I just looked through an issue of Kids Discover Magazine
Note: It appears that Kids Discover magazine no longer exists. Back issues, as well as materials aimed at schools that appear to be based on the original material, are available at the Kids Discover website.
My first pleasant surprise was that it had nothing to do with The Discovery Channel, or Discovery Kids. This is (at least as of this writing) a completely ad-free magazine.
And, unlike most children's magazines - in fact, unlike most grown-up magazines - it is about the conveying of worthwhile information.
Not about celebrities. Not about clever captions applied to silly animal pictures.
Each issue is tightly focused on a single topic
The ice age. Nutrition.
Now you might think that's good or bad. But if your child has focus, it's rather exciting. Your child will likely come away from reading an issue of Kids Discover knowing a lot more about the topic than you do.
Information, information, information. There are plenty of photos, but unlike most magazines, there's not an excess.
Like the text, they convey scientific information on this month's topic. The nutrition issue has nothing on the topic of what Britney Spears eats.
That's enough to set it apart from a lot of children's magazines
A shocking amount of the ones I've surveyed - at least those for older kids - contain a hefty amount of celebrity content. Kids Discover is aimed at a surprisingly mature intellect. If Science is your child's favorite subject at school, this is probably the magazine you want.
One caveat: the publishers claim it's aimed at kids 6 and older. Because of the emphasis on text and information - more than pictures and activities - I think it'd be the rare six year old who wouldn't be bored stiff.
The magazine actually has an advisory board, and I noticed that the children who sit on it range from age 9 to age 13. I think that's probably more descriptive of the age range Kids Discover is aimed at.
At first blush the magazine felt a little thin at 19 pages, but then I noticed their stated "no commercials" policy. Considering all the text, and how many ads appear in other children's magazines, 19 pages is a darn good deal.
I also scanned for material that parents might not want their children to see. The Nutrition issue had one picture of a severely malnourished child. If that's an image you don't want your child to see, this might not be the magazine for you.
That said, this is a terrific magazine for kids
Of course, its natural competition is National Geographic Kids (also reviewed on this website).
To my mind, the greatest value of a children's magazine is to help create a regular reading habit in your child.
Toward that end, you could hardly do better than Kids Discover for your 3rd through 8th grader.
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