Most homeschoolers along with other groups, were blessed to be given a preview of this newly opened play city in Taguig called KidZania. This is strategically located at the Park Triangle in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, where Lego Manila is also housed. It’s right across the International Schools and Market Market. My husband who works at the one of the International Schools nearby walked a good 10 minutes to KidZania.
It is a play city where kids can learn, interact and meet new people and do what adults do… they work! And they work hard for the KidZos! (KidZos is KidZania’s currency) Their dream jobs can be reality for one day. There were so many careers to choose from. They can be firefighters, emergency technicians, nurses, store keepers, cable guys, media people (print, radio and TV) veterinarians, stylist, models, pharmacists, hotel staff, police officers and even lawyers or pilots! There isn’t any job your kid wouldn’t enjoy doing in this superb kid world.
A fellow homeschooling mom who went on the first day already gave me a heads up of what to expect and what to do. So we prepared ourselves too. We checked the official website of KidZania and saw the jobs that the kids could get into.
On Thursday, August 6, the kids and I arrived at the “city” just before 1PM to get ourselves settled. We lined up at the KidZania International Airport, which resembled real airport counters. We paid our tickets and the attendant tagged our bracelets individually. He also handed out the KidZania City Codes or house rules, a Map, and our boarding passes. Each child received a check worth 50 Kidzos that were to be exchanged for cash at the bank for to be used in the city.
Upon entering, I was impressed by the KidZania world! It’s a real city built in a smaller scale for the kids! The cobble-stone liked streets, buildings, traffic lights were so real haha! There were also known establishments like LBC, MiniStop, Philippine Daily Inquirer, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Centro Escolar University (my alma mater), Holiday Inn Hotel in mini versions that were set up with all their equipment and paraphernalia. Just a thought, If we can take out all the adults and just let the kids “live” on their own in the city, that would be fun to watch.
Only kids were allowed inside the establishments or offices. Adults were behind glass doors and content on viewing and taking photos of the kids. In fact, we were advised by Donna Pangilinan-Simpao, head of the Homeschoolers of the Philippines FB group to avoid hovering over the kids. And I did. I took a step back and allowed them to decide on their own. There were some instances were I tried to persuade my kids to work at certain jobs but they were not interested so I didn’t push it anymore.
What caught my attention, aside from the very efficient, well-trained staff, security, Zupervisors, and guides was the way they talked to the kids. Aside from the KidZania greeting, “Kai” which is “Hi” in KidZania world, they would address the kids as “Mister” or “Miss” which showed that they were treated as grown ups in KidZania world.
It was heartwarming to see them work wearing their respective coats. Jacob looked so handsome as a car designer and car salesman at the Honda dealership. He looked so grown up, waah! The Zupervisors coached the kids about the job and what to do. After the briefing, a pretend customer came in to the dealership and asked about the Honda Jazz that was on their showroom. Being a car enthusiast, I don’t think Jacob didn’t have a hard time explaining and showing the features of the car. His communication skills and the way he handled the customer I believed were being trained. If I could only hear their conversation… remember I took steps back that’s why most of my photos were blurry. After about 20 minutes, he was paid 15 KidZos.
Sadly, he was not able to design a car at Honda. I don’t know why because he did give me a clear response. But as we were talking, he said that his heart is leading him to really work in the car industry when he grows up. I think he will be the one to live his father’s dream 🙂
He also worked as Logistics officer at the LBC Courier Service and a CSI detective and police officer at the KidZania Police Department. He tried to get a driver’s license at the Driving Academy but he was over the maximum height. He also lined up to be a firefighter and a pilot but got impatient because the lines were quite long too. I noticed that he was one of the tallest kids there and he probably felt awkward queueing with small kids.
Jianne’s first job was a veterinarian. She couldn’t even pronounce the word but she really enjoyed working with animals most especially cats. She said that she chatted with the Veterinarian on duty and shared that she loves cats. The stuffed cat felt real, she said because it weighed like a real cat. She was paid 7 KidZos at the clinic. She also told me that she really wants to work in a clinic for pets when she grows up…hoping she won’t change her mind.
Her other jobs included a pharmacist, a nurse, an emergency technician and a housekeeping staff at the hotel. This girl did not show any signs of fatigue, while I was so exhausted after two hours. I had to check on each kid while doing their jobs and i had to walk around the city for that. It’s a must that you were comfortable shoes for there will be a lot of walking, standing and waiting in line.
There were some establishments like the bakery and ice cream shop where the kids have to pay in order to get in. They were taught how to prepare their food and they get to eat their food or take it home with them.
Even if the kids already knew where they want to work, I encouraged them to take the personality test at the Job Center to know which jobs would fit them. After finding out what they were more inclined to do based on their personalities, it was easy for them to do the work. Jianne’s personality came out as Caring, thus the nurturing jobs. While Jacob’s was Curious, that’s why he worked at the courier office and other suggested jobs include food technology and working at the bank.
They were not able to complete all the jobs but they want to go back. KidZania is an awesome city for kids to value learning and working like adults through pretend play. What are you waiting for, go ahead and book your work/play day at KidZania! ZU there!
KidZania Operating Hours:
Mondays to Thursdays 9AM to 4PM;
Fridays to Sundays including Holidays 9AM to 2PM, 3PM to 8PM
Ticket prices from August 7 to October 7, 2015 check here.