The Tiikat Project

Tiikat is an evolutionary way of learning which allows children to choose what interests them, and encourages them to develop a love of exploration which will last a lifetime. Combining free online resources with offline books, environmentally friendly kits and activities, Tiikat supports learning at home, or in the classroom, in a unique and creative way, often using games, stories and experiments.

Tiikat is also the name of the adorable travelling cat who guides kids around the world to learning and adventure! While children explore their own interests and complete lessons, Tiikat the cat is always learning with you. A very diligent feline, Tiikat keeps an online travel journal which describes his experiences, written while he is travelling on board his ship The Purrpoise. You get to see the world through Tiikat’s eyes, seeing the world from his purrrrspective.

Currently, the project is still in its first stage, combining Tiikat’s journal and fun practical activities, with plans to roll out many more interactive tools, including lesson plans and games. The aim of the second stage is to produce a series of children’s illustrated chapter books that combine with an online learning program (website and app). In each book Tiikat will be exploring new countries, learning from people he meets as well as going on exciting adventures. Every aspect of the book that could lend itself to further learning and enjoyment, such as child lead research or practical activities, the website will cover.

We would really love to hear feedback from kids and their parents. We hope that as Tiikat develops it will become not only a source of fun and a great learning resource, but also a community where readers can share their work and experiences.

Tiikeri - the inspiration behind it all...
Tiikeri investigating Tiikat toy

Miia’s Story

I’m the inventor and director of Tiikat. I am also a half-Finnish, onesie-wearing, nature-loving, cat-mother and Brownie leader, who has worked as a child educator for over 15 years!

I first tried my hand at teaching when I was 14 years old. Creating a spy character, Agent Z, for my five-year-old brother, I led him on missions, such as mathematical treasure hunts. Seeing him progress quickly and gain confidence, while also really enjoying himself was what first set me on my path. From that time onwards, I knew that I wanted to teach.

Even when I was studying at Cambridge University, I tutored children during my holidays. After graduation I explored various career avenues, but nothing inspired me in the same way as teaching did and I kept coming back to it. I decided to pursue a career in education, working as a teaching assistant to gain valuable experience in a classroom, before studying at the Institute of Education and becoming a Primary School teacher.

While working in primary schools and during my 1-to-1 teaching of Science, History and Maths up to A-Level, I frequently found myself frustrated with the restraints of the curriculum, and the often unnecessary pressure to achieve in exams. I found that often the creativity and the welfare of children subsequently suffer. It is my core belief that children should find enjoyment in learning so that they can become lifelong learners.

A few years ago, I began to consider how I could translate my teaching approach into a resource that would be available to everyone. As a result, the Tiikat project was born, designed to be an evolutionary way of learning which allows children to choose what interests them, and encourages them to develop a love of exploration.

Inspired conceptually by my childhood travel journals, paintings and my times in Finland, Tiikat combines my lifelong passion for learning, stories, cooking, crafting, exploring nature and, of course, cats!

P.s. Tiikat was also inspired by the furriest member of my family, Tiikeri (tiger in Finnish). She is a little rascal and loves exploring the local woodland!

If you want to learn more about the real life Tiikeri or have any other questions about the project you can contact me at

Miia reading Tiikat's journal
Blueberry picking

Louise’s Story

I’m the illustrator and art director at Tiikat, working alongside Miia to develop the visual identity of the project. I am also a long-distance hiking, theatre making, nature-adoring, child educator and artist who really loves cats!

When the first picture of me was taken under our blossoming cherry tree (SEE PHOTO), I had already begun my lifelong love of nature and pink fluffy jumpers. A little while later, I said my first word, ‘Oscar’, which was the name of our lovely black cat. Cats have continued to be an important part of my life since that day, and so it feels very fitting that the child that loved to draw cats and boats has grown up to become part of the Tiikat core team!

I was attracted to the Tiikat project because seeing children embracing and then benefitting from creative learning is a key motivator in my life. I hope that we can inspire in them a spirited desire for attaining further knowledge which they can carry all the way through their lives. I believe that there is nothing more exciting than continuing our discovery of this awe-inspiring planet, whether you are one or one hundred and one.

The project artwork is informed by references to Finnish culture, where the main character in our stories, Tiikat, originates from. As Tiikat sails around the world, the illustrations and Tiikat’s own drawings will take inspiration from the places he visits and the things he has discovered along the way. I wanted to convey the joy of adventure in all its highs and lows, just as I have experienced while hiking hundreds of miles from mountains to rolling hills to the very forests where Tiikat is from. Tiikat himself was inspired by Miia’s gorgeous real-life cat Tiikeri. It has been a joy to design Tiikat from the tip of his extra long tail to his magical purple eye.

P.S. keep an eye out for sneaky little details in my pictures – particularly mouse shaped ones!

Louise with Tiikeri
Louise under a cherry tree
Louise under a cherry tree
Louise carves a pumpkin
Louise carves a pumpkin