A $30 million mini city where kids can act out adult roles is coming to Melbourne’s east.
KidzMondo will open the replica city in 2020 at Box Hill Institute’s Lilydale campus.
It will boast replicas of airports, banks, factories, theatres, shops, police stations, media outlets and supermarkets in a 7000sqm building.
Children will be able to take care of patients as a doctor or nurse, save lives as a fireman and get behind the wheel as a race car driver.
They will even be able to trade in their own currency, enjoy beauty treatments and learn how to make pizza.
It will be the first miniature replica city in Australia to be established by KidzMondo, which has centres in Beirut, Istanbul and Doha.
The ‘edutainment’ parks aim to inspire kids through educational and engaging activities to prepare them for the world of adulthood.
KIdzMondo Australia CEO Norman Gray said such facilities were important as the school system was failing to adequately prepare children for life after the classroom.
“We need to provide our children with an environment where they can experiment,” he said.
“They should be faced with tasks which arouse their curiosity and a desire to explore and learn, to make connections with prior learnings and reflect on the choices they have made, because only through this type of task do you enhance engagement and long-term memory retention.”
Mr Gray, the former CEO of Box Hill Institute, said children learn best through play and experiencing real hands-on activities.
“The park features fun activities which include game play. This will teach children how to earn and save Kidlar (kid dollars),” he said.
“As an example, you might learn how to fly a plane or drive a car through a simulator or learn how to make a pizza or ice cream and earn Kidlar in the process.”
More than 250,000 students expected to visit KidzMondo Melbourne in its first year of operation.
The centre is expected to be popular for school excursions.
KidzMondo plans to rollout another three centres across Australia over the next five years.