This week, the mailman has delivered several of my kids’ favorite magazines. We have been blessed with relatives that have given our girls a gift subscription for their birthdays. But now, according to today’s mail, it’s time to decide if we want to renew. And of course, in this economy, when most of America is tightening their belt, it seems that a canceling magazine subscription is an easy way to cut back a little.
At the same time, parents don’t want to deprive their child of something she loves, especially if it’s educational. Here’s are some magazines my girls love:
#1) ASK Magazine
Always surprising, fun and informative, Ask Magazine combines science, social studies, and anything else inquisitive minds want to know. There are lots of colorful illustrations and recurring characters, but the text never talks down to the readers. Both girls read ASK from cover to cover, and if there’s one magazine they prefer to quietly read while hanging out before bedtime, it’s hands down this one. I think we’ll be keeping this subscription going for a few more years.
#2) MUSE Magazine
Made by the same publishers as ASK (Cricket Magazine), MUSE is geared towards 10 and up. Therefore, my 7-year old, even though she’s an advanced reader, isn’t always fascinated by the material. My inquisitive 10 year old love it when I read the articles to her. But since the sentences are sophisticated, and she’s still developing her reading skills, she’s not eager to try reading this magazine all by herself. At least not yet. However, I must confess, that I personally LOVE this magazine! It’s obviously created by intelligent editors and writers who still have the spark of childhood within them. They love to learn and to teach, and it shows in all of their articles, photographs, and illustrations. (I think I’ll continue to subscribe to this magazine, even after my children have gone off to college!)
#3) National Geographic for Kids
Notice how there’s a dolphin on the cover? We just got a new NatGeo for Kids today — and guess what, it’s got a pair of dolphins on the cover. I think 33% of their magazine covers have dolphins, another third of the covers have some sort of cute lion or tiger cub, and finally whatever percentage or fraction is leftover has a funny looking dog on the cover. If you can’t tell, I’ve gotten a bit tired of this magazine. But perhaps that’s unfair. The magazine is filled with attention-getting graphics and surprising facts. They also publish articles about Pop-Culture. This month’s expose interviews the cast of the next Harry Potter movie. There’s fun stuff — but I’m afraid this will be our last issue for a while.
We have also been subscribers of TIME for KIDS, which I rather liked, but the girls never took an interest in the material. They would rather read over Mom’s shoulder while she peruses her “GROWN UP” Time magazine. And finally, for a while we subscribed to Cricket Magazine — a journal of creative non-fiction, poetry, and short stories. Cricket has been around for years, and I honor them for their quest to bring storytelling to children. Yet, that said, my girls at this stage in their reading seem more interested in the books they select at the library, rather than the monthly collection of stories from the well-meaning magazine.
So, we’ll be keeping ASK and MUSE for another year — and we’ll say goodbye to the others. But what about you? Are their ideal magazines for kids that I haven’t mentioned? Share your thoughts!