Friday 2 October 2015

eXplorerkid at AMK Hub

Kaitlin's been pretty into indoor playgrounds lately. We have brought her since she was before a year old but she's usually be either too tiny or too afraid to play on her own. Sometimes even getting her to go down a slide would be pretty hard. However, of late she's been getting more brave and is able to play on her own at times. That means, I don't have to squeeze through all the obstacles and feel so sad about how I'm growing old and am no longer flexible!

She's been asking us to bring her to play at the indoor playgrounds, but as we all know, indoor playground's aren't that cheap and we don't want Kaitlin to think that we would bring her whenever she wants to if not she'll get used to it and take such trips for granted. As such, when I told her that I would be bringing her to play at an indoor playground that's she never been to before, she got really excited. 

Thanks to Kai Yan from NTUC Club, we had the opportunity to check out eXplorerkid! There are two eXplorerkid indoor playgrounds in Singapore, one at Ang Mo Kio and one at Downtown East. I was happy to hear that they had an outlet at AMK cos that's way more convenient for us!

Located on the fourth storey of AMK Hub, getting to eXplorerkid was easy for us. We just had to take a train down. No need to transfer to another bus or walk a distance in the hot sun to get to there. I know of two indoor playgrounds that we like to visit, but they're located pretty far from the main road that we don't go there as often as we would have liked to. Especially since we don't drive, the fact that eXplorerkid is located within the mall that was connected to the MRT was perfect for us!

We went on a Saturday morning, and was happy to find that it wasn't as crowded as I expected. That's a really good thing cos there are indoor playgrounds that we've been to that get crazy crowded that it's so chaotic. So much so that I wouldn't even want to step in, cos what's the point. Kaitlin would barely be able to play and may even get into accidents due to rowdy kids and the lack of space.

At the entrance area, you'll be able to pay for entry into the playground as well as purchase socks if you have forgotten to bring a pair. There are also some beverages which can be purchased should anyone get thirsty. Adults and kids can keep their shoes at the shoe corner which has ample cubby holes.

Upon entering, there a few different areas that the kids can head to. The one that caught our attention was the lit ball pool! I've seen lots of ball pools at playgrounds but this was the first time seeing a lit up one. Sure, you may say that is just ball pool with light, but if you ask me it's definitely way more fun than a regular ball pool. It's different plus the the fact that it lights up encourages kids to not just play but explore as well. The light colours change too! Kaitlin had lots of fun showing me that the colours were changing and so were the balls in the pool and that sparked her curiosity and then came a whole string of questions! 

There's also a swing and mini slide available that's more suited for babies and young toddlers. There's only one, so kids would have to take turns.

If your kids are into ball pools, there's also the regular ball pool at eXplorerkid!

Besides that, there's of course the obstacle play system! This would be more suited for the older toddlers but if it's not crowded, I personally think that it'll be fine for the youngers ones as well. Of course, I'm not saying it's totally accident free cos well accidents do happen, so if you do intend to let the younger ones play I would suggest to follow them around.

I went around the play system with Kaitlin a few times and thankfully the obstacles weren't too hard for me to get around so that's a relieve for parents who are worrying if you'll have a hard time following your kids around it.

The play system itself was clean and in good condition, which is always a good thing! Cleanliness and hygiene is especially important at indoor playground areas and seeing that the play system was well maintained I was able to put my mind at ease to let Kaitlin play on her own.

Within the play system, older kids would be happy to find a foam ball play station where they are vacuums and canons to throw and blast balls across two levels. We didn't play with these as Kaitlin's a little young for it. It did look like lots of fun though, and I think I may get Daddy Li to go with her the next time round to play this with her!

The plus point about eXplorerkid is that they have a baby care room within the indoor playground itself. While the room may be smaller than the diaper rooms at malls, it is especially useful when babies suddenly start fussing and you've to breastfeed  or if there's that emergency poop you need to clean up. It also means that you don't have to queue up with the rest of the crowd queuing up to use the diaper rooms at AMK Hub.

I also liked that eXplorerkid had lockers around the playground. Great for keeping your belongings safe. I've been to some indoor playgrounds that don't have any lockers and that means having to bring your belongings wherever you go and that can be quite a hassle if you're the only caregiver around and are playing around the play system with the kids. 

There are lots of tables and chairs for kids and adults to sit down and take a rest, and if your a busy parent who needs to multi-task looking after the kids while replying work emails, you'll be happy to know that free Wi-Fi is available. Table and chairs are spread out which is great as caregivers can sit down and be able to see and look after the kids at whichever spot they may be playing at instead of having to keep going over to check. Sanitizer dispensers are also available which makes it convenient to keep the hands of our young ones clean.

I got to admit that I was initially not expecting much of the playground due to the seemingly small space. However, I've got to say it's more than enough for babies and toddlers! Besides being a clean and fun environment for kids to play at, I was impressed with the well-maintained play areas and the watchful staff. There was one staff in particular who stepped into the play area when she noticed older kids playing at the area meant for younger kids and when she saw that some of the kids were playing in a manner that could hurt other children. The fact that the staff aren't just sitting around and are actually keeping an eye on the kids really makes me feel assured to let Kaitlin go around and play. Kaitlin had lots of fun at eXplorerkid and I've already added it into my to-go indoor playground list!

For more info about eXplorerkid such as their play rates and party packages you can head over to their website or keep updated with their promotions and happenings on their Facebook page

Disclaimer: We were invited to play at eXplorerkid indoor playground at AMK Hub. All content and opinions are my own and were not influenced by any externals factors.

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