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What You May Be Missing in a Magazine

By Jessica Hensley

A few years ago, during a graduate program for web design, a professor posed the question, “Does anyone actually subscribe to magazines anymore?” As a magazine enthusiast I was appalled. Of course, I thought. I love my magazine subscription. Magazines offer us a monthly exploration of subjects that interest us. Original stories, reporting of information, how to’s, stunning photographs and illustrations are only a part of the magazine experience. They offer a tactile quality that digital devices - websites, Kindles, iPhones - can’t offer, no matter how hard they try. Besides, where would the joy in a waiting room be without magazines?

As a mother of two, it surprises me that more parents don’t subscribe to magazines for their kids. It’s a shame if magazines are overlooked in favor of the immediacy of websites, video games and television as leisure time activities. I, for one, highly recommend parents consider subscribing to children’s magazines for several reasons:

1. They are Age-Appropriate and Interest-Specific

MagazinesMagazines literally come in all shapes and sizes; there are publications for children as young as two and those well into their teens. Those designed for younger children are often smaller in size, perfect for little hands, with an abundance of illustrations, photographs and age-appropriate text. Those for older children are larger in scale and chock-full of facts, figures, articles and games along with fascinating imagery. Additionally, most magazines explore areas of interest via a monthly theme. Subjects our children enjoy such as science, math, art, music, literature or sports are presented in age-appropriate manageable nuggets. Many magazines profile other children or students that participate in those fields, be it farming, or framing a picture. Therefore, by giving kids a magazine filled with interesting and timely information about their hobbies or favorite subject in school, we not only encourage reading, learning and personal development, but we offer inspiration. All without nagging.

2. They Deliver The Goods

What kid doesn’t look forward to receiving mail? A magazine subscription guarantees monthly delivery of something fun and educational, geared specifically to your child’s interest. Magazine subscriptions build anticipation to learn something new, as well as looking forward to recurring features. Magazine sections and editorial are consistent from month-to-month. If your child finished last month’s picture puzzle in less than 10 minutes, he may eagerly challenge himself to finish this month’s in less than 8 minutes. Or perhaps they really enjoy reading a particular reviewer’s opinion of books for kids their age - just as adults consult the Arts & Living section of our papers each weekend, kids learn to consult their own trusted sources that a magazine provides.

3. They Can Be Recycled and Reused

More magazines may be showing up on your doorstep with the Forest Stewardship Council FSC labels which indicate that the publication has been printed on papers produced from trees grown in sustainable forests or on recycled materials. Below is an explanation of the certifications you may see.

FSC Symbols

To extend the recycling effort, magazines may be shelved for continued home use or donated to your child’s classroom or library. They are a bountiful resource that many teachers appreciate having. Or simply reinforce your family’s commitment to the environment and put your kids in charge of recycling old magazines through curbside paper programs.

4. They Are Affordable and Make Great Gifts

On average annual magazine subscription fees, including shipping and handling, range from $25-35/year. What other recurring series of children’s educational products can you buy at those prices that arrive like clockwork each month?

The list of Parents’ Choice Award-Winning Magazines is a great way to browse the variety and quality of children’s magazines available.


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