Monday, April 11, 2016

Kidzania (the place)

I can't help myself.  I've already posted on FB, IG, and my family website about this place, but apparently it's not enough.

M is still asleep, Whim is out for the day, and I have already talked L's ear off about it all morning... but I still feel this urge to rehash it all one more time.

A parent of one of my students gave us the tickets as a gift.  I know we would never have gone otherwise.  It's pricy, and I thought it was just a glorified version of all the other ball-crawl kid zones.  

As hot and rainy as it is here, there is quite a niche for indoor kids play places. And Bangkok is full of them.  Molly fantasy, kidzoona, imaginarium, funarium...  Basically, take a variation of the word "kid" "learn" "play" or "fun" and mix it with a zany ending, and we probably have one.

But Kidzania was incredible.  It's a kids' world.  The boys got to work at all sorts of businesses, earning money at each shop.  It's is all part of the economy within. 

For example, they could earn 8 "kidzos" working in a optical shop, or pay 5 kz to have their eyes checked.  Kids can pay to get a makeover or work at the salon to earn a salary.

Whim and I joked that we appreciated the "no in-app purchases", but it was true.  You can't buy the currency for your kids- they earn it.  And all the jobs they do to earn money are things they'd want to do anyway.

Changing tires on a real car, using real tools.

Working at 7-11.  They got to use the scanner to scan the other kids' groceries, just like a real checkstand.

Working at the hosptial, which had real endoscopy equipment, a (lifelike, but fake) body to operate on, and an ambulance.

Designing a car with the features they want, using a simple computer program.

I was amazed at every turn.

Some of the most exciting jobs cost, rather than earned, kz.  Scaling a building using real climbing gear, making real food (in a restaurant or a factory), and going through the secret agents' laser obstacle course.

But since it's all in kz, and they are earning money every time they participate in any of the jobs, they can truly do anything they'd like without worrying about the cost.  At the end of the day, the boys each had over 120 kz and they had tried everything that appealed to them, without worrying too much about saving.

They each opened a savings account and got an ATM card, which they can use next time we go. 

And there's the rub.  We're already talking about the jobs they want to try next time.  Places like this are expensive!  But this one, I have to admit, is actually worth it.


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