Patch (6) and I have been given the great privilege of reviewing this (nearly) new science magazine for kids. It is aimed at roughly 8 to 12 year olds, but this is just a guide.
So what’s it all about? Practical science. It might seem an odd thing to say, but after noting the really great artwork and layout, one of the first things I noticed was the quality of the paper. 6 year old boys do not turn pages delicately, so the fact that the magazine is printed on really thick paper gives it a fighting chance of lasting until we get to the end, and even beyond.
The magazine starts with an amazing facts section which gives facts about real science news. These are really fun as well as topical. There are facts about scientists developing’non drippy’ ice creams, research showing you lie better when you need a wee, and development of a real life invisibility cloak. I have been sent 6 issues of the magazine, and there really is so much in there, I don’t know where to start! Each magazine contains a lot of information broken into bite size chunks with lovely graphics. Each section of text is short and Patch never got bored. The language is a little challenging for a 6 year old, but then it has meant that he has been learning lots of new words. The content is engaging and often funny. There are lots of well thought out articles on stuff that really appeals to children. There are lots of sections on things like snot, pooh and wee. All scientific of course, but as you can imagine, the fact that mummy was talking about wee and snot caused lots of giggles.
There are also activities which are actually really great. Anyone who has spent time doing the activities in the mainstream supermarket magazine will know that they are all pretty much the same, just with different characters (help Peppa through the maze to the muddy puddle…help FiFi through the garden maze to the yellow flower…help Peter through Mr McGregors garden blah blah blah!). So it was with very great pleasure that Patch and I spent half an hour taking turns to make hexagon shapes yesterday. They formed a honeycomb and represented the freezing structure of water, but also the structure of honeycomb which linked in to an earlier article on bees.
The best bit is the experiments. Each magazine has a number of practical experiments which you can do using bog standard household stuff. There is none of the dreaded ‘double sided tape, craft paints, pva glue’ stuff. It’s all jam jars, baking soda, water and string (*breathes a sigh of relief as there is actually a cat in hells chance of me having this stuff in the house*). Seriously, you can make hover crafts, make gas, grow stalactites and stalagmites, make a cloud in a bottle…and so much more.
Patch and I were in the freezer before 6am this morning to see whether our freezing water experiment (to show that water expands when frozen) had worked. We are also growing some stalagmites and stalactites.
The conclusion? I highly recommend this magazine. Frankly, it is a breath of fresh air. Don’t take my word for it though. Let’s see what Patch thought.
“The magazine is good. My favourite part is the experiments. I also really liked the fossils and the sewers bits. Mummy and I read some every day, and I really look forward to it at special time.”