KidZania. The Ultimate in Role-Play for Children

Dec 23, 2014

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Role-play for children is a vitally important part of growing up. Here might just be the ultimate in role-play for kids.

If you read my 10 must-do experiences in Dubai, you would have seen that the award-winning KidZania edutainment centre was on the list. Well, I'm delighted to say that I did get to go and check it out and can report back that it was seriously even more brilliant than I'd first imagined! Check out the above linked post for more specific details such as costs etc.

Set inside The Dubai Mall is a purpose built "city" built at two thirds the regular size making it just perfect for children. The city includes a police station, fire station, hospital, bank, airport, television studio, supermarket, beauty salon, theatre, radio station, shops, eateries and so much more! After "checking in" at the airport and setting up their bank account, children are free to wander the city and choose from over 80 different roles that they can play in more than 60 establishments.

With supervisors ("Zupervisors") everywhere to help guide the children through the different roles and experiences, it really seemed to offer a wonderful, safe learning and play experience for your child. Kids even get paid for their work (in "kidzos" and even real AED at some places) and can save or spend their money at various establishments in KidZania. How cool is that?

Why is role play important for children?

Role play is a very important part of children's development as it allows them to use their imagination and develop their creativity. As Einstein said,

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

-Albert Einstein

It is also through role-play that children can practice a large range of practical life skills depending on what they are playing and the materials available (like cutting, pouring, spreading, tying knots, measuring, etc.) They also have the opportunity to develop multiple social skills such as team work, cooperation, compromise, independence, self esteem, developing empathy, understanding and more. It is also through play that language, fine motor and gross motor skills are used and developed.

I absolutely loved the entire KidZania concept and implore someone to please open up one in Melbourne where I live, so I can take my children. It is such a unique and inspiring concept and I personally could have played in there all day (shame it's just for children!). I loved the feeling of independence, trust and responsibility that children are allowed there and even I couldn't pick where my children would want to start. There was just so much to do!

When you go to Dubai with kids, this is one destination that has to make your list. I would recommend 2 trips there. One where you go around with your children so that you can experience the fun as well, (it's really awesome, I mean, which adults wouldn't want to make their own bottle of real, cold, fizzing Coke, from scratch?), and one time where you leave the kids to play on their own while you go off and explore the rest that The Dubai Mall has to offer! (Ok, you might need an extra day for this as well, haha).

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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