In 1996, Xavier Lopez had a vision. He wanted to create an amusement park for kids where they would learn through play. He envisioned a play space that honored children as well as entertained them, and challenged them to think. Almost 10 years later and 19 additional locations under his belt, KidZania is now open in Manila.
Today, in a day and age where our children are more entertained by electronics and the promise of a wifi password when they walk into an establishment, KidZania puts the power of learning through play back into the hands of our children.
With its 20th location opening here in Manila, this extraordinary amusement park boasts 8000 square meters, in a place where kids rule. Fashioned after other cities all over the world, children learn, through play, about the role of working together, communities, the way things work, and in the process they create understandings of career choices and professional development, socializing and working together, and even economics and financial literacy.
When your child enters KidZania he is entering a world that operates in KidZos and is governed by KidZania laws. This community employs helpers like firemen, teachers, police officers, and doctors. Children will role play and learn about different professions through industry partners like Cebu Pacific, National Bookstore, Via Mare, Penshoppe, St. Luke’s, and Honda.
They will receive a paycheck for 50 KidZos when they enter this educational amusement park, and have the option to cash that check, deposit it into a BPI account, or even spend it on something that they would like to buy.
Through play, kids understand that pursuing a higher education can not only upgrade their pay scale, but also provide them with an opportunity to become an active member of the KidZania community.
They will have the opportunity to explore their interests and learn about urban farming, food production, and even veterinary medicine. By exploring their interests, these kids will also learn that there are different professions that can encourage creativity and yet still provide a paycheck.
Even in the KidZania Tiangge, there are tattoo artists who can teach the kids about traditional Filipino tattoos from the different islands located here in the Philippines.
KidZania Governor Maricel Pangilinan Arenas, explained Wednesday, July 29, at the press launch that KidZania has been 33 months in the making. The past 33 months have been spent working hand in hand with hand-picked industry partners, the Department of Education, and KidZania, all pulling from the newly implemented K-12 curriculum to ensure that kids are playing, learning, and reinforcing their understandings through the 5 tracks of Department of Education’s grand plan.
Through artisitic, athletic, literature, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities, KidZania provides the supplemental educational activities to encourage kids 4 years to 14 years old to learn by “doing.”
Parents are encouraged to follow their children as they discover their own interests, but they are not allowed to enter the partner establishments. Instead, they are allowed to watch through the windows of the storefronts in this kid-sized city to see their children role play through authentic activities which can promote social change, build global citizenship, and community awareness.
There’s also a new section called the McDonald’s Burger Shop. As soon as the kids enter the shop, they get briefed on basic sanitation, put on their hairnets and plastic gloves, and get set up at their stations. The kids can then take their burgers out with them.
Imagine the board game of LIFE that we all grew up playing, but through play. However, this series of games, real life toys, props, and even mini-establishments encourages KidZanian citizens to give back and donate to charity as well.
Kidzania creators pride themselves on the fact that not only will their guests enter a world class amusement park fashioned as an alternate city of play when the price of admission is paid, but they will also inspire their visitors to explore, embrace, and protect their mini city in a way that is both mindful and encouraging.
What to expect when you visit KidZania:
- Your child will be given a boarding pass to enter Kidzania along with 50 KidZos.
- When you enter the child-sized city of KidZania, kids have the option to purchase a passport, attain higher education, and earn a living.
- Your child will have a plethora of choices as to where to seek employ, how to save money, and where to spend those hard-earned KidZos.
- Choosing from over 70 different jobs in 52 different establishments will provide experiences for your child to learn through play and contribute to KidZania society.
- Each time your child visits he will have the opportunity to explore different professions to expand his understanding of his gifts, graces, and interests.
Here are a few more details:
KidZania will be selling tickets online through the website as early as August 3 but will open their doors to the public on August 7.
KidZania Manila is located in Park Triangle, North 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Learn more here.
- Mondays to Thursdays: 9am-4pm
- Fridays to Sundays: 9am-2pm and 3-6pm
Ticket Prices: (August 7 to October 7, 2015)
- Mondays to Thursdays / Fridays to Sundays
- Infants 1 year old and below: FREE / FREE
- Toddlers 1-3 years old: P420 / P550
- Children 4-14 years old: P750 / P1,000
- Adults 15 years old and above: P450 / P550
– with a report from Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com
Photos by Michelle Aventajado, Kaye Catral, and Pam Basa Siao
Michelle Aventajado is a Filipina-American who grew up in New York and now considers Manila her home. When she’s not busy raising her 4 children, she enjoys teaching, reading, and writing about her passions. Follow her blog Momma ‘N Manila as she documents her adventures and growth in parenting.
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