Itoman festival offers real-life job try-outs for children
Throughout the year Okinawa has a number of festivals aimed at demonstrating children how adults make money and what different jobs are all about. These festivals are considered an important step to prepare them for the future.
Itoman Children’s Fest at Itoman Fishing Port on Aug. 20 and 21 is an event where children can try to do real jobs while everything is organized to be fun at the same time. The festival charges ¥200 for an insurance to cover children who want to try the jobs. The fee is not charged for the parents.
Various job try-outs have also reasonable charges to cover the cost of materials used. Children up to five years of age have to be accompanied by a parent at all times. After completing a job try-out, the children are paid a coin as a wage that they can then exchange to goods or use in another workshop at the festival.
Here are some of the jobs children can have an experience in.
Making cotton candy takes about 10 minutes and costs ¥500 for children age 4 and over.
Nailist experience costs ¥500, takes about 15 minutes and is available for children from two years old and up.
Candle making takes 15 minutes and ¥500 and is for children age 3 and over.
Making shaves ice takes 10 minutes and costs from ¥300 to 400 depending on ingredients. It’s meant for children from age 3 years and up.
A good job for a lively youngster is a dancer. The experience takes about 30 minutes, costs ¥500 and is offered to children age 5 and over.
Kids usually like pets. Only on Saturday, there is a 30-minute experience for ¥1,000 in pet grooming. This is for elementary and junior high school students.
Many kids dream about becoming a fashion model. Children of six to 12 years old can try the job for real for ¥500 from 10:00 to 12:00 on Saturday and 15:00 to 17:00 on Sunday. Slots for 30 children are available each day.
Children from elementary school students up can try to work as bus guides. The cost is ¥500, and jobs are available for two guides in six buses (total 12 children) on both days.
Children who want to try modeling or bus guide jobs need to make an advance reservation by calling 098-840-3100 in Japanese on a weekday before the event between 09:00 and 18:00. Those wanting to try modeling, need to tell the child’s height, weight, and shoe size when they call to apply.
The event starts at 10:00 on both days, and the last admission to the venue is at 16:00. However children can continue the activity until 17:00.