Thursday, January 31, 2008

Start Your Child on A Coin Collecting Hobby

Start Your Child on A Coin Collecting Hobby

By Bradlley Mckoy

Wondering what to give your child on his next birthday? Give him a gatefold spread that can accommodate up to 50 coins. He may not appreciate the coins, but telling him stories about the coin and how it was made can spark his interest. For each birthday give him the coins minted that year. His collection will grow and so will his interest and by that time, he will be an accomplished numismatist.

History Lessons and Saving Money

The ideal age to start a child on a coin collecting hobby is at six years old. Imagine the number of coins he can amass when he reaches adulthood! But there's more than just introducing him to coin collecting. You can use this exercise to teach him how to save his pennies in a coin bank plus pique his interest in the country's history when you start with local coins.

Since you may not have those very old and valuable coins dating back to the 1800s, get a book on coin collecting and show him the pictures of the coins. Add a story or two depicting the era that'll make any child sit up and listen. Stories add value to the coin collecting hobby and expect your child to be an expert in historical epochs.

If someone gives your child a bag of coins, take out each coin and sort them. Teach your child how to do the sorting. As you go along, tell him a little history on each coin. Probably the bag of coins will yield recent mints so it won't be hard for you to tell the coin's story.

If you have saved all the coins circulating in the year of your child's birth, that would be the best introduction to a lifelong of coin collecting for your child. Help him along with the collection. Learn the tricks yourself so you can teach your child how to collect, clean, and store the coins.

Starting the Hobby

For starters, get magazines on coin collecting, a pair of white gloves, magnifying glasses, and coin albums or folders. Start scouting for coins and learn all about the discontinued coins like the 1965 quarters, dimes, and half-dollars. Subscribe to coin collecting magazines and check out the websites on coin collecting. You'll be amazed at the wealth of information you can collect and pass on to your child.

Using a magnifying glass to see the fine lines and the details of a coin is an exciting experience for a child. Make sure you are ready to give the information your child may need. Or if you don't know the answer, you can make it your project to find out online.

Because this is just a starting point for you and your child, don't buy expensive coins and if you find some dirty old coins, don't attempt to clean it. Find out its composition and the appropriate way to clean it. You can get help from several websites specializing in coin collection.

Tips for Coin Hunting

This is not referring to a treasure hunt. You can do your hunting online. However, coin collecting is an expensive hobby if you want the rarer and more prized coins. In the meantime, make do with what is available and always get your hands on new mints. Tell your friends you're helping your child start a coin collecting hobby but be prepared for the avalanche of coins that will start pouring in.

In the future, when he coin collecting bug bites you real hard, you'll be running after a metal detector to clean out your yard and your grandfather's house. The hobby meant for your child will be yours too.

It's never too early or too late to start a new hobby. Consider crafting unique gift baskets or groomsmen gifts, or restoring and designing Zippo lighters. Visit today.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lego - Long Lasting Educational Toys

Lego - Long Lasting Educational Toys

By Candy Law

As parents, we want the best for our children - a safe 'warm' home and society, a healthy balance diet and a challenging learning environment to make sure they get all the opportunity to grow up progressively.

Toys will be our children's first learning equipment. Learning in the early years are important, acquiring skill such as visual tracking, eye-hand coordination, shape & color recognition, motor skills and etc will be the foundation for future learning. While our children are growing, we would have bought many toys, educational or non-educational, but the main goal of playing with these toys is to provide lots of fun for them. They will unknowingly acquire many skills along the way. They learn best when they are having fun.

Choosing the right toys to encourage and motivate children learning is important and also quite difficult at times. What toys can we buy for them so they can have fun and also learn at the same time?

Poorly built and sub standard toys hardly stand a chance in the hands of curious and fun loving children these days. Lego toys are quality assured, common and well-known, long lasting, and readily available at local shops and online stores. They are the only educational toys I have seen in my house that last longer that anything else my children have.

Lego provides fresh ideas to children, stimulates them to be creative, they work as a team patiently and will be confident with what they have accomplished. Kids also tend to play with Lego over and over again, coming up with different designs and builds all the time. As long as we keep and maintain the interest in our children to play and learn, they will keep this momentum through the rest of their growing lives.

Lego will provide years of fun and learning activities for our children, and their children too!

Candy Law owns and promotes Cheeky Junior online toy shop that offers a wide range of very good priced Lego and quality educational toys in Australia.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Make Valentine’s Day Fun for Toddlers

How to Make Valentine’s Day Fun for Toddlers
Author: Arlene Pellicane

Holidays are a great time to make memories with your toddler. Here are ten easy, cheap ways for moms to make a big impression on this Valentine’s Day:

1. Fill their shoes with a sweet treat. When it’s time to put their shoes on, they will be thrilled to find a little Hershey’s chocolate kiss with an “I love you from head to toe” note or a small toy like a Hot Wheels car.

2. Decorate your toddler’s room with hearts. While your child is sleeping, go in his or her room and decorate the walls with construction paper hearts. When he or she wakes up, there will be a room full of love waiting.

3. Make a Valentine collage. Cut out different shaped hearts on different colors of construction paper. Glue on a piece of cardstock and you have a collage to decorate your kid’s room or a card for grandma and grandpa.

4. Bake heart shaped cookies. While you’re measuring and mixing, tell your toddler the things you love and appreciate about him or her. Be specific and shower your child with encouragement. “I love how you are such a good builder. You’re great at making creative things with blocks” or “I appreciate how you give mommy hugs every day.”

5. Make a book of things your toddler loves. Have your toddler look through magazines and cut out the things he or she likes (cars, animals, favorite foods, etc). Glue these into a “Things I Love” book. Your toddler will delight in sharing his or her favorite things with friends and family.
6. Enjoy a Valentine’s dinner of red foods. Serve pasta in red sauce or pizza for dinner. Drink cranberry juice and have strawberries and red jello for dessert.

7. Create a love treasure hunt throughout the house with a prize at the end. Use simple rhymes like “Rose are red, violets are blue, go into the kitchen, where there’s something for you.”

8. Make shapes out of candy hearts. Don’t want your toddler to eat all those tiny sugary candy hearts? Glue them on pieces of paper to form hearts, circles, squares, whatever shape you want.

9. Give your toddler a coupon book. Include coupons like, “Watch your favorite video,” “Have a friend over for a popcorn party,” “Go out for ice cream,” or “Trip to the zoo.”

10. Make a trail of hearts to a treat. Put hearts on the floor leading from their bedroom to a surprise like a small toy or a Rice Krispy treat.

You’ll have as much fun as your toddler when you take time to make Valentine’s Day something special!

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About the Author:
Want to lose your baby weight once and for all? Get FREE tips that work at Arlene's website or blog at

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Simple Do-it-yourself Invitations for your Child’s Birthday Party

Author: Shawn Chua AKA Captain Amazing

Party time’s coming up and you need to shout it out since it’s only a legitimate party bash when you have guests, so never EVER overlook the importance of the seemingly humble party invitation!

The most common way is to send out invitation cards informing your guests about the upcoming party. However, here are a few interesting suggestions for creative invitations for your child’s birthday party!

Make your very own card

Nothing beats something specially customized so why not make your very own party invitation card? It’d be a fun bonding process too instead of using generic store-bought birthday invitation cards, which lacks that special touch! More importantly, this also creates a perfect avenue for important family bonding!

There are essentially two ways of going about this fun process – using the computer with fun, user-friendly design software or the more traditional method that involves your usual scissors, markers, colored papers and glue.

Once you’ve decided which approach to go for, rope your child in to start the creative process! Ask them vital questions that make them feel important because they are doing what adults do – making significant decisions! Plus, this is for their all-important, once-a-year birthday party and they are the star!

Some questions to ask your child during this family bonding creative process could be:

- Do they have a special theme in mind for the party?

It could translate into the design of the card, .e.g a fairy princess theme for girls or an action super hero one for boys

- What’s the principal color theme they want for their birthday card invites?

If they wish to incorporate their favorite color, e.g. orange, you could add complimentary colors to their card like bits of yellow and white to jazz things up.

Once you’ve designed the cover, you’re almost halfway done! If you’ve chosen to use the more traditional way of putting it together with cut-outs, drawings or origami stuck on the front, be sure to scan a high-resolution copy of this to print out later for the actual cards – you don’t have to replicate this for each and every invitation card!

Send an e-Card via email

Since you’ve already have a softcopy in your computer of the special art-work design from above, you may choose to send out the birthday invitations as an e-card through email instead. This could be as an attachment or embedded in the body of the email, along with the necessarily information regarding the party.

Do ensure that you have everyone’s email addresses. Also, do note that not everyone might have an email account (children in lower primary or younger) so make arrangements to print out a hard-copy and pass it to those who do not have access to one, or alternatively, send the e-card invitation to the email account belonging to the parent/s of the invited child.

If you intend to use e-cards as the novel way of sending out invitations (after all, we live in the new millennium!) there are fun, user-friendly 2D & 3D animation software that you could use to certainly spruce up your child’s party invitation. It may be a bit time-consuming, but you can be sure everyone would be raving about it once they see your labor of love!

Send a Picture Text Message or MMS

It is amazing how many children own mobile phones these days, with the number growing bigger every day as more parents see the need to stay connected with their restless youngsters. A simple idea for a modern casual party invitation is to take a picture of the birthday child in all smiles, or use a generic birthday party icon that comes as a template or as a downloadable MMS. Send this picture along with the party details and just sit back to wait for their RSVP via your own mobile phone.

While this is convenient for you, the only disadvantage is that not all children own a mobile phone so you may have to find their parents’ numbers instead to send the information accordingly.

Important Party Details to Include

Now that you’ve got the finalized design of the all-important birthday party invitation (be it snazzy 3D animation to be emailed out, a super-cool 2D design using the computer to print on cards, an eye-catching MMS or something put together the more traditional way), don’t forget to include the essential party information!

While the front of the card shouts out the message, i.e. YOU ARE SPECIALLY INVITED TO (BIRTHDAY CHILD’S NAME)’S BIRTHDAY PARTY!, details within the party invite should entail the following:

- Name of invited guest (is this just the child, or can their parents come as well?)
- Name of your child, their (age, e.g. 8th) birthday party
- The day/ time & venue of the birthday bash
- Indication of any particular theme/ dress code
- RSVP with your contact details

So an invitation card to your child’s classmate Chris would look like this:

Dearest Chris

You are specially invited to Elizabeth’s 8th birthday party on Saturday, 16 October at 2pm at No. 15 Raffles Park Avenue.

Please RSVP by 9 October to Mrs. Vivian Chua (Elizabeth’s mother) at 91998181.

Thank you and here’s looking forward to seeing you at Elizabeth’s birthday party!

What’s next?

So you’ve duly sent out the invites to all your guests, with at least a week before the RSVP date… now what? Give your guests some time to respond and keep your RSVP list close to you so you can update it as and when you get a reply. Make a call one day before your indicated deadline to the invited guests who have yet to respond.

Make contact again on the RSVP date itself to finalize attendance and explain that you need to gather the confirmed number so you can go ahead with the catering and party planning. Be polite when speaking with other parents as you communicate that their kind co-operation is essential in allowing all the kids to have fun.

Remember, putting together the birthday party invitations should be an enjoyable family bonding process for you and your child. Let their creativity flow and listen to any suggestions they have, as wacky as it may be! Make them feel special and allow them to take charge since it is for their very special day.

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About the Author:

Shawn Chua AKA Captain Amazing is a professional children’s birthday party entertainer with Singapore Birthday Party Entertainment Provider Mighty Magic Factory. He is a Master Ventriloquist and award-winning magician with 6 years of live performing experience. Find out more about him at Singapore Kids Birthday Party Entertainer Company Read his blog at Singapore Birthday Party Blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

German Toys for Kids - Make the Right Gift Decision

Do you have a difficult time figuring out what to get your kids for birthday this year? Well, here is an idea selection of german toys for you to keep handy that might avoid that last gasp rush to the shops. All of the following are ideas for quality German made gifts, which for sure will be treasured and enjoyed. For the sake of simplicity here, we have arranged the German toys in age ranges.

For babies up to 1 year

In the first few months, it is important to give the baby lots of colorful things to see and feel or to listen to soft music. Items such as activity quilts, or little stuffed animals - but be sure they do not have button noses and eyes - soft dolls, toys for the bath, baby swings or books made completely from cloth.

"Sterntaler" is a successful German manufacturer of good quality clothes, toys and pieces both for babies and for young children. You will find that they produce a wide range of stimulating and appropriate gifts even for the youngest baby.

"Haba", a company long associated with high caliber wooden toys made from germ-free European maple and beech wood, offers toys which will captivate and enchant the children whilst, simultaneously, building their confidence. Take a particular look at their delightful pull along toys, or their specially produced soft building blocks.

For children aged from 1 to 3 years

By now, the baby will be a toddler and constantly wants to run, jump, climb, explore and generally discover the surrounding world. Try to find a toy that will fit in with these activities or, perhaps, some of the basic building toys to develop their hand-to-eye coordination skills.

More than seven million "Big" Bobby Cars have been sold worldwide and it is easy to see why this push-powered vehicle has developed into one of the world's leading toys. Little kids love the 'grown-up' feeling they get steering their "Big" Bobby cars around the room or the garden.

Then there is the specially designed walking bike, the "LikeaBike" - a confidence-developing wooden toy that kids love. It develops the kids balance and motor skills, whilst preparing them safely for their first bike a little while later.

For children aged from 3 to 5

Children now start to be much more imaginative and creative. They can also learn to play with others in small groups. It is possible now to get them gifts that they can share with their friends.

One of the most justifiably famous German brands of toys of excellence is the "Playmobil" range, providing the child with lots of opportunity to use their own imagination and create 'a world of their own'. The most popular items in this range include the "Playmobil" Airport, the farm, the zoo - even the "Playmobil" Pirates. A "Playmobil" gift will ensure the children remain entranced for hours, developing their scenarios, either alone or with a playmate.

The German "Spiegelburg" company produces a host of items in the Princess Lily range - originally known as "Prinzessin Lillifee". Many little girls have their Princess Lily collection - full of dolls, books, bags, stickers, and all the paraphernalia of a princess' life. If you know that your 'little princess' already collects these things, then you know that a Princess Lily gift will result in squeals of delight. Moreover, if she does not already have any Princess Lily - then you can start her off and make gift buying so much easier the next time around! Some girls keep these collections for years.

For children aged from 5 to 7

Now that children are at school and their bodies and minds are developing rapidly, you can usually find gifts for them which coincide with the interests they have already developed - in sports, music, art or whatever specific area they have become interested in.

If you are unaware of any particular interest, though, then "Ravensburger" can provide you with a wide range of distinctive toys and craft items. For instance, "Ravensburger" have a particular claim to fame for the excellence of their puzzles and craft kits, which really will delight kids of all ages and help develop their dexterity, concentration and spatial awareness. They even have a puzzle containing, unbelievably 18,240 pieces, for the complete puzzle aficionado.

German Toys - will be valued and played for a long time

Whatever german toy you decide upon, you can be reassured by the knowledge that, by selecting a quality made German gift, you are giving something, which will be valued, and played with, for a long time.

Gabriela Rupp is a successful webmaster and publisher of the Best German Gifts Guide. She is born in Germany, lives there for more than 4 decades and provides expert advice and reviews of all the major brands and hidden gems from Germany.

More valuable information on german toys you find at German Toys.

Retired Webkinz - The Complete List Revealed

Retired Webkinz - The Complete List Revealed

By Goldman Stone

Does your local gift store still seem to have the same old Webkinz sitting on the shelf? You just may want to take a closer look once you've read this story.

Retired Webkinz Cheap: I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who is an avid ebay seller and she told me the most incredible account of a recent Webkinz purchase she had made. A few months back she walked into a local store and noticed the shopkeeper marking down a bunch Webkinz toys. The strange thing was that most of them were identical and the shopkeeper was marking everything down to get rid of them as they had these in back of the store for quite some time.

The shopkeeper commented that they just weren't selling many (although the store wasn't even advertising that they carried Webkinz) and they wanted to just get rid of them. What the shopkeeper didn't realize was that these were the retired Webkinz Cheeky Cat and Cheeky Dog!

In fact, there were nine of them total, and being an astute shopper my friend generously offered to by all of them for an additional bulk discount and take them off the shopkeepers hands. Flash forward a few months that $80 purchase turned into over $2,000 in sales on ebay! And after sharing this story with a few close friends, I'm finding that this scenario commonly replays itself around the country every day, so make sure to keep you eyes open for what's hot and you just may find yourself at the right place at the right time.

Here's the List of Retired (and Rare) Webkinz to Watch for:

Tip: It's important to make sure that the code for the Webkinz you are buying has NOT been used. A Webkinz with a used tag code is not worth nearly as much! Plus, you need to be careful of flea market knock-off products too. Best bet is to buy from a legitimate trusted retailer, and if buying on ebay, someone with a solid level of good feedback selling Webkinz.

So next time you are at that little shop around the corner and you see that a bin full Webkinz, keep this list in mind, you just may find a diamond in the rough.

For more information check out Retired Webkinz for Sale or look them up on ebay.

Copyright Goldman Stone 2008. Please feel free to publish or redistribute this article as long as it is not modified and all URL's stay intact.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Story of Valentine's Day (A Book Review)

As Valentine's Day draws near, and even little ones begin sending Valentine cards to their friends, why not teach (or remind) your child of the true meaning behind the holiday? Nancy J. Skarmeas' The Story of Valentine's Day is an effective way to do this.

This short book begins by explaining that Valentine's Day is a holiday where cards, candy, and gifts are given to people we like. The illustrations by Stacy Venturi-Pickett show adults exchanging gifts and children decorating with hearts in a classroom setting. Then the author explains, in the simplest terms possible, why February 14th is a holiday.

"Long ago, in the city of Rome, there lived a man named Valentine. He was kinds and all the children loved him."

The illustrations show an older man holding a Bible. (No mention is made that he might be a priest or monk.) We learn that the King of Rome made a law preventing young men from getting married so they could all join his army and be better soldiers. Valentine, the author says, "tried to help the young men and women." The accompanying illustration seems to show a wedding ceremony. The King didn't like this, so he threw Valentine in jail. The children were saddened, so they made cards and wrote letters to Valentine, hoping to comfort him. One day, a blind little girl brought food to Valentine in prison. He thanked her and prayed with her, and miraculously, the girl could suddenly see. Valentine later sent her a letter and signed it "from your Valentine." Today, the author concludes, we remember these events by sending cards called Valentines. Valentine's Day is a time to show our love for our friends and family and to "remember that all god's children should love one another."

What I Like: Valentine's Day is one of those old holidays that's built upon many traditions - some pagan, some Christian, and some secular. It's impossible for us to know exactly who the original St. Valentine was (the Catholic church acknowledges at least three saints of this name), and how much of the story is legend and how much is fact. Nonetheless, this board book does a great job of giving the basic, beginning elements of how February 14th received a special name. It's also a terrific way to help steer the day into a chance to share Christian love. My two year old simply loves this book, and asks to read it again and again.

What I Dislike: I've never read the story of the blind girl in any reliable history or lore books or websites; nor have I read that children wrote Valentine letters while he was in jail. That doesn't necessarily mean these things aren't a legitimate piece of lore, but I do question whether this is a part of the Valentine's Day history that should be offered in a book that hopes to pare down the day's many mysteries into one simple board book. As your child develops an understanding of reality vs. fable, you might use the reading of this book to point out which parts might be myth. Also, the illustrations in this book, while not bad, aren't all that exciting. Oddly, the way the illustrator renders each person's face makes them all look nearly the same.

Overall Rating: (On the lower end of) Very Good.

Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 3 - 5, but my two year old enjoys it, and I think slightly older kids will, too.

Publishing Info: Candy Cane Press, 2002; ISBN: 06041845; board book, $6.95.

Kristina Seleshanko is the author of 16 books, and a Managing Editor at Christian Children's Book Review ( )

Monday, January 7, 2008

Children's Board Games - Are They Boring?

Children's Board Games - Are They Boring?

By Rachel Harding

Children today seem obsessed with technology and while I love gadgets and technology myself, with all the advantages that it can bring. I feel we have lost something when our children only play on computer games.

My 3 children each have a DS Lite and I frequently see them all sitting on their own, playing on their individual games consoles. You see I am as much to blame as everyone else. When I was growing up, and yes that does make me sound old, I remember very little of my childhood which was not related to games, sitting around at Christmas for example with my family playing cards, trivial pursuits, monopoly etc. I believe playing games is the way for children to learn, they develop life skills by participating and interacting with others.

Turn-taking children's games are not only fun to play, they're educational on so many levels, including social and economical.

Kids learn about waiting to take a turn, winning and losing, along with co-operation and economics (with monopoly in mind and handling money), the whole time while they have fun. Games come in and out of fashion, and new games appear, whilst the classics get revamped year after year with new themes and are always popular.

Children's games are made to stretch the child's mind and even the parents sometimes, without frustrating the child and turning him or her off the game, thus making learning enjoyable. Most kids games are also quite fun to play with mum or dad, with family games being designed to be entertaining for both children and adults alike.

If you are looking for something to bring a family together, then you can't go far wrong with any sort of board game. Whilst playing it a family can often get lost inside the game for hours on end.

If you are stuck for what to buy a child as a present then you could do worse than buy a board game. I believe it is one of the best presents you can give, because they bring friends and family together and can provide more hours of fun than any book, DVD, or cd you can find. A board game is a team-building exercise (or team pulling apart exercise if you have been sat around our table on many a heated night) you cannot ignore. It is a way of exercising your mind and social skills are built.

If you sit and examine the rules and the layout of most games, they all have a common feature, you will see they reflect on everyday life. Whether we are playing snap with a game of cards which is teaching us turn taking for example, exercising the mind to keep it alert and helping with learning difficulties, matching numbers and pictures, or trivial pursuits with team building, knowledge learning and strategy development.

Quality educational games are so engaging for most people to play with; children rarely even know they are learning valuable skills, which makes this a fantastic way for them to learn, as information and skills learnt like this, in my opinion, stick in the mind much better than when rules and education is forced.

Today, children's games are well thought out, they are fun and compete well with the lure of the solitary video game, if only we give them the chance.

Rachel Harding is a qualified nurse and mum of 3. She has a great deal of expertise with children and offers valuable support and free resources including stories, forums, recipes, article's, gifts and books at =>

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Children's Magazine Gift Ideas

Children's Magazine Gift Ideas
Author: Stephanie Larkin

Imagine giving a gift that will last longer than the wrapping. Giving one which inspires imagination and brings fun all year long. When you give a subscription to a children's magazine as a gift for Christmas, birthday or any other gift-giving occasion, you are giving a gift that renews itself with each new issue. One month may bring puzzles and games; another may send your lucky gift recipient on a trip through the Amazon jungles, African deserts or outer space. There are magazines aimed at every age group and to suit nearly any interest you - or the child in your life - can imagine. Choosing the right magazine subscription for the very special children in your life is as easy as following a few simple tips.

1.Choose a magazine that's aimed at the appropriate age group.

A magazine that's written for kindergarten age children won't hold much appeal for an eight year old. Likewise, a magazine that's aimed at pre-teens will go right over the heads of most six year olds. Don't go strictly on the age on the front cover, though. Some children are ready for real stories when others their age prefer picture stories. Remember that there is some overlap in ages between these groups and let your knowledge of the child guide your choice.

Ages 0-3 - Choose magazines with bright pictures and easy activities. There should be few, simple words and sentences and read-aloud stories. Try Wild Animal Baby, published by the National Wildlife Federation, or Babybug Magazine with read-aloud stories for children 6 months to two years, or Turtle, a classic magazine for babies and toddlers and their parents.

Ages 4-6 - Preschoolers are ready to start reading simple words on their own, but they still love to hear stories read aloud. Coloring pages and activity pages are a must in magazines for this age group. Also, by this age many children have started to develop specific interests and may enjoy magazines that highlight them. Highlights for Children has been around for decades, but it's still one of the top magazines published for this age group. Other choices for preschool to first graders include Cricket magazine, Humpty Dumpty magazine, and Disney and Me magazine from Disney.

Ages 7-9 - By second or third grade, children are ready to start reading on their own - and they want stories about real things that interest them. They still enjoy activity pages, but the editorial content of the magazine becomes more important. Look for colorful, fun and engaging artwork and informative stories with a fun slant to them. A great choice for this age group is Nickelodeon magazine.

Ages 10-13 - The split between magazines for boys and magazines for girls becomes really evident at this age. Even so, there are plenty of magazines that both boys and girls will love, including National Geographic Kids and Dig magazine.

Ages 14+ - Many popular adult magazines have made a foray into publishing for the "young adult" category - teens from about age 14. This is the age where special interest really comes into play, but there are still more general magazine choices for this age group. For boys, Boys Life is a perennial favorite, but Sports Illustrated for Kids is currently extremely popular.

Magazines for girls have come a long way since Seventeen. While that magazine is still going strong, it's joined by Discovery Girls magazine, Cosmo Girls, Girls' Life and many more.

2.Choose a magazine that is geared to a child's interests.

In a child's early years, most children have not developed specific interests. By age six or so, though, many children already have started to explore specific interests. Many of the most popular children's magazines focus on interests like history, travel, wildlife and the creative arts. If you're looking for a gift for a child over five, let their interests guide you.

Animals and Wildlife

National Geographic and the National Wildlife Federation both publish a stepping stone series of magazines aimed at different age levels. Your Big Back Yard, Ranger Rick, National Geographic for Kids and Zootles are just a few of the many magazines aimed at children of different ages that focus on animals and the worlds in which they live.

Science and Technology

Like many adults, kids are fascinated by science and technological things. Magazines about explorers and inventors, space and archaeology can spark a lifelong interest and love that eventually becomes a career - or remains a fascination forever. When you give a gift subscription to a magazine like Dig, Muse (from the Smithsonian Institute) or Odyssey, you may be opening the door to new worlds that will engage your children for the rest of their lives.

Social Studies (History and Culture)

Bring history and culture to life for your children with a gift subscription to a magazine that explores the lessons of history or the impact of culture in stories and articles that they can understand and enjoy. There are a number of kids magazines that focus on historical personalities and events, including Cobblestones (ages to 8 years), Learning Through History (ages 7-14) and Calliope (5th to 10th graders).


Is your child a young writer? Children love to see their own works in print. Some of the best children's magazines are those that accept and publish only submissions from other children. Check out the magazine New Moon (for girls ages 8-14).

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About the Author:
Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about children's interests, similar to what consumers read in Nickelodeon