We’ve just heard about KidZania?! KidZania is a chain of theme parks across the world where children can role play to learn what the adult world is like. KidZania is a child sized replica of a real city with a hospital, fire station, beauty salon, bank, radio station, supermarket, television station, pizzeria and theatre amongst others.
Children from 4 to 16 years old can take on up to 100 different roles – Pilots navigate airplanes, television presenters read the news, police officers carry out detective work, firemen put out fires and chefs cook up (hopefully edible!) food. The children get paid for these roles, earning “KidZos” (KidZania’s currency). The money is kept in the KidZania bank for children to spend at the gift shop and on KidZania activities.
We’ve always thought role playing is a vital activity for children, which is why we use role playing within our drama workshops for schools. Role play stimulates children’s imagination and enhances their social development and this type of role play can also help them practise some important behavioural and social skills like decision making, teamwork and money managment. We particularly find role play useful to use in our anti-bullying drama workshops to teach pupils assertiveness techniques. What a fantastic way for children to learn firsthand about the adult world!