Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Magazines for Kids - A New Generation, by Chris Piotrowski

Anybody who grew up in the 60's and 70's will probably remember the old standby children's magazine, Highlights for Children. For me, it was the only thing I liked about going to the dentist. My mother was a stickler for healthy teeth, and dragged all five of us every six months in to see our dentist for our biannual checkup.

The waiting room was standard fare for the time - a pot of coffee hissing and steaming in one corner, a row of chairs lining each wall, and in the corner an end table cluttered with a pile of assorted magazines to help pass the time until your name was called. Always somewhere in that pile was at least one copy of Highlights magazine, filled with enough stories and puzzles to keep my mind off the possibility of impending doom in the dentist's chair.

Today, the choices for children's magazines have grown exponentially. No longer are you limited to Highlights and a handful of others - there are literally dozens of quality kids' magazines to keep your young readers entertained and coming back for more. No matter what your child's area of interest, there is bound to be something to suit his needs perfectly.

For animal lovers, you can't go wrong with Zoobooks or Ranger Rick - both are long-time favorites that help kids sharpen their reading skills and develop a deeper appreciation for our natural world. For the younger set, there's Zootles for 2 to 6 year olds, which includes a featured animal, number, and sound in each issue, and Your Big Backyard, for ages 3 to 7, which draws preschoolers closer to nature and gets them ready to read. Youngsters will enjoy the seasonal crafts, simple cooking recipes, fun games, and more.

Along those same lines, there are a number of science magazines to engage young readers with their dramatic color photography and informative kid-friendly text. In Kids Discover, each issue investigates a single high-interest topic in science or social studies, engaging its readers with compelling content. There's Muse, a science and discovery magazine for children ages 10 and up from the publishers of Smithsonian, as well as Odyssey, a physical and space science magazine written in language that kids between the ages of 10 and 15 can understand and enjoy. The younger set will enjoy Click, an educational, skill-building publication for ages 3 to 7 that is colorful and easy to read, making science accessible to even young children.

Perhaps the most popular and quality-driven of the children's magazines today are the Cricket line of magazines, a literature-oriented series filled with wonderful illustrations. They contain no outside advertising and are available for every age group. The series begins with BabyBug for ages 6 months to 2 years, followed by Ladybug for 2 to 6 year olds, Spider for 6 to 9 year olds, Cricket for 9 to 14 year olds, and Cicada for ages 14 and up.

If you're just looking for something to keep your kids entertained on a rainy day or on short car trips around town, there are plenty more to choose from besides the more educational titles mentioned above. MAD Kids is all about fun, with jokes, puzzles, cartoons, dumb interviews, and much more. Nickelodeon magazine is the award-winning magazine from the number one network for kids. It keeps kids of all ages entertained for hours with celebrity interviews, comics, pull-outs, puzzles and more. Its sister magazine, Nickelodeon Fun Puzzles & Games, is filled w/full-color, fun puzzles like word searches, mazes & easy crosswords, plus riddles and pictures to draw, featuring favorite Nickelodeon characters.

With children's magazines, the possibilities are endless. They make perfect gifts, and while they may not be the most exciting gift to open at the birthday party, the joy on a child's face every month when he receives his very own magazine delivered right to his mailbox is priceless.

With the wide variety of titles available for children, there is bound to be something for every child in your life. For more information on the above titles and many more, visit Mile High Magazines at http://www.milehighmags.com.
Chris Piotrowski is the owner of Mile High Magazines (http://www.milehighmags.com/oscommerce/catalog/), an online retailer of over 1200 magazines, including 50 children's magazines.
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