Our Start Up - Kids Zone - and its sociological function

Kids Zone is a test workshop for children aged 0-13 that joins fun with the not so much liked by children need to get a haircut!

Many parents say that their children don’t want to get a haircut. In some of these cases, going to a hairdresser’s salon becomes a cause of stress. For this reason, many parents often avoid taking their children there. In the case of younger children, parents sometimes prefer to cut their hair at home, trying to keep them still. In the case of children starting from the last years of the primary school, it is easier to convince them to go to the hairdresser to get a haircut. But the situation can be a little embarrassing for the child, who can feel out of place in a context of adults and, at best, he might get bored.
The test workshop Kids Zone is an area thought to receive children, first of all through fun, but also through an environment specifically designed for children and kids. On the walls, children can see their favourite cartoon characters, the parquet floor allows them to move with anti-slip socks, the colours are light and reassuring, the working stations are structured in a way that the tools can be taken by the staff one at a time and they are not directly visible to children, who for example can be frightened to see scissors (above all the younger ones), there is entertainment of all kinds, which also includes modern technology, really loved in particular by the older children.

The association of fun and of the playful environment with the possibility to get a haircut
Entering into the salon, the child is attracted by the drawings, the games and the amusements. He feels free to explore the area and to choose his favourite activity before starting to get a haircut. This process of familiarization is very important: it is reassuring, it makes him feeling welcomed and understood. When this process ends it is easier to go towards the seat, where the hairdresser will cut his hair, maybe by taking the chosen game (a book, a doll etc.) or finding other interesting objects for the child (tablet, cartoons, etc.) near the seat.  The presence of the hairdresser and of his tools is now associated with fun and amusement.
Even the older kids (10-13) feel at ease, by finding their interests in the entertainments present in the  test workshop and by having the possibility to choose their hairstyle and other available accessories (colourful locks, drawings, etc.). In the cognitive behavioural approach regarding children, even in the cases of children with a disability, these strategies (see for example Martin and Pear, 2000) are used to motivate children and kids to learn. For example, they can be used at school or in therapy centres, where it is necessary to have the collaboration of the child, encouraging him for example to listen to the teacher’s instructions. In this case,  the application of this strategy, in other words, the association of fun and of a reassuring and comfortable environment suitable for children, with an activity not so much liked by children or considered boring (such as to get a haircut),can be very effective, to the point that this activity becomes motivating for children and kids and it is explicitly wanted by the children themselves.

Games and colours 
Kids Zone environment is familiar, it has to do with games and care. The toys are suitable for any age group and they are divided into different areas: the younger children will find toys suitable for them which can freely use; the older children, who, from the last years of primary school are different from the little kids in gaming interests, will find an area for them, different from that of the younger ones. The  working stations are comfortable and seats are made to give comfort to any stature, and so to any age. Furthermore, in every station there is a chair for the parents, who can eventually seat in front of their children to give them more security or to entertain them. The work tools are not directly visible, but can be shown to the child one at a time and in the presence of an adult. In addition to their parents, the children can also see from their seat their favourite cartoon characters on the wall, a game that they have taken with them or a tablet  to entertain them while getting  a haircut. If they are older, then they can browse the kids magazine looking for a new hairstyle etc. The colours used in the area are pastel and natural which make the area fit to exploration (as present in the Montessori’s method)

Reassuring not just for children
The possibility to get children to cut their hair in a hairdresser’s salon designed for them, avoiding that all this can be cause of stress or boredom or embarrassment, it is reassuring for parents as well. In this way, parents will go to the hairdresser with pleasure, if there is an area where the child can play and have fun, instead of having to take time out while their child is busy in his own world.  In fact, the parents who bring their child in the Kids Zone can also dedicate their time to take care of their hair, in the adults area. Furthermore, considering the fact that the children are happy to be there and can do activities suitable for their age and thought for them, the time, that the parents can spend in the area dedicated to the adults, can be longer as they can make use of different services (haircut, colour and hairstyle).  In addition to this, thanks to the presence of a qualified staff for the children care, parents can spend their time to take care of themselves, without having to continuously watch the child. Then, the presence of other kids is another motivating element for the child, an occasion to interact with them and develop their social ability, even from a afar contact with other kids zone, for example by chat.
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