Brilliant Children’s Magazines, Newspapers and Comics
Magazines, newspapers and comics can be key to encouraging children to read for pleasure. Here are some that have been tried and tested and worked.
Adventure Box is aimed at children aged six to nine years (younger version of Discovery Box – see below). This magazine includes a story broken into manageable chapters for newly independent readers, photos and information about the natural world, a comic strip and games and puzzles. There are ten issues each year and information about subscription rates are available on the website.
Anorak Magazine, published quarterly and known as the ‘happy mag for kids’ is aimed at boys and girls aged between 6 and 12 years old. Published on recycled paper this has a subtly different look to other magazines for this age group. I think this is a refreshing change and children appeared to think so too.
Each issue has a theme (inspired by the British National Curriculum) to inspire and encourage children to tap into their natural creativity and learn while having fun. Every edition has plenty of beautifully illustrated stories, games and activities to inspire and encourage. A one year subscription costs £25. If you would like to find out more visit the website.
This long standing monthly magazine needs no introduction. Described as “the ultimate intelligent read for inquisitive kids” it is full of interesting articles and challenging puzzles that will get the whole family involved, every issue covers science, history and general knowledge. AQUILA is beautifully illustrated throughout with contemporary artwork.
Despite the increase in competitors Aquila remains a valuable addition to the primary school library or classroom. The content complements what children are being taught and can inspire them to discover more. The topics covered can link together what children are learning in maths, science, history and English. The magazine was originally conceived with the aim of challenging the gifted and more able child and it continues to do so. Details of subscriptions and multi-buy savings are available on the website.
First published in 1996 this educational magazine for children aged 9-12 includes a wide range of subjects including nature, science and history. Animal topics are presented through spectacular photos and informative facts. Important historical events are retold in story format and in a lively and engaging way and science articles present the great innovations and inventions using clear explanations and captioned pictures. There are comic-strips, DIY activities, games, quizzes, recipes, pet care, and competitions to attract and engage. I think this is more suitable for young readers who may be put off by a lot of dense text.
Ten issues a year cost £50 and can be ordered via the website.
Eco Kids Planet
Eco Kids Planet introduces children to the wonders of nature and encourages them to protect their planet. An award winning nature magazine that aims to be fun, educational and inspiring. Completely plastic and advert free. For more details and subscription rates please visit their website.
Scoop is a bi-monthly literary magazine for children aged 7 plus. It contains original fiction, poetry, articles, puzzles and games. Children are encouraged to contribute their own work and to enter competitions. The magazine also features guest editors such as children’s illustrator David Roberts. The official website contains more information and subscription details.
This monthly magazine is fabulous for younger children. Each month, Storytime magazine is packed with wonderful stories for children including fairy tales, myths, fables, stories from different cultures and tales from new authors. Accompanied by bright and cheerful illustrations and puzzles, games and activities this is a very appealing package. Perfect for reading aloud sessions in KS1 and lower KS2 this is a useful resource for teachers and the publishers have now created a range of teaching resources to accompany the magazine. There are more details of these and the various subscriptions available to schools on the website.
Whizz Pop Bang!
Whizz Pop Bang is a 36 page children’s magazine launched in 2015. Each month’s issue focuses on a new and interesting subject, with broad ranging content to appeal to all budding scientists aged between six and twelve.
Written by expert science writers, each magazine is full of facts, puzzles, news and simple hands-on experiments that can easily be done at home or in school, giving parents, teachers and child the tools to become scientists in their kitchens and classroom. Find out how to subscribe and view a virtual copy of the magazine in their website. An automatically renewing annual subscription costs £39.99
WRD is a magazine all about books for children between 8 and 14 years old. Originally known as tBkmag, but rebranded as WRD in 2013, it is wonderful for keeping up to date with children’s books. It is full of extracts from the latest books, author Q&As plus loads of assorted features and activities. I used this in the library frequently to help give pupils a taste of books or authors that may be new to them. A couple of extracts read aloud often encouraged children to be more adventurous in their reading choices and it is extremely helpful for librarians and teachers alike. Sometimes it provided reading material for those who had left their reading book at home too!
From 2018 WRD will be published three times each year in March, July and October. It is available singly (from£45 per year) or in packs of four for schools (from £49.50) so can be distributed around classrooms if required. I would highly recommend this. More details are available on their website here.
Hugely popular and widely used in schools this award winning weekly newspaper for children is aimed at 7 to 14-year-olds and encourages them to read about the news in an easy to understand and non-threatening way.
It cover issues which are relevant to children and which specifically affect them. There is a mix of world news and UK news, but also loads of fun stuff, such as entertainment, games, animals, sport and puzzles. The editorial team try to provide a balance of happy, positive stories together with the more hard hitting items in the international news.
There are a range of subscriptions available for schools on the website.
The Week Junior
The Week Junior Magazine was launched in 2015 and is aimed at children aged between 8 and 14. This is designed to help children to understand current affairs and the world around them.
It is packed with news on a wide range of diverse topics covering everything from nature, the environment and science to politics, sport and technology. It also includes reviews of books, films, video games and apps. The information is presented in a very child friendly way but provides valuable information too. The weekly debate page is invaluable for sparking class discussion and I loved sharing this with children in the library.
Weekly issues cost £1.20 in the shops but special subscriptions for schools are available from £53.33 for one issue per week. More information is on the official website.
The Phoenix Comic
Last but not least is this brilliant weekly comic. As soon as the first copy arrived in the school library I knew I was on to a winner. The Phoenix is a weekly comic with high quality content and no 3rd party adverts that is suitable for girls and boys aged 6-12.
I have a soft spot for this great magazine as I have on several occasions spotted children, who are normally reluctant to read, curled up in the library engrossed in this. It engages through a mixture of stories, information and humour all conveyed with wonderful illustrations. This is a valuable addition to every primary school library and would be useful in the classroom too. It has also inspired children I have worked with to create their own comics too. It is fabulous.
To find out more visit their official website.
Perhaps one of these magazines will encourage your children to read for pleasure. I do hope so.