Parents (practitioners of the helicopter style or otherwise), often fret about what their kids are going to turn out to “be” and how much influence they will have once they’re grown up.
A company like Kidzania dispels those fears by making play out of work. Each of the 23 Kidzania branches around the world offers children a play space filled with career opportunities, where children can costume themselves, handle tools, and otherwise engage in fulfilling – or less fulfilling – occupations.
They call it play, we call it co-working.
Take a look at the company’s video for a better sense of what we mean.
Simplifying Real World Career Choices
Will he be a doctor (his mom was)? Will she be an chef (her dad is)? Won’t he ever grow out of wanting to be a train conductor? At Kidzania, whose motto is Get Ready for a Better World!, children role play at dozens of activities staged in an indoor area.
The KidZania branch in Mumbai, India, for example, is a 75,000-square-foot hangar packed with battery-powered vehicles, paved roads and buildings. They house 65 establishments, such as a food shop, bank, hospital, fire station, airplane cockpit, jewelry workshop, radio station and much more.
KidZania guests have access to 90 role-playing activities, as well as grocery carts and plastic food items, wheelbarrows and bricks, cameras, paint palettes and canvases, fireman’s hats, currency and the other props needed to complete these jobs.
How Kids Learn through Play at Kidzania
Their marketing material says kids who participate in the many activities will learn a lot. The life lessons they emphasize include:
- Dignity of labor
- Hard work pays off
- Time Management
- Importance of teamwork
- Care for the environment
- Value of money
What More Could a Parent Want?
Kidzania tells parents they offer “activities focused on building social responsibility among kids.” Their only rules (we love this):
- KidZania is an educational city that stimulates creative thinking and boosts self-esteem.
- KidZania’s content does not allow weapons or violent outcomes as part of its activities.
- Kidzania does not have arcade games or amusement rides.
Where to Find a Kidzania on Your Next Trip
If there’s no Kidzania near you, there are several opportunities to visit one with your family. Check out their work places in Bangkok, Cairo, Cuicuilco, Dubai, Istanbul, Jakarta, Jeddah, Koshien, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, Lisbon, London, Monterrey, Mumbai, Santa Fe, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, and soon to come, Delhi.
Founded in 1996 by Lopez Ancona and a group of fellow Mexican businessmen, the KidZania company says they have already entertained and engaged more than 25 million people in “metropolises” or locations around the world. For more information about visiting one on your next travels, please see Kidzania.
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