Having had the opportunity to take part in the Highlights Magazine’s “State of the Kid” press conference yesterday, I was inspired to take our normal, everyday magazine reading a step further.
Maddy has subscribed to High Five for the past year or so, and Owen has loved reading My Big Back Yard, since his third birthday.
But what I realized on my drive back to the ‘burbs after my brief but exciting excursion in DC was that I never really talked with them about the differences–structural or content-wise–between their magazines and the books that they read.
I know you don’t always have to over-analyze or go into great detail explaining things like this in order for kiddos to enjoy them, but I thought if I made the differences a “hunt” it could be fun. And mentioning the terms that Maddy would soon be hearing in Kindergarten might help to prepare her for those lessons.
So I made it into a game, and we tried it out today while we enjoyed the cool and sunny afternoon:
After Maddy, Owen, and Cora played outside for a bit, I asked them if anyone was interested in playing detective for a while and hunting through the new magazines I received at my meeting.
They were up for it (phew!), so when they met me at the table, I said, I have a new magazine for you all today, and here they are. Maddy, yours is ‘Highlights,’ Owen, yours is ‘High Five,’ and Cora, yours is ‘Puzzle Buzz.’
I was lucky enough to get these cool magazines yesterday, and now I’m sharing them with you. Take a few minutes and check them out!
Very casually, I asked some questions as they flipped through:
- What’s the difference between magazines and the books we read?
- What do you notice about how the magazine looks? feels?
- What is new to you? What have you seen before?
- What do you like about a magazine? dislike?
Then I said, Now I asked if you were up for being detectives today, so we’re going to use these cards (I showed them the pile of cards) to tell us what to search for. Everything we need to find is inside these magazines.
(Here are the Magazine Hunt Cards to download.)
I flipped the first card and read, Stick a note on the story you want to read most.”
I said, Here are the sticky notes. Flip back through your magazine, and stick one of these little blue notes on the story that you want to read first. When we’re done playing the game, we can go back and read that one first.
So we went about halfway through the deck, searching for photos, authors, titles, recipes, comics, drawings, table of contents, and things that were funny or interesting.
It was way too much for Cora, but Maddy and Owen really loved it. They both, though, pretty much refused to move on until I read through the stories they found most interesting, and the reading took a while.
We’ll do this activity again and again–with new magazines and older ones–since it will give them new “eyes” with which they can read and enjoy them.
explaining, among other things, how the company really listens to children.
They answer every piece of mail they recieve! (How awesome!?)
Cheers, and happy reading during this incredibly exciting journey!
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