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February 3, 2010

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An 'edutainment' town where kids play doctor, stock broker

SINCE it opened a year ago last January, more than 200,000 parents and kids have visited the 7,000-square-meter indoor facsimile world Eday Town in Minhang District.

Around 70 roles/jobs are offered, including stock broker, banker, archeologist, fireman, doctor, policeman, pilot, chef and journalist. The town has its own currency, "e-money" that children earn in "work." They have bank books and credit cards.

The park in Zhongsheng World Mall was recognized last year a "national popular science base" by the China Association for Science and Technology. Experts say the "edutainment" miniature role-play town is not only fun, but it also gives children three to 15 years of age practical knowledge that they don't get in textbooks. They also learn social skills, independence and team spirit.

It is considered by some parents another way to enrich their children's lives, and backers of Eday Town are cashing in on parental aspirations for their kids.

Officials from Shanghai Tong Meng Investment and Management Co Ltd, the main investor, say they plan collaboration with brands for product placement and kiddie films. They also plan a miniature stock exchange. Backers want to build 15 similar projects in 15 cities within three years, including Beijing, Chongqing, Wuhan, Hubei Province and Dalian, Liaoning Province.


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