30 April 2012, by Jaime Teo

Parenting Lesson #846

I’ve never been a fan of indoor play areas. The aversion is due to an article I read about a year plus ago, about how difficult it is to maintain a germ free environment in these places. Worst of all are the ball pens which draw little children like magnets. They are supposed to be cesspits of germs because kids dribble and leak bodily fluids into them. My fear was cemented by my nephew and brother-in-law who caught some serious tummy bug after visiting an indoor play ground and both were hospitalized!

So naturally, I’ve been adamant about not letting Renee into indoor play areas, especially ball pens. We were at United Sq quite a bit last year because she was attending Growing Up Gifted plus I have my shop to attend to. There was this ball pen at the basement where she’d stand around, walk around, lean against, but never climbed into because Mommy has told her many times that she cannot go inside. On the few occasions that I let her wander off by herself while hiding behind pillars (it’s a game that makes me look extremely silly/negligent =p), she would make her way fearlessly and without a backward glance, to the ball pen. Just to look.

It does feel like I’m such a party pooper (even though it’s for her good and Mommy knows best… …) so I bought her many balls to fill up her playpen with.

It is quite fun…

See? She’s smiling and happy!

If you have nothing to compare it with.

I have seen the look of longing in her eyes when she’s surfing on Youtube and finds these videos of people having fun in BIG ball pens. It is heart wrenching. It doesn’t help that everyone is usually shrieking with joy and having a whale of a time.

So for Renee’s 2nd birthday, we decided to give her (I think you guessed it already), her first trip to Fidgets at Turf City — it’s one of the biggest indoor play area for kids. Oh and of course they have the mandatory ball pen area for kids below four so children of the same age group play together.

It’s no surprise that she had a blast! I made sure she sanitized her hands before and after the visit but you know, if she catches something, she catches something. Some people call it immunity building. I call it lucky nothing happened. =p

Then next, I discovered that a place called Sing Kids has opened where the old ball pen at United Sq used to be — this brought her love for ball pens to a new level! To be honest, even I fell in love with this bright, clean looking and fun indoor playground. There’s THE ball pen in an inflatable float; there’s the balloon pen with multi coloured balloons being blown around; there’re all sorts of moving play structures for the older kids to climb on. I took videos of her jumping into the ball pen so she could relive her ballpen moments again and again and again — it’s her most requested for video at the moment.

Video Link Here (I’m sorry – not sure why the video refuses to be embedded in this post =p)

I wonder what took me so long to let her have some fun *hang head*.  It’s a reminder to myself that sometimes in life, we have to take risks and not be afraid of the what ifs.

And that’s the wonder of being a parent — a daily reminder to see the fun and novelty in little things!

Posted on : April 30, 2012

Filed under : New Mums & Dads



May 17th, 2012 at 1:24 am    

Thanks for your advice!

Jaime Teo

Jaime Teo

May 14th, 2012 at 12:33 am    

Sorry for the late replies! Haven’t logged in inawhile….

Apple : Thanks for the welcome =D

Joyce : I got flashcards at Toy R Us – it’s the baby einstein series. There are cheaper versions but those bend/fold/crease so easily I think it’s worth it to pay a little more for those that are made of hard cardboard (ie: lasting). I think every child has their own learning curve so no worries but you shd speak to your PD if you are really concerned =)

alex : haha i always tell myself to use those sanitising things more!!


May 3rd, 2012 at 1:44 am    

Ha ha, I’m glad I’m not the only paranoid mum about ball pens! I’ve used so much dettol sanitizer on my kids they could give me an award! 😉


May 2nd, 2012 at 3:06 am    

May I know where you get the flash card for your girl renee? My son at 2.5yo still cannot say a word. quite surprise your girl knows so much. do you mind sharing with me?

Apple Lee

May 1st, 2012 at 2:30 pm    

My son has tremendous fun at Singkids too. Despite having a ball pen, slide, swing at home, I can see he enjoys more playing outside, guess it is the kids screaming together that makes even more fun. For me, other than the “germs” that are flying around, I am also worried about older kids pushing/ knocking my son who is rather small. It happens before and I am glad he has an older cousin who will rush into the ball pen and rescue him! hehee

P/s; Welcome back!

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