Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Watch a Caribbean reef octopus change colour!

Want to watch an amazing octopus video? Using special skin cells called chromatophores, Caribbean reef octopuses can change colour at high speed to blend seamlessly into their coral home. This allows them to sneak up on prey and hide from predators.

See one in action here!

Discover more awesomely amazing coral reef residents in Whizz Pop Bang: REMARKABLE REEFS, available in our shop now!

Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Make an edible coral polyp

Have you been reading about coral polyps in Whizz Pop Bang’s REMARKABLE REEFS edition?

This video shows how you can make your own edible polyp using banana, biscuits and sweets. Yum!

Find out more in REMARKABLE REEFS, available in our shop now!

This is great activity for schools teaching Animals, including humans and Living things and habitats at Key Stage 2. If you’re looking for science activities linked to coral reefs, give it a try!

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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Watch the red crab migration here!

After the first rainfall of the wet season, tens of millions of red crabs on Christmas Island, Australia, travel from their forest burrows to the ocean to breed.

Have you been reading about amazing animal migrations in Whizz Pop Bang’s ON THE MOVE edition? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to see what it looks like when millions of mini red crabs travel across Christmas Island?

On the move cover
ON THE MOVE: Amazing Animal Migrations is on sale now

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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How to help Your Year 6 Child Finish School During COVID-19

by Helly Douglas

Reducing capacity of schools has had a huge impact on children, particularly those in year six. Leaving primary school is always a challenging time, but this year it feels harder than ever. 

We asked childhood mental health specialist Dr Naira Wilson for ideas to help you support your child as they prepare to finish school during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Has your child recently returned to school, or are they going back soon? Read Naira’s advice on how to handle returning to school during the pandemic here.

1: Accept what you can’t control

You can’t change a global pandemic. Acknowledge how unfair it is but don’t dwell on the negatives. 

Naira suggests, “Limit how long you spend thinking about things that are out of your control. Remember regular self-care like having enough sleep, enjoying activities and getting into nature. It doesn’t help to keep worrying.”

As children grow up, they see that worries are a normal part of life. Worries don’t have to control our actions or make choices for us. Instead we learn to live with them. If your child is struggling to cope with the impact of the pandemic on life generally, check out Naira’s tips here.

2: Find new ways to say goodbye

Every school has rituals and celebrations for school leavers. It’s a chance for reflection, to come together and say goodbye.

Rather than dwelling on what lockdown restrictions have spoilt, we can accept the chance to make new experiences. It’s time to create different rites of passage.

Your child could:

  • Create a memory book of photos and special certificates
  • Write letters or emails to favourite teachers
  • Pose for photos in their uniform on the last day of term
  • Enjoy video calls with friends
  • Create a time capsule to bury for the future

It’s inevitable they will feel a sense of deflation that usual events won’t happen. Emphasise what they can do. Make the end of term feel special, rather than let it slide by uncelebrated.

3: Help them create their own story

There’s never just one version of events. Everyone has different stories they can tell about their lockdown experience. Your child could focus on the negatives or choose to tell a positive story about how they coped with the changes. What’s the story they will take from this experience?

Naira recommends your child writing a letter to themselves six months in the future. Keep it to send back to them. “How did you grow? What was stressful or tense? What new opportunities did this bring?” she suggests asking. “These questions help them see that this experience will make them different, in a good way.”

4: Talk about leaving school

Saying goodbye to primary school is always bittersweet. There’s lots to look forward to but much to miss. Naira explains, “We grow from feeling uncomfortable and experiencing changes. It helps us develop and we are better because of it.”

Talk together about school and favourite memories. Let them share their feelings about changing school. Reassure them it is normal to feel anxious about leaving a familiar place.

5: Think about their new school

Moving onto secondary causes anxiety because there are many unknowns. You can help by giving them agency over preparations for year seven. They can plan what they need to prepare for the start of term and practise their route to school.

Information helps us feel in control of new situations. Look at photos and share news and emails from the new school. Naira suggests being confident in not knowing everything about what secondary school will be like. Write questions they’d like to find the answer to.

6: Know when they need extra help

We want to normalise feeling worried about leaving primary school but not ignore or dismiss it. If you’re concerned about your child, trust your instincts. Problems sleeping, loss of appetite or not wanting to do things they enjoyed before, are all signs that they aren’t okay.

Treat mental health like physical health. Naira says, “If you had a rash that was getting worse, you wouldn’t leave it, you’d get help.” Talk to your child’s teachers if you are worried about how they are handling the transition. If things don’t improve, or get worse, contact your GP for help. 

COVID-19 has been a huge time of change and children have learnt how to cope with it. Whether they return to school or stay at home, the end of year six can still be a time of celebration. A different end to school is another change they will manage and grow stronger from.

If you’re feeling very anxious about coronavirus, or are concerned about your child’s mental health, speak to your GP. Click here for the latest advice relating to coronavirus from the UK government. Click here if you think you may have coronavirus symptoms – do not go to your GP, hospital or pharmacy.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

Dr Naira Wilson is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist who specialises in childhood mental health.

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COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN fantastic poo and dinosaur games!

Want to win some brilliant games? We’ve got five sets of two to give away! 

Poo Bingo (written by Claudia Boldt and illustrated by Aidan Onn) features 24 animals and their uniquely-shaped poos. Be first to fill your card with animals and poos to win BINGO!

Reunite the dinosaurs with their skeletons (while learning about each species) in Match these Bones (written by Whizz Pop Bang writer, Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Paul Upchurch and James Barker).

These fab games will be available from Laurence King’s online shop and good book shops from August, but if you can’t wait until then, answer this question to be in with a chance of winning:

True or false: 
Wombat poo is cube-shaped

This competition closes at midnight on Tuesday 30th June 2020. Whizz Pop Bang competition terms and conditions are here.

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Touchy feely virtual reality

Virtual reality allows users to see a virtual world, but a new technology could allow them to feel it too. The device, developed by American scientists, uses multiple strings attached to the hand and fingers to simulate the feel of touching objects. You could even high five a virtual character!

The strings are attached to spring-loaded retractors, like those used in key chains, in a lightweight device worn on the shoulder.

Watch the device in action here:

Read the latest science news in every issue of Whizz Pop Bang magazine. This story is in PLAYGROUND SCIENCE, on sale now!

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Cheltenham Science Festival goes virtual!

The Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home runs from 2-7 June and you can watch it all online!

Have you read about AIDA, the world’s first AI festival curator, in Whizz Pop Bang: Playground Science? Here’s where you can watch the live talks:


Find out about the entire programme, including links to events being held on other platforms, here:


Read on for our highlights of the festival!

Whizz Pop Bang: Playground Science is available here for just £3.99!

Our highlights:

Family Show: The Quantum Mechanical Chocolate Factory on Tuesday 2nd Jun 2020 10:00am – 11:00am

Stefan Gates‘ Wonka-esque, snack-based science show is packed with the chemistry of sweets, the engineering of chocolate fountains, the biology of flatulence and the quantum mechanics of glowing spaghetti. Loads of demos you can try at home, plus a few you really can’t!”

Colourful Science on Tuesday 2nd Jun 2020 10:00am – 11:00am

“Why is grass green? And why do butterfly wings shimmer different colours? Join mathematician Katie Steckles, chemist Jamie Gallagher and biophysicist Nate Adams as they explore what colour means to them and how colours can even help us understand the universe.”

Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour Of The Solar System on Thursday 4th June 2020 10:00am – 11:00am

“Join space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on an epic adventure through the Solar System. Visit the most magnificent sights and discover all the spectacles that outer space has to offer, from planets and moons to asteroids, comets and satellites. Hold on to your helmet and get set for a cosmic roller coaster ride.”

Sound of Science on Friday 5th June 2020 at 10:00am – 11:00am

“Join Nate Adams for an extravaganza of fiery, colourful and explosive science demonstrations. Featuring original electropop with incredible visuals from the Sound of Science band. Explore what the universe is made of, why you stick to the ground and how you can eat light!”

Shape & Symmetry: Mathematical Art Workshop on Saturday 6th June 2020 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm

“Many beautiful designs and patterns are based on underlying mathematical principles of shape and symmetry. Using a ruler and compass, shapes can be constructed on paper which can form the basis of geometric patterns. In this workshop mathematician Katie Steckles and illustrator Hana Ayoob will talk you through the process and give you time – and inspiration – to design your own artwork, incorporating design ideas from traditional mandala shapes and patterns.”

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Returning to school during COVID-19: 6 easy ways to prepare your child

By Helly Douglas

September is almost here which can only mean one thing: it’s back to school time! But preparing for the new term is a little more complicated in 2020. As well as shelling out on school shoes and packing pencil cases, there’s also the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to consider.

The latest government advice states that “all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term”, so many of us are wondering how to prepare our children for going back to school during a worldwide pandemic.

It’s natural for us all, parents and children, to feel a range of emotions about the start of a new term during this unusual time. We might be excited about our children seeing their friends and returning to learning in the classroom, but also worried about health risks and changes to normal school life.

We asked childhood mental health expert Dr Naira Wilson for her advice on how to help your child feel ready to walk back through the school gates.

1: Talk about how school will be different

There’s a fine balance between preparing your child and depressing them with all the things they can’t do. Talk calmly and factually about what it will be like when they return. Changes are different, not bad. 

Naira suggests you can help your child be curious about the changes. “Let them wonder what things will be like rather than thinking it will be good or bad.” They can tell you whether their predictions came true after their first day.

Read school communications together and note important information. It’s okay to feel in the dark or not remember all the changes. This shows them that everyone is learning a new way of schooling – even the teachers.

2: Focus on what will stay the same

Whilst there will be plenty of changes, many things continue as usual. They will still complete activities and games, see their friends and be taught by a teacher. Reminding your child of the normal features of school will reassure them they are returning to a familiar place.

Naira recommends talking about how long it took for lockdown to feel familiar. “We all went through a process of adjusting to the change,” she explains. “Our bodies slowly get used to something new until we feel comfortable again. Going back to school is another change we will get used to.”

3: Help them talk about their feelings

Children don’t share feelings on demand. Look for opportunities to talk when they feel comfortable. This could be over a meal, at bedtime, cuddled up watching TV or when out walking. Listen to their worries, even if they seem insignificant. Minor things, like which toilets to use, can feel huge to them.

Guessing and wondering how they’re feeling are great ways to begin a conversation. Sometimes children can’t articulate their emotions. Be confident with your guesses. If you’re right, they will feel you understand them. If you’re wrong, they’ll want to explain why. It shows them that parents can misunderstand sometimes – and help you find out what the real problem is.

4: Be honest about what is happening

If children know why it’s important to socially distance and wash their hands, it’s easier to get them to do it. Talk factually about COVID-19, without focusing on the risks – we’ve got more great tips from Naira on how to tackle conversations around coronavirus here. If you don’t know the answer to a question, suggest you can find out together.

Whilst you’ll want to show that you’re positive about their return, you don’t need to pretend everything is normal. Naira says, “Parents need to be honest. They can say, ‘I’m worried too because I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ It’s normal to feel worried sometimes.” 

5: Involve them in preparing for school

Children enjoy helping to get things ready. Check your school’s latest guidance and make a list for them to tick off. Let them pack their bag (with your help) so they know where everything is when they’re at school. 

Naira suggests looking for ways to give them a sense of more control over the situation. Could they make a ‘how to’ help sheet for students who will return after them? Encourage them to see themselves as leading the way for other children.

Are you feeling anxious? Children are quick to pick up on our emotions. At school drop off, smile and be positive. Help them have a great start to their first day back. 

6: Stay calm and positive

“This isn’t a whole new approach to parenting,” Naira explains. “We are always preparing our children for change. Be confidently uncertain about not knowing all the details.”

Once your child has returned to school, you’ll be surprised how quickly they adapt. The strange changes will seem normal before long. However, if your child feels anxious about returning to school, discuss any issues with their teachers and see if they can help. If your child’s feelings don’t subside, or if they get worse, contact your GP to discuss your worries.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

Dr Naira Wilson is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist who specialises in childhood mental health.

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Thank you, science heroes!

It goes without saying that we are immensely grateful for the incredible efforts of medics and everyone who works for the NHS, and we want to extend our thanks to include all SCIENCE HEROES who are working especially hard at the moment. 

From clinical research scientists working on vaccines and cures, to engineers keeping our infrastructure up and running, to behaviour analysts working on how to ease lockdown, thousands of SCIENCE HEROES are using their amazing skills to keep the country running during the pandemic. 

We want to show them how grateful we are, so here’s an awesome poster by Whizz Pop Bang’s brilliant illustrator Clive Goodyer to print, colour and display! Find it here: www.whizzpopbang.com/lockdown-science – scroll down the page to find it in a few different sizes.

Are you a scientist key worker? We would LOVE to know what important work our readers’ families are involved in during the COVID-19 crisis!  👇

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