What is a magazine for kids?

November 19, 2012

I love magazines for kids, and I think that kids get a lot out of them. Something new to look forward to, make and read and draw and learn from.

Children’s magazines should have a good mix of fun and games and education and learning.

We think we have this mix right in our Action Pack Magazine (for kids who want to do stuff) — what do you think – we would love to hear your feedback – what would you like to see more of? Less of?

There are plenty of magazines both e-magazines and print mags, that are called “children’s magazines”, but beware, many of these may not be suitable for kids. Have your ever thought you were buying a magazine for your kids but ended up with a parenting magazine, or else bought a magazine where every second page is marketing at your kids to buy buy buy. Or maybe you bought a magazine because it was really just beautifully designed but turns out it is not the right age range f0r your kids?

When looking for what sorts of magazines to get for your kids keep these things in mind:

  • A Kids magazine should be ad-free! Why? Should kids really be subjected to the constant marketing push that we adults have grown accustomed to? Apart from the fact that advertising aimed at children is pretty unethical, children in fact see advertising a lot differently than adults do — they are unable to filter out what is true and what is false and often really believe that advertisements are facts — like watching the news! The constant bombardment of advertising in our children’s lives just may be turning them into materialistic non-thinkers? Do you really want your kids begging for the newest and brightest new toy or game or gadget all the time?
  • Parenting magazines are not children’s magazines. Many adorable magazines are calling themselves children’s magazines — or are listed in the children’s category of magazine websites — simply because they feature products for children. However I feel strongly that these magazines are for parents — these are parenting magazines! Full of adorable children modelling the latest designer outfits and using the latest designer children’s products — it is the parents who are drooling over these cute pictures, while there may be the occasional kids craft in these magazines — they are not kids magazines.
  • Product or brand sponsored magazines. Kids and teen magazines that really have a lot of advertising and may be sponsored by or owned by a product or brand — such as Disney magazines and teen fashion mags, should be filtered carefully.
  • I personally love educational and artistic magazines for kids — they are beautifully produced and are filled with artistic illustrations or amazing facts (National Geographic for Kids, Wildlife magazines and science magazines as well as literary and artistic magazines) and are fantastic, joyful creations —  however make sure to take note of the age range that these are aimed at, you should probably get your hands on an actual magazine before subscribing, just to check if your kids might be interested or if the content / educational level is suitable.
  • Comic books — yes — super fun, do check that they are kids magazines and not for adults — as adult ones can and do have inappropriate content (my boy loves vintage comics and we have been caught out on this before – luckily he is pretty good at self censoring!).

What are your favourite magazines for kids – and what are your children’s fave mags?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

strikkelise November 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm

My daughter who is 10 years old, never finds any mags that she wants to read. I mean literally never. The only ones that are available in Norwegian, at least in supermarkets and newspaper stands, are either too childish (fairy stuff, all pics of puppies, etc.), too commercial (all fashion/beauty) or they are too mature (teen stuff with celebrity gossip and sexual education columns). Well, they are all too commercial, really. And she says there´s nothing interesting in them. I’m glad, in a way, that she doesn’t care for commercial crap, but it’s too bad that that is all they are offering.
Her little brother (8) reads some cartoons and still cares a little for movie spinoff mags from Disney etc. (which we try to limit because of the commercialism).
We do buy a children’s newspaper (weekly kids’ edition of a national Norwegian newspaper) and they just inhale it. So the market is there, obviously, for more serious content.)
Reading and commenting here just made me realise I should go on a serious hunt for something interesting, maybe some subscription as a Christmas present.

kath_red November 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I am glad the market is there for serious content for kids – I agree that the current state of children’s magazines is woeful. That newspaper for kids sounds interesting though!

strikkelise November 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

And btw they are a little too young to be able to read English, but we are getting there :)

Amy November 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm

We have subscribed our son (Max, 12) to Muse, Dig, Time for Kids, and the whole host of Ranger Rick and other outdoors/animal magazines.

Natalie November 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Dear Kathreen
Buying for me, that was Anorak Magazine 2 years ago. My son loves and does the maze and puzzles and he’s favorite is the one 100% made by kids. He’s own magazine is in german and it’s called Olli and Molli Kindergarden. It’s ad free and it has a lot of french comic and drawing in it…
We love doing maze and they’re great books from Thomas Flintham which are puzzle and story (english or german) mixed in, one book a year…
Best Regards Natalie

Lucy November 30, 2012 at 1:32 am

Cricket! I loved it as a kid, and now my daughter gets their toddler version, Babybug, in the mail. They have a while range of fiction and non fiction magazines, so you can find one for any age range.

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