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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tip Tuesday: KidCot

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

I can't tell you how many times I hear from people with younger children saying that "Epcot isn't for kids," or "there's nothing at Epcot for kids to do." I've even heard this from people in my own family.

Sigh. How wrong they are.

Epcot (full disclosure -- it's my favorite park) has so much for kids that I'll bet kids can't get to it all in one day!

From the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure (my own three kids absolutely LOVE this!), to the different character meet-and-greet opportunities to attractions aimed at younger guests (think Nemo and Figment), kids will have a fantastic time at Epcot.

One activity at Epcot that has been very popular with kids (and doesn't cost anything) are the KidCot stations located all around FutureWorld and World Showcase.

What is a KidCot station? Well, I'll just talk about the World Showcase KidCots (the FutureWorld ones have a different theme). A KidCot station is a place where kids can work on crafts related to each host country. Every country in World Showcase has a KidCot station.

Here's how it works:

Pick a country, any country, to begin your KidCot adventure. At the first country (for most it's either Mexico or Canada), younger guests will get a blank, white paper mask on a stick (very similar to those old Italian Venetian masks, which you can get in Italy -- but I digress). Kids then can decorate their mask any way they wish. At the KidCot station in each country, a cast member will stamp the mask with a symbol representing that country and attach a paper die-cut image that represents that country to the top of the mask.

As kids move from country to county, more stamps and paper symbols are added to the mask until the final country. If younger guests manage to visit all 11 KidCot stations, they usually get an additional bit of recognition -- sometimes it's a certificate, sometimes it's a special Epcot mini-poster.

Part of the charm of the KidCot program is that it requires kids to explore the different pavilions in order to find the KidCot station. At each station cast members native to the host country talk with kids about their respective homelands. This makes KidCot a great way for kids to become exposed to people of different lands and learn about different cultures, which is the whole reason for World Showcase to begin with.

Quick tip for parents: The KidCot stations are (at least as of this post) sponsored by Sharpie, which means kids will be using Sharpie permanent markers to decorate their masks. It might be a good idea to put younger kids into a shirt that can withstand a bit of mess or one that can be sacrificed, because there is a good chance clothes might get a bit messed up.

1 comment:

Dad.. said...

So glad they're still doing Kidcot!! My two oldest kids participated in all the activities on our trip before last in 2000. They're older now and were more into the culture of all the different nations. EPCOT is just about my favorite park as well, riiiiiiight behind Magic Kingdom. Great blog!!