James is really into puzzles, colouring and making things these days. Never a day goes by where he hasn’t produced a creation out of sellotape and craft paper, and he loves it if you sit down with him and spot the difference between two puzzles, or do some mazes together.
So when we were asked to review Noddy magazine I was sure he would enjoy it, even though I was just as confident that he wouldn’t know who Noddy was. Noddy magazine follows Noddy, his car Revs and dog Bumpy in the role of Toyland Detective, solving mysteries and encountering Toyland friends old and new.
That he didn’t know Noddy or any of his friends was, as it turned out, a small problem (for me) because a couple of the puzzles require you to know the gang and their abodes. See this page as an example:
We didn’t know this was Pat-Pat’s house by sight and so I had to do the reading to help James. But, he wasn’t very bothered by this – I guess he sees a fair amount of different characters and doesn’t need to engage with them to do puzzles about them! If you also don’t watch Noddy but fancy the magazine for your little one, then at the bottom of lots of pages there’s a link to the Milkshake website where you can watch the episode they’ve referred to.
We enjoyed the free gift that came with the magazine. The gift was a set of alphabet tiles, some of which are letters and others are sounds. James enjoyed matching the letters to the spaces on the pages. I think it would’ve been helpful for parents if the magazine had provided a sheet with all the tiles on so that it would be easy to photocopy several times and cut up to make more words, appropriate to the child’s life, for future practice. Otherwise we’re going to keep these until James can read more than his name, and then I wonder how much fun that will be!
The magazine has very easy spot the difference puzzles in. James saw which two were the same immediately. We also found it difficult to understand the story. It seemed like something was missing and as a reader I thought I’d followed in the wrong order or something, but I hadn’t – I think there might, perhaps, have been a level of assumption with regard Noddy knowledge. I also spotted an incidence of Noddy’s car “Revs” being referred to as “Rev’s”, which might not irritate most people but did me, especially in an early years mag! Otherwise the rest of the magazine seems pretty on target for a 4 year old. There’s plenty of tracing writing, making stories, maths through counting, and learning in a very fun way. There are reward charts for everyday activities, like going to the supermarket, and the craft activities were good for using items we all probably have around the house, like ageing a piece of paper with tea to make a pirate map.
Have you read Noddy magazine?