São Paulo, Brazil. KidZania Journal. March 27, 2012. (English). KidZania, the fastest growing global edutainment brand for kids, celebrates the groundbreaking of its first Brazilian location on March 27th. A special event for invited guests will signal the first step in bringing this inspiring new family entertainment option to Sao Paulo. KidZania Sao Paulo will bring a unique kid-centric experience providing 4-14 year olds an environment that blends reality with entertainment as they take charge of their own kid-sized city. The experience is designed to educate, inspire and empower kids, yet to the children of Brazil, it will be all about fun.Operating since 1999, KidZania is present in Tokyo, Seoul, Lisbon, Koshien, Dubai, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Santiago, Mexico City (Santa Fe and Cuicuilco) and Monterrey, in addition to the ongoing development projects in over 13 countries, including the U.S. and Brazil. The award winning concept invites children to and learn through role-playing real world careers and engaging in activities in shops, factories, restaurants, a theatre, a hospital and more. By blending reality with entertainment, KidZania provides an authentic and powerful developmental experience, preparing kids to understand and manage their world. Through each activity, kids learn about how society functions, financial literacy, adult professions, team work, independence, self-esteem and real-life skills.
With an investment of US$30 million and the generation of 500 new jobs, KidZania São Paulo is expected to become operational in March 2013. The family attraction will open at Shopping Eldorado in São Paulo, where it will occupy an area of 8,500m² and will have the capacity to receive about 700,000 visitors a year. “The experience we have gained internationally has prepared KidZania for aggressive growth. We are excited to be entering Brazil, such an important country for our company, where we have found an ideal partner for developing the concept and a strategic place to accommodate a KidZania location. We are ready to put into practice our unique and original ideology, that combines entertainment with responsibility, learning and empowerment. We are delighted to be here and hope that our content will be well received by Brazilian children, families, businesses and the society”, claims KidZania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hernan Barbieri.
The groundbreaking event will mark the location where this new experience will be brought to life. Organized as a real city, KidZania São Paulo will feature streets, blocks, buildings and homes. KidZania São Paulo will be centered around three main areas the airport, with the access and immigration sectors, the central square and the neighborhoods. Just like in a real city, KidZania São Paulo will also have cars, buses, fire trucks and ambulances that will roam around the streets.
There will be over 70 different activities to choose from, each designed and developed by educators so that the children can put into practice, with the necessary infrastructure, the basic principle of role-playing”. Kids get to interpret and experience different professions like doctor, firefighter, banker, police officer and salesclerk, among many others. Each experience takes place in environments that are part of our daily lives, brought to life with the help of real world brands that make each experience authentic and very realistic. The concept is based on “edutainment” – the union of “education” and “entertainment”– and is intended to give kids a chance to experience a range of careers, in an experience that prioritizes education, sustainability, citizenship and entertainment. The concept developed by KidZania has received various international awards for quality and innovation.
“Each attraction is a detailed replica of a real establishment, with their own areas reproducing real life experiences”, explains the Governor of KidZania Brazil, Emilio Medina. As an example he mentions the hospital, which will have emergency, nursery and operating rooms as well as a checkup clinic. “We provide the kid-sized environment and children bring their imagination”, he adds.
Concepts of economics and finance will also be put into practice in KidZania São Paulo. A special currency called “kidZo” is the key for children to have access and enjoy the different services. Children will have the opportunity to make financial transactions in banks, spend in the various establishments and activities present in the city; they will be paid (in the various employment opportunities available) and will save as well. “It’s a highly educational process, which exemplifies life in the real world”, says Medina. According to him, the single ideology makes the experience a lesson in life and the connection between reality and fun helps children understand and cope with the world they are growing up in.
Promoting social values and also the development of self-esteem, creativity, cooperation, leadership, independence, social responsibility and community involvement are part of the concept. “KidZania does not offer electronic games or rides. During the visit, each child has the freedom to participate in the activity he or she wishes to, with all the necessary safety, including ID bracelets with an electronic chip”, affirms Medina. “There is an incentive for future professional vocation to arise naturally, everything is focused on learning and development, but to kids, it’s simply a good deal of fun”, he concludes.