Over lunch breaks, merienda sessions and dinner chats, the debate waged: What era was the best time to be a kid? And the most common answer is: Whatever era you grew up as a child in.
So all my life, I believed that the ’80s, my growing years, was the best time to be a kid. But my experience last weekend made me a little envious of today’s young generation.
Last Saturday, Honda Cars Philippines invited the media to KidZania Manila, where the company showed us its newly sponsored activity area. For those not familiar with KidZania, it’s like a miniature city for children. Here, kids aged 4 to 14 spend time doing role-playing activities as airline pilots, cooks, artists, firefighters and even lawyers.
Honda’s corner has a Jazz hatchback on display, and here young ones learn how to be car designers and salespeople. Several boys and girls are chosen from the audience to participate, and they are even given Honda blazers to look the part. Then, using the yellow Jazz, an instructor shows them how to explain a car’s features to potential customers.
But for us, the more fascinating feature is Honda’s other activity area: the racing pit stop. A mock-up of a very simplified race car is installed in the center of the room, and kids simply try to change the tires as quickly as they can. It's a basic one-lug-nut setup, and instructors time the children to see who has the potential to be a future pit crew member.
It may have been all just play, but the intensity and the focus on the kids’ faces reflect the concentration they put into the activities. The KidZania concept certainly makes sense, and it’s good to see the motoring sector well represented thanks to the partnership with Honda. Our visit, by the way, coincided with the facility’s first anniversary.
We did a quick tour of the rest of the KidZania premises, reminding us yet again that our knees were way past the 14-year-old age limit. Although I wouldn’t trade my childhood of Voltes V, Transformers and Astroboy for anything (I think I have a robot fixation), it would have been great to have a place like KidZania around back then.
We highly recommend you bring your little ones here.