Eco Kids planet is a new monthly magazine for children but with a bit of a difference – targeted at children aged around 7 to 12 years old, Eco Kids Planet is a factual magazine packed full of science and nature facts, activities and games. I think its an excellent magazine which has the balance between education and fun for this age group just about right.
Lara is just a touch on the young side for Eco Kids Planet and was a little overwhelmed by the volume of reading content but you could tell that she desperately wanted to get going and find out more – finding out science “facts” is a big theme at school for her at present and you could see her eyes light up when she realised that this magazine would allow her to practice her new skills AND learn about the world. She very much enjoys he challenge of reading new words and since reading these magazines she has been able to add a few tricky ones from the regular glossary feature including "meteorological", "meander" and "mollusc"!
Eco Kids Planet has a different theme each month – sometimes a part of the world such as the Alps, or the Amazon river, and sometimes a scientific phenomenon such as “light” in nature or animal “superpowers”. Each edition features animal facts, geography exercises, lots of beautiful images from the natural world, board games, puzzles, stories and step-by-step instructions for creative activities on the same theme. One copy of this magazine would probably provide enough entertainment for a week of school holiday fun for Lara.
I think it is brilliant to see a children's magazine that isn't covered in cheap plastic toys, or the beaming faces of television characters – this science and geography magazine really appeals to Lara's inquisitive and active side and her current thirst for knowledge. I also think its good value for money, certainly compared to other children's magazines – an annual subscription currently costs £29.90 but there are special offers for your first few editions if you subscribe by direct debit.
The magazine is glossy and packed full of material – it feels much more like an adult's magazine than a kids one, except for the noticable lack of advertising (this, we like).
Lara has most enjoyed the puzzles in Eco Kids Planet but she has also enjoyed looking at the pictures of giant amazonian fish (great when your mother is a fish-a-phobic) and awe-inspiring birds of prey. For the pages with lots of text, we've read the magazine together and on a couple of occasions this has prompted Lara to ask to go online to find out more about the topic – we've used the magazine as a starting point for learning about different types of dolphins, or what the biggest bird is. As an adult, on the surface, the facts in the magazine are quite high-level but for Lara, these are her first introduction to topics such as rainforests, or avalanches and these facts are just the beginning of her learning adventure.
If your child is interested in science, nature or geography, or if you are looking for something which will spark their interest in a different type of reading (perhaps you've a keen reader who normally sticks to fiction) then I'd highly recommend Eco Kids Planet.