I love the concept of OKIDO magazine, and the fact it is intended for children as young as three – the suggested age range is 3 to 7. It’s relatively easy to find high-quality science resources for KS and KS2 children but OKIDO is brilliant because it taps into the natural curiosity of younger children, as well as continuing to extend that curiosity as they get older. We were sent two magazines to review. The first, issue 65, is all about coding and includes stories, experiments, games, doodles, a recipe and a poem; there’s even a secret code machine. The mix of activities works well and really help children to grasp this complex but essential subject. Our second issue, 66, is Heart and Blood and the special activity in this is making a body puppet. Visually, the magazines are attractive and engaging, with plenty of bright pictures, helpful diagrams, good use of fonts and clear directions with a purpose to every activity. Cycling, dinosaurs, colours, music, transport and ice – just a few of the many subjects covered in the magazine (back numbers can be bought from the OKIDO website).
The focus on just one concept is perfect for young children and works far better for them than jumping around from one subject to another. The range of articles and activities is so wide-ranging that there is plenty to engage children’s attention and give them a really good grounding in the topic – and to make it interesting for them so they are keen to learn more. OKIDO’s philosophy is a simple one: every child is a creative scientist; the OKIDO world immerses young children in a spectrum of playful activities and media, all intelligently designed by science and education experts. There is plenty to enjoy on their website, which extends on the activities available through the magazines. Messy goes to OKIDO is a popular CBeebies programme in which Messy, a monster, explores science questions that children ask about the world around them. At the heart of it all lies STEAM learning (that’s science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics). Everything in the OKIDO world is designed by science and education experts to encourage collaboration, curiosity, exploration, discovery, creativity and critical thinking. This is so apparent both through the magazines and on the website; its founders, scientist Dr Sophie Dauvois (PhD BSc PG Dip.) and artist Rachel Ortas, are still every bit as passionate about engaging young kids in the scientific world around them using play, art and fun. This passion really does shine through and children respond really well to the enthusiasm and to the wide-ranging activities.
OKIDO is available with a range of subscription options: from £30.00 every 6 months. £30.00 every 6 months.Each issue is 48 pages jam-packed with stories, regular characters, doodles, poems, games, experiments, a pull-out centrefold activity and a recipe that the family can make together – keeping children engaged for hours with things they can do on their own as well as with a grown up. I love the concept of something children can look forward to on a regular basis; it really generates enthusiasm. It’s a perfect gift that children will enjoy year-round, long after many are consigned to the back of the cupboard. Highly recommended. Take a look at the Okido website to subscribe.