Magazines geared toward preschoolers can help 4-year-olds develop literacy skills while inspiring them to ask questions about their world. A combination of education and entertainment, preschool magazines are full of short stories, puzzles, pictures and educational articles. With so many choices out there, selecting an appropriate magazine for your child can be a challenging decision. According to reviews by parents and professionals, the magazines below are among the best options for early learners.
_Highlights High Five_
Established in 1946, Highlights magazine is a staple in children’s magazines. In 2007, Highlights introduced a separate magazine geared for children ages 2 to 6 called Highlights High Five. In each 40-page monthly issue, this newer magazine features stories, poetry, craft ideas, recipes and a variety of learning games. Well-crafted artwork and diverse content are designed to keep young learners hooked. The cover boasts that this magazine is “advertising-free” -- another feature that indicates quality.
Ladybug, a literary magazine, is different from other children’s magazines in that it does not include an abundance of games and activities, but instead focuses primarily on fostering a love of reading in preschoolers. Made up of numerous stories, poems and songs, this magazine is designed for children ages 3 to 6 who love story time. Young readers develop an attachment to the regularly featured characters in each issue. The goal of Ladybug magazine is to inspire lifelong readers by cultivating reading enjoyment early on.
_National Geographic Little Kids_
Designed for children ages 3 to 6, National Geographic Little Kids provides a wonderful combination of animal photography, nature trivia, feature stories and learning games to teach children about animals, science and other cultures. Each month the cover story concentrates on a specific animal by providing key facts and including an interactive game about that animal.
Each issue begins with a naming activity featuring a page of objects or animals that are connected by a specific theme; pictures accompany words to help children with sight words. Most issues also include an activity that involves categorizing by sorting objects and identifying differences between two nature-themed photos. National Geographic Little Kids uses the kinds of photographs it is known for, as well as age-appropriate factual information, to teach children about the wonders of wildlife and nature in distant places.
While many magazines focus on children’s love of animals, Click differs by introducing a variety of science concepts to young learners ages 3 to 6. Through stories, nonfiction essays, comic strips and activities, this magazine explores an assortment of scientific topics. Each issue concentrates on a specific theme, like how the eyeball works or the different leaves found on trees, and all aspects of the issue -- illustrations, articles, stories -- deal with that theme. Combined with well-designed experiments, the thematic content makes Click magazine a recommended read for children intrigued by how the world works
_Ranger Rick Jr._
Ranger Rick, Jr. is directed toward the child who loves animals and the outdoors. This magazine encompasses well-wrought images alongside age-appropriate, animal-themed stories. A variety of puzzles and games are included in each issue, including matching games, seek and find puzzles, craft ideas and animal-drawing activities. Characters like Bonnie, Chester and Ricky make regular appearances each month in the fiction stories. "Green Time" is a regular column that encourages love of nature. This affordable magazine inspires children to take a break from digital entertainment and explore the outdoors.
- Photo Credit Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images
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