinner with the kids, why not go for a leisurely walk afterwards? It’s a healthy activity, aids digestion, and is a fun way to explore different places in Singapore. It’s also a chance for them to get to know you better. For more tips on how to spend quality family time, please visit www.familiesforlife.sg.