Thought-provoking magazines for kids?
November 30, 2009 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Magazines for the inquisitive kid?

I distinctly remember having a subscription to Muse Magazine in grade school and how it positively influenced the person I am today. I remembered this magazine when I was looking for gifts for a close friend's family. Her kids are aged around 8-12 and I want to get each of them a subscription to some thought-provoking magazines like Muse.

So my question: What are some publications you fondly remember reading as a kid that have made you into a more curious and intelligent person? Thanks.
posted by Taft to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Games magazine is great, with a range of puzzles that are mostly on the harder side - so, suitable for the older kids in your range, or for the family as a whole.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:28 PM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Mental Floss is a very entertaining trivia magazine. It gives brief overviews of many fascinating subjects; I'll usually spend more time on Wikipedia looking up things than I do reading the magazine itself.
posted by Hargrimm at 8:33 PM on November 30, 2009

Best answer: Check out Faces -- a magazine about cultural differences. My tweens love it.
Also: Stone Soup!
posted by fullofragerie at 8:33 PM on November 30, 2009

Know and Yes! magazines both fit the description. I honestly don't know much about either of them other than that they're illustrated by Sam Logan, who also does the amazing webcomic Sam and Fuzzy, but they clearly have a good eye for talent.
posted by eggplantplacebo at 8:42 PM on November 30, 2009

Mental Floss is awesome, and I still think its a fun read at nearly 30.

National Geographic Kids was too cartoony and cute for me - I wanted real science, so my parents got me a subscription to Popular Mechanics and Discover at about those ages. I was, in retrospect, a fairly mature kid though.

I also got my first subscription to Analog Science Fiction and Fact at 13, but given I was reading Niven and other adult SF at that time, my parents didnt see a problem with its occasional R rated content for me.
posted by strixus at 8:42 PM on November 30, 2009

Old copies of National Geographic — ones from the 80s and 90s, not so much the newer fluffier ones. The nice part is that lots of people have stacks of old copies they want to get rid of.
posted by dreamyshade at 8:44 PM on November 30, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers so far! Discover, Mental Floss, and Faces will definitely be considered.
posted by Taft at 8:48 PM on November 30, 2009

I wasn't big into magazines when I was a kid, but I did enjoy flipping through The National Geographic. I don't think I ever read the articles (they were way over my head at the time), but the photographs and maps are stunning. It definitely made look at stuff differently and want to learn more about what was going on in the pictures (particularly the odd animals they have in there sometimes). It might not be worth it to get them a subscription at their age, but it might be worth considering picking up a bunch of old copies at a yard or flea market (I always see them there, usually pretty cheap, too). So probably not a big help, but it's worth a thought.
posted by Kippersoft at 8:51 PM on November 30, 2009

Muse is still around - I even like reading it these days, though I'm out of college. Its sibling literary magazine, Cricket, was also one of my very favorites (though I don't know if it's still as phenomenal as it was back then).
posted by bubukaba at 9:07 PM on November 30, 2009

Best answer: And Ask is the Muse for the slightly younger set.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:03 PM on November 30, 2009

For girls in upper elementary to younger middle school, I love New Moon. Produced/written by girls, for girls, with real topics like friendship and none of the "how 2 look cute 4 boys!" crap.
posted by so_gracefully at 10:35 PM on November 30, 2009

Sesame Street magazine was the first magazine I _remember_ being exposed to when I was a kid in the 1970s/early 1980s. (It is now only available as a supplement to Parents magazine.) Then Ranger Rick became my favorite (I am disappointed by the present-day issues of Ranger Rick not being up to the standards of the magazine as it was back memorable issue allowed kids to send away for a kit with litmus papers to test for the presence of acid rain in their communities!) and I remember Jack and Jill being good, too (not sure if it still is). I liked 3-2-1 Contact for its focus on science, but it is no longer around. But Highlights and Cricket (both very educational, Cricket having more of a focus on reading and history) are still around for today's kids.
posted by bunky at 11:35 PM on November 30, 2009

Best answer: I used to love reading Reader's Digest when I was a kid. I understand that it's fluffier now than it was in the past, but I think it's still a very accessible way for the younger set to get introduced to the big issues of the world without having to know a lot of background information.

I'd also recommend going on eBay and finding the back issues you loved of the great defunct magazines. For example, every girl over the age of 12 ought to have access to Sassy.
posted by decathecting at 8:44 AM on December 1, 2009

Shameless: For Girls Who Get It
posted by twistofrhyme at 9:26 AM on December 1, 2009

so_gracefully: "For girls in upper elementary to younger middle school, I love New Moon. Produced/written by girls, for girls, with real topics like friendship and none of the "how 2 look cute 4 boys!" crap."

I'm sorry, but I always thought New Moon was such crap. It may have gotten better in the past 15 years or so (it looks like they refined their ages to 8-12 from 7-14) but I always thought it was super-lame.
posted by radioamy at 2:34 PM on December 1, 2009

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