Sam's Magazine Subscriptions

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I remember when I was a kid how exciting it was every month when my magazine subscription arrived. I would skip ahead to my favorite section, and always read them cover to cover several times. These days, there are so many fabulous kids' magazines for all ages that it's hard to choose (peruse the magazine section next time you're at New Seasons!). Right now, Sam receives National Geographic Kids and Highlights High Five. There are many reasons why I think magazine subscriptions for kids are a good thing, but probably what I like the most is the routine of not only receiving a monthly magazine, but that the features of the magazine remain the same from month to month. There are some features that Sam loves to do independently, such as the "Hidden Pictures" activity in Highlights High Five (he's getting really good at this exercise). He learns Spanish phrases from the read-aloud fiction story in each issue that introduces the Spanish language--something that I, too, look forward to learning with him each month. There's always a craft or a cooking project that Sam wants to try, and usually we tear these out and save them for later, or sometimes, if the timing is right, we get started on them right away. Today, he received March's issue, and after reading it together during Juniper's afternoon nap, Sam wanted to make the lemon cake featured as March's cooking activity . After scanning the list of ingredients, I realized I had everything we needed, so we got started on making a lemon cake. Sam seemed especially proud to make a cake from his magazine, and since the recipe was written for kids, he was able to do everything except crack the eggs and put the cake into the oven himself (his arms are still too short to do this safely).

If you don't subscribe to a children's magazine for your child, look into it--there are many wonderful children's magazine options out there. Something as simple as a magazine subscription gives your child something to look forward to receiving in the mail, provides reading material with unchanging features that will enhance your child's development, and is a way to spend quality time with your child. I like that the lemon cake idea came from something of which he felt ownership. Making a cake from his magazine was a different baking experience than when he's helping me make something that I'm making. He was much more enthusiastic, and I think the pictures and layout of this cooking project in the magazine really helped him to conceptualize the process from beginning to end. These monthly magazines really are a worthwhile investment!


Aviva said...

It's funny how different kids are. I was the same as you (and, apparently, Sam) and LOVED getting my magazine subscriptions at least as far back as age 5.

Since Ellie loves animals, I had subscribed her to National Wildlife Federation's Big Back Yard magazine. The photos were outstanding and the articles were interesting and had little activities. But she was no more interested in that than she was in the Sesame Street Magazines that used to come packaged with one of my parenting mags. She didn't even look at most of them and had little to no interest in reading them with us, so I've let her subscription lapse, especially since money is tight these days.

You don't say whether you're keeping the magazines or recycling them, but I'd encourage you to keep them if you have a place to store them. My memories are that they were exciting when they first came and someone read them with me, and then when I was reading, I went through and read them all on my own, including my siblings' back issues. (I think we had about 5 years' worth of Highlights Magazines in the basement.) Also the activities that didn't interest me much as a 5 or 6 year old sometimes were much more interesting when I was 7 or 8.

Also, if you're brave, Sam probably can crack the eggs by now. Ellie has been cracking eggs for recipes since before she was 3. Just make sure he's cracking them into a separate cup or bowl and not into the other ingredients, and put the properly cracked egg into the main bowl before he cracks another one. In the early days, we'd often lose an egg to the side of the bowl/cup as Ellie misjudged where to hold it or how hard to tap it. I never would have let her try doing that so early if it weren't for the cooking classes she took at SWCC. Ellen (the teacher) was quite the inspiration for us, as she showed us things Ellie was capable of that we never would have guessed or tried on our own. :)

Beetles and Bees said...

Hi Aviva, I like your idea of letting Sam crack the eggs. I think I'll let him do this in a separate bowl, then scan it for shells before putting it in with the other ingredients. Good idea, and this will help him w/ coordination. He's still working on coordination w/ stirring, too.

You know, I'm kind of a neat freak around here, so we don't keep back issues of magazines. I donate anything we haven't picked up in a year, and most things go out the door before then. I have always felt an aversion to excess storage. Having said that, I think there is something to saving them. I remember I saved all of mine once I decided that I liked a certain magazine enough to start collecting monthly subscriptions. I don't know if Sam is quite at that point yet, but if so, I think I'll find a spot in his room where we can start storing them.

Good comments, Aviva!

Mandy said...

Hello! My name is Jenna and I work for Cricket Magazine Group. We are a publisher of many children's magazines such as Cricket, Cobblestone, Spider, and Ladybug! I see that you and your son love children's magazines and I think that the ones I have listed above would be a great addition to your collection! Check out our subscriptions at !!

If you would like a free subscription in exchange for writing a review of our mag on your blog, please e-mail me!


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