After months of sheltering at home, parents may have reached their wits’ end keeping their children entertained, enriched, or at the very least, quiet. There’s the ongoing saga of managing kids’ screen time, and the struggle to keep them preoccupied just long enough for you to proofread that important email or log onto the next Zoom meeting.
Children’s magazines are the perfect antidote to the “I’m boooored!” blues.
A serious boost in the sales of kids’ magazines suggests that parents are increasingly looking for tactile entertainment to provide a different kind of escape for their children. At-home subscriptions can also help when many libraries and bookstores have COVID-related closures or limited hours. These publications are filled with puzzles, coloring pages, and projects that promote play-based learning. Most importantly, they help bolster kids’ literacy skills, which is crucial in helping prevent the dreaded slide during hybrid or all-remote learning.
“We are our child’s primary teachers, now, more than ever before,” says Annisha Jeffries, Youth Services Manager at the Cleveland Public Library. “Magazines — unlike books — are filled with immediate chunks of information,” she continues, pointing to stories, crafts, and games that can stoke kids’ curiosity about animals, the arts, history, and science. She encourages caregivers to join in the fun when kids dive into magazine games or word search puzzles. “These are memories parents are creating that a TV program or the internet can’t supersede.”
Most parents are no-doubt familiar with household names like Highlights, Ranger Rick, and Cricket. But we’ve compiled a more recent roster that are sure to pique children’s imaginations, as well as teach them. Whether your kid is a bookworm or a reluctant reader, a gadget geek or a budding artiste, you’ll find their perfect fit in this readable round-up.
With content designed by professional scientists and artists, this UK-based publication is a best bet for the kid who’s always asking “Why?” Okido’s credo is “Every child is a creative scientist,” and each of their colorful issues is filled with answers about all things STEAM-related. The magazine’s mascot, Messy the Monster, helps children learn to express their emotions, explore nature, and get creative with recycled materials. Their latest, the “Virus Issue,” explains the COVID-19 pandemic in language little ones can comprehend, and features such DIY projects as making your own mask and growing your own vegetables while sheltering at home.