Mail delivery in our house is a much-anticipated event, especially at the beginning of the month. That’s when our three daughters receive the latest issues of their magazines.
My husband and I subscribe to our own magazines but, until recently, it never occurred to us to see what is out there for our girls. After watching them pore over the periodicals at our local children’s library, we decided to get them their own magazine subscriptions.
We started off with Chirp for our youngest daughter Maya, and ChickaDEE and National Geographic Kids for our animal-obsessed older daughters, Sophie and Alex. These were readily devoured when they first arrived at our house, and then placed in a hanging file in a corner of the kitchen, to be re-read and enjoyed time and again. The older girls have since graduated to Owl magazine, and we’ve added a kid-authored periodical called Creative Kids to the lineup.
Magazines offer children of all ages a whole range of benefits, not the least of which is being able to choose a subject tailored to their interests. Most publications have a variety of content, from short stories to feature articles, comic strips and games, all of which help foster a love of literacy. Alex collects the cutout animal cards from National Geographic Kids the way other kids collect hockey cards, while Sophie loves to follow the online links in the articles to find out more about her favourite animals. Maya learned to read in the pages of Chirp and enjoys trying to do the easy-to-follow art activities.
The biggest challenge when it comes to kids’ magazines is choosing which ones to welcome into your home. Checking out what is available at the local library was a good resource for us. But whatever you choose to subscribe to, remember that a magazine subscription makes a great birthday present that can be enjoyed all year long. You may have already heard of the bigger names like Sports Illustrated Kids and Discovery Girl. Check out some of these interesting titles, and look online to browse through sample issues and companion websites.
Chirp (3 to 6 years)
ChickaDEE (6 to 9 years)
Owl (9 to 13 years)
These award-winning ad-free magazines are offered through www.Owlkids.com, and offer kid-appropriate, colourful content. The articles, features, images and games run through a whole gamut of topics and themes, from a simple look at recycling in Chirp to more challenging and thought-provoking articles on the environment in Owl. It’s a great starting place for any family interested in trying out magazines for their kids. Subscribing for one year to each magazine is $29 for 12 issues. Discounts are available for two-year subscriptions and for each additional subscription. If you would like information about the Owl magazines in French, go to www.bayardjeunesse.ca
Creative Kids Magazine (8 to 14 years)
A U.S. magazine by and for kids from all over the world, with stories, games, contests, pictures, brain teasers and opinions. This interactive magazine will appeal to kids because of its focus on encouraging kids to write themselves. Best of all, kids can submit their own original poetry, prose, games and artwork to the magazines for publication. A subscription costs $24.95 on www.amazon.com for this quarterly magazine.
Calliope (9 to 14 years)
Each issue of this 52-page magazine focuses on a different aspect and period of world history, tailored specifically to the interests of kids. This beautifully laid out magazine gives fascinating insight into important world events, great leaders, writers, artists and inventors from different times and places, as well as the everyday people who helped create and live in those cultures. The editors are well versed in making history come alive through a wide variety of techniques. A recent issue on epic heroes featured a picture of Brad Pitt playing Achilles in the 2004 movie Troy, and another offered a whole spread on Joan of Arc. In addition, there are games and contests to stimulate young imaginations. Also, check out their other kids’ magazines, including Odyssey (about science) and Faces (about world travel). Subscription cost is $44.55 on www.amazon.com for nine issues.
New Moon: A Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams, (8 to 15 years)
This ad-free, bi-monthly magazine is dedicated to promoting girls voices in print (and through their online club). The pages are filled with interesting content that steers clear of the usual boys, friends and fashion, focusing more on social issues, arts and world events. The magazine has its own Girls Editorial Board for insight and ideas about the magazine’s content. A recent issue looked at music, with a clever interview with a female DJ and Bhangra album producer, an article about rap lyrics and whether they can be degrading to women, and a look at the different media and technologies related to music. A one year (6 issues) subscription is $34.95 at www.newmoon.org/specialoffer.
Turtle Magazine (2 to 5 years)
Humpty Dumpty (4 to 6 years)
Playmate (6 to 8 years)
Jack & Jill (7 to 10 years)
Children’s Digest (10 to 12 years)
This award-winning lineup of bi-monthly magazines offers boys and girls interesting, colourful, easy-to-read articles on science, animals, sports, and general interest topics tailored to each age group. Issues feature games, cover art contests, comics and kid-friendly healthy recipes. A one-year subscription to any of the magazines is $23.95 at www.cbhi.org.
Know (6 to 9 years)
Yes Mag (9 to 14 years)
Two Canadian bi-monthly science magazines for boys and girls that bring science to life through colourful illustrations and photographs, fascinating articles, fun facts, and hands-on experiments. The magazines look at technology, biology, archaeology/palaeontology and earth sciences, and offer profiles about famous scientists and their accomplishments. Each issue devotes about half its space to a specific theme, such as caves, or horses. The Science and Technology Watch section brings readers up to date with the latest discoveries and inventions, and each issue also has two or three feature articles on a wide variety of subjects. A subscription is $24 for one year and $41 for two years at www.yesmag.ca/store.