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First coding board game for preschoolers launches

Learning pioneers OKIDO and OjO join forces for launch of Which Way? game.

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) learning pioneers OKIDO and OjO have joined forces to launch the first coding board game for four year olds.

Which Way? has been launched as part of a joint Kickstarter campaign to raise £15,000.

Designed to make learning engaging and fun, the game has been created by OjO’s team of product designers, educational and child development experts and digital marketeers. Using a magnetic, self-driving, toy car, it helps to teach four of the top coding skills to children aged from just four.

It helps youngsters develop ‘computational thinking’ incorporating planning, problem solving, coding and testing skills.

It is currently believed to be the only game of its kind which is suitable for preschool children.

Which Way? is the brainchild of OjO founder Maha Khawaja, who started making STEAM educational games from her Shoreditch base after struggling to keep her four year old son occupied.

“Apart from LEGO, there was hardly any choice when it came to fun, educational STEAM games and toys and we know that children need and want to learn much earlier,” said Maha. “The games and toys have to be fun and educational in equal measure and combine STEM subjects with the arts because creativity is key. By collaborating with OKIDO, we hope to help to inspire the next generation of innovators and inventors.

“Coding is the language of the future and the game makes it second nature for young kids to learn coding. It’s also affordable for parents and schools, unlike other coding toys, which can be expensive.”

The collaboration with former research scientist Dr Sophie Dauvois and artist Rachel Ortas – founders of Bethnal Green-based OKIDO – was a natural step, as OKIDO regularly holds STEAM-based activities, interactive experiments and live shows for youngsters throughout the capital. Its magazine features recycled paper, edible vegetable ink, boasts no plastic wrapping and offers young readers educational activities and a board game.

Sophie added: “Board games are something we really believe in and it’s rare to find an engaging STEAM toy that children will enjoy playing with again and again. This game will help to get young children interested in the scientific world around them using play, art and fun. You repeat the playing and learning every single time that you engage – we call it hidden learning.”

Investors have until June 12 before the funding window closes. Pledges start from £1 and go up to packages costing £500. Limited copies of Which Way? are available at £24 early bird price – a 20% discount on the usual £30.

The cash injection will be used to develop a range of new toys and games to spark STEAM learning.

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