Kidland Penang Field Trip

We went to Kidland Penang with a large group of homeschoolers this week.  It was an incredible place for fun, adventure, learning, and fun.  Our community of homeschooling families has periodic opportunities like this.  Interested in joining us some time, like the Living in Penang Facebook page and let me know that you want to be included in the next outing.

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Kidland Penang is modeled after the Kidzania franchise, an edutainment center where children playact adult jobs.  The only Kidzania franchise in Malaysia is found in KL, next to the IKEA.  We were excited when we saw that it had opened in KL because my children went to the Kidzania in Jakarta four years ago and a similar thing in Taipei called Baby Boss.  Kidland Penang will be on the list of things to do with kids in Penang, as soon as I write up that post.

The prices, especially since we’re foreigners, is much better in Penang.  Each kid over 3 is RM 30 weekdays and RM 45 on weekends.  And the adults get in for RM 5.  Compare that to what you’ll be paying in Kuala Lumpur.  I like that it’s local.  And compared to how much we’ve spent on other field trips like to the goat farm or to the School of Hard Knocks, I’d say it’s only slightly above average.

The brand new Kidland is found at Prangin Mall, down near KOMTAR in Georgetown.  They take up two levels, the entrance being on level 4 and the exit being on level 5.

The experience starts right from the beginning, as you are signing up to register the children.  They each get their own “passport” with their name and photo in it.  These are picked up at an Immigration counter outside in the mall proper.

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With these passports they can go in and start working various jobs.  Here are some shots of my kids at the cooking station.  Today’s dish is and Egg and Mayo sandwich (Americans will call this an egg salad sandwich, but I understand that they don’t call it that here because there’s no lettuce in it).  20140206-191758.jpg

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I was so pleasantly surprised that my three year old had so many options of things that she could do.  That was not our experience in Indonesia or in Taiwan.  We had a three year old then as well and the activities were not geared toward her and when they were, language was also a factor.  As I’ve mentioned before, we’re spoiled living in Penang where English is one of the national languages.

Another activity that my kids latched onto is the Music room.  Here they got a keyboard lesson, a drum lesson, and just all around fun time trying out different instruments.  As is the case with most of the stations, parents aren’t allowed and we have to wait outside.  Even when we really really really want to play on the drums too!

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The boys in our group gravitated toward the Fighter Pilot simulation.  I was glad my girls were not as drawn to it because it’s a glorified video game, and not the kind of experience I wanted them to come away with.  Still it was neat to see this little one wiggling the controls with no idea what she’s doing and having an absolute blast.

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Top of my list as a parent is the Greenhouse for its educational hands-on learning value.  The children watch the staff plant some seeds in a small flower pot as he explains what seeds need to grow into a plant.  Then they get to do it as well.  Then they get to take home with them mung beans planted in little pots for them to watch sprout.

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Younger children will enjoy the castle.  It is a 5 level climbing structure with platforms and slides.  Similar to Mega Kiddie World at Queensbay Mall.  I’m sorry I didn’t get a good picture of this massive play area.

The list of jobs for the kids is long:  Dentist, Doctor, Firefighter, Police, Army soldier, Magician, and more.  Really a lot to do.

I had the chance to speak with the supervisor on duty and he was glad to have us there.  We were the largest group there, on a weekday while school was in session.  And that meant we had the run of the place.  We never had to wait in line to do anything.  That was not the case, he told me, during Chinese New Year last week.  He told me that at the peak, there were over 400 children and their parents packed in there.  There was no room to walk.  Glad I missed that.

The verdict: As a family we agree that this was a fun day.  We were there from 10 til 3pm.  My oldest one had actually run out of activities to do by then.  We plan on going back sometime.