The wait is over! Kidzania Singapore held its grand opening yesterday, April 12, and the crowd reaction was healthy from the get-go.
Housed in a purpose-built building (Palawan Kidz City at Palawan Beach, Sentosa), the 7,600 sqm facility (that’s equal to six Olympic-sized swimming pools!) is the 23rd Kidzania City in the world and the first to be located on an island resort.
If you haven’t heard of the attraction before, the indoor edutainment centre models a real city in which kids take on various role-play positions from different industries to keep the town running.
It’s best for kids aged four and up, but there are a couple of activities for the younger ones as well. Visit www.kidzania.com.sg for more information.
Kidzania Singapore: tips for parents
At its opening, the centre had 37 industry partners – 17 of which are local brands – and over 60 activities that double as learning experiences for the kids.
Here are eight important lessons that your child will learn during his time there.
1. INDEPENDENCE AND DECISION MAKING
From the get-go, kids are thrown into a whirlwind of independence. With very few exceptions, parents are not allowed into the job stations, so kids must learn to cut the cord and navigate through the jobs – and “life” – on their own.
2. FINANCIAL SKILLS AND RESPONSIBILITY
Upon check-in at the airport counters, your little one will receive 20 kidZos and a bank card with 30 kidZos (the official currency of Kidzania).
Some activities let kids earn kidZos, while others require kids to pay. For example, they can pick up new skills at the University, or buys a service like making a burger or ice cream.
To help keep track of their cashflow, kids can open an account at the Bank. They’ll learn to manage a bank account and atm card, which can be done at teller counters or via iKiosks – just like in real life.
As they hop from activity to activity, kids drop the shyness (if they had any to begin with) and get lost in the fun. If yours needs an extra boost of self-esteem, encourage him to pop by the Acting Academy or Fashion Boutique for some acting or modelling lessons. Then he can take centre stage at the Theatre or strut his stuff on the catwalk. If he loves the limelight, give a show to the entire city at the Clock Tower, which runs a short sing-and-dance performance every hour.
Of course, just as your child won’t be able to get through real life alone, lots of activities in the City require teamwork. Taking on a job as a firefighter? He’ll need the cooperation of his entire team to put out the fire at the old hotel. Likewise if he’s joining the police force or a sports team at the Stadium.
Taking a job as a radio presenter or journalist at the Radio Station or Newspaper Edition is a surefire way to hone those communication skills. But your child will also have lots of other smaller chances to practice. Members of the Water Delivery Crew, cash officers at the Vault and parcel couriers are often seen traveling the streets of Kidzania with their carts, delivering their wares, providing plenty of interaction with other kids and employees at various jobs.
6. HEALTH EDUCATION
Various F&B jobs do more than give your child a chance to make his own meal. While working at the Pizza Shop, Chicken Restaurant, Soup Kitchen and Ice Cream Factory, he’ll gain a better understanding about food hygiene and ingredients, as well as nutrition and healthy eating.
Meanwhile, at the health institute, researchers learn about the importance of personal hygiene as they make their own soap. And at the Science Lab, junior scientists learn the difference between good and bad bacterias and how both affect the body.
7. PROBLEM SOLVING AND CRITICAL THINKING
If your kid enjoys working his brain cells, he’ll love working as a Crime Scene Investigator. With his fellow detectives, he’ll set out to solve various cases by picking out clues spread around the City.
Finally, kids learn that nothing comes easy. Money only comes from work, but it takes more than just one quick job to afford luxuries.
At the Department Store (where parents are not allowed entry), a pen can cost 50 kidZos, so it takes time, hard work, and more than one job before they can save up to buy that pretty item of the shelf.
And just like how money doesn’t grow on trees, parents aren’t allowed to buy more kidZos for their children.
(Photos: Young Parents)