Eyeyah magazine teaches kids about social media and the internet

by Grace Wang in April 2018
Everything

Do you wish you learned more creative thinking skills in school? Concerned with early education’s lack of flexibility, Eyeyah magazine is creating a platform that introduces children to cutting-edge creativity while exploring topical social issues. Published in Singapore, their first edition explores the fun and dark sides of the internet, touching on subjects like cookies, online strangers, technology addiction, social media behaviours and more, through popping illustrations and puzzles.

Aimed at eight-year-olds, the hands-on activity magazine can be read by children as young as five. Though, as an adult, I found their mazes and cut-out games irresistible, so I got in touch with founder Tanya Wilson to find out about their attention grabbing image-making.

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What does ‘Eyeyah’ mean?
It comes from the colloquial term ‘AIYAH!’, which is an expressive exclamation heard often in Singapore and Hong Kong. We are all about using the eyes, hence the switching of the spelling to ‘Eye’. Essentially it’s a brand born in Asia with an international outlook.

Why did you start Eyeyah magazine?
We were discussing the lack of creativity in the education system, and what we could do to address it. Our team comes from an advertising background and understand the need for creativity in everyone, not just the creative industry. The world is changing and we believe it’s a skill people need to survive and solve the problems of today.

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As a parent yourself, what are the things that worry you the most about your children’s use of the internet?
We are concerned that many children are simply not equipped with the knowledge to make their own decisions about how long they should spend online. So we’ve covered topics like addiction, online strangers, social media, cookies and viruses to encourage children to decipher the images and come to their own conclusion.

How do you use image to “stimulate observation and lateral thinking” in kids? Can you give us an example from the issue?
Kids are visual learners and naturally see the world in a different way to convention. We believe artists, illustrators and designers are capable of nurturing this ability. For example, this piece by designer ‘Yeah Yeah Chloe’ (below) uses a precise graphic language, bringing together two visual symbols. The iconic image of the smartphone, paired with the timeless image of despair: the drowning hands appealing for help. It’s a universal image that can be understood by young people, no matter their culture or background.

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What’s next for Eyeyah?
We are looking for museum partners who want to turn these ideas into experiences for children — art combined with learning. We are also looking for new artists and developing content for our new theme: ‘The Dangers of the Supermarket.’

eyeyah.com

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