Where Child Labour is Legal, and Actually Fun!

By: Colin Goh
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Main Points:

1. Children learn about the rigour and fun of the adult working life through roleplaying.

2. There’s money to be earned, and spent.

3. Parents are really redundant here.

Have you ever wanted to show your children how hard adult working life is? Do you want them to learn the value of earning money through work? Are you keen to put them in the shoes of their dream job?

If so, KidZania is your answer.

In Malaysia, KidZania KL is already a few years old. Many children in Malaysia and some Singaporean ones would have spent a day here. But in Singapore, KidZania Singapore just opened its doors a couple of months ago. 

For those of you who have never heard of Kidzania, read on.

KidZania is an indoor edutainment theme park where children are free to pursue their dreams by exploring what it is like to live and work, like an adult. In KidZania, there are dozens of jobs they can try out and role-play, such as pilot, doctor, petrol kiosk attendant, post man and even a bak kwa specialist. Children are free to try out any job to learn about how hard or how fun adult working life can be, and when they complete the guided activity in any of them, they get some money in the form of KidZos. They can then spend the KidZos to buy real souvenirs that they can bring home.

Sounds like fun? It really is, and I think it’s an incredible idea that my children can “try out” their dream jobs while having loads of fun in doing so. First, there are literally so many jobs for them to try out, and activities for them to spend their KidZos on, it’s impossible to finish all of them in a day. Second, all activities are guided, so there is very little chance they cannot perform and complete in any job. This lifts their confidence to learn about even more complex jobs. Third, parents can actually relax in a dedicated lounge where children are forbidden. If your children are old and adventurous enough to venture on their own, you can literally make yourself redundant by chilling in a massage lounger for the whole afternoon. What’s more, the adult ticket price is actually lower than the children’s!

Now, the bad. As with any good theme parks, there’s firstly the queue. Yes, the children will have to queue for up to an hour for some very popular jobs, such as pilot or fireman. If you have impatient children like mine, skip going to KidZania during the school holidays. Secondly, every job is rather “brief”. Some end in a matter of 5 minutes, which in my opinion, is actually too short a duration for them to be trained in, experience and learn about that job. Third, if your children aren’t old and adventurous enough to venture on their own, your day will be torturous. You have to follow the children from job to job, sometimes running about, and cheering them on. I guess this is KidZania’s way to let us adults experience what our children go through when we drag them to go shopping all day with us.

I won’t spoil the fun by revealing too much about what the children can do at KidZania, but if you have the time, do plan a day to bring your children to experience this wonderful learning experience.

The entrance fees are quite expensive in my opinion, especially when compared to the KidZanias in KL and Bangkok – children are charged at S$58 while adults pay S$35, which is way too excessive considering all adults do there is sit and wait. But at least the children can go crazy from 10am to 5pm (8pm on Fridays to Sunday, and during Eve and Public Holidays). 

Incidentally, my children’s favourite job switches from time to time! I don’t know if that’s because of me. Which is your children’s favourite?

The below are some photos of my children during their time in KidZania KL, which is largely the same, but the queues feel somewhat shorter.


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Posted on 07/09/2016

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