Review: KidZania, R City Mall, Mumbai
This Christmas Eve, my 6 year old daughter and I decided to celebrate at Kidzania. The experience was absolutely fantastic. From my daughter ‘s perspective, Kidzania was a good way of learning through fun activities and role-playing, which is something I always look for as a parent. And as a psychologist I appreciate the attention to detail that is paid in creating a safe space where children can explore, participate, co-create and feel they are in charge. The space provides a lot of teachable moments for parents as well, when it comes to the power of team work, coordination, responsibility and financial literacy.
Some of my daughter’s favourite sections were the Mad Over Doughnuts, Bajaj Electricals Nutella activities. The activities that involved cooking gave paramount importance to hygiene. These activities do add to the child’s sense of competence, self confidence, especially in moments where children come beaming with pride while munching on the doughnut or Nutella gingerbread man that they created.
I really like how the activities have woven in values along with the role play. Like before the children engage as firefighters, they are informed about them and also the screen showcases how these firefighters embody the spirit of fearlessness and courage. Children at different stages can decipher how some professions are fulfilling, challenging and one of the ways of contributing to the world. With both the firefighter and flight simulation I loved how they managed to create a setup that allows children to enact situations like dousing fire and flying an aeroplane.
I felt this was one of those spaces that encouraged children to participate in activities irrespective of the gender. It’s lovely to see little girls work at a gas station, or as a firefighter, or even a dabbawala; and then boys learning to cook and taking care of infants at the hospital. It’s a healthy way to embed gender equality in children’s minds at an early age.
Every child is given 50 Kidzos (KidZania’s currency) upon entry, which can be used to participate in various activities. I like the fact how everyone enters with the same amount and they have to earn or spend it as per their choice. In a beautiful way, the place teaches children the importances of finances and how you need to earn money by working, participating and contributing to the society, to be able to spend it on things and activities you like.
The staff, or should I say Zupervisors were extremely helpful in the process. They gave a healthy amount of attention to each child’s needs, leaving no one feeling left out.
There were many more activities in KidZania, each with its own value system in place. Like Godrej Securities introduced not only new terms like vaults, but also emphasised the art of communicating with clients and the value of team work. Role-playing various professions such as a doctor, dentist or a nutrition expert reinforces the value of our physical health and also makes them feel adult like.
KidZania creates a world where children not only feel happy but also responsible, while learning more about how a society functions. My daughter eventually came out with a big smile on her face, talking about her fun experience in the five hours she spent at Kidzania. Needless to say, she’s looking at repeating the experience soon.