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    children's literacy, children's magazines, storytelling

    A Quality Advertisement-Free Magazine for Children? Yes, Please! (Storytime Magazine Review + Discount)

    Disclaimer:  We were sent copies of Storytime Magazine for the purpose of this review, however as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

    Two years ago, I was introduced to Storytime Magazine and wrote a review here on the blog.  I’m pleased to share Storytime Magazine has managed to stick to their strict rule of not including any advertisements or plastic toys.  It’s still the same quality, thought-provoking and entertaining content they had since their initial publication!

    Storytime Magazine is one of the UK’s biggest subscription magazines for kids of all ages which is also available to subscribers worldwide. It’s packed with fairy tales, new stories, funny poems, myths & legends, gorgeous illustrations, puzzles, games and much more!

    Every issue of Storytime features classic, new and much-loved stories with beautiful original illustrations, plus storytelling tips and activities to help you bring our stories to life. You can read our stories out loud to your children or, as they get older or grow more confident, you can encourage them to read to you, depending on their reading level.

    I’m pleased with the amount of diversity featured in many of their magazines.  Although you will find some classic stories and fairy tales like Mother Goose, they also offer tales from around the world like Zuleika’s Gift featuring a little girl from Saudia Arabia.  Issue 46 also has a mythical story called The Eight-Headed Dragon which takes place in Japan.  Issue 42 has a beautiful African (Zulu) story about a woman named Manzandaba ho was married to a man named Zenzele.  There are even sidenotes that explain some vocabulary words and provide additional background information.  For example, it tells you how to say the phrase ‘Once upon a time’ the Zulu way which is ‘Kwasuka sukela’.

    Just like reading books, magazines play an important role in improving childhood literacy.  Experts now agree that including them in the reading mix, alongside books, is crucial – especially for those children who feel overwhelmed when facing a whole book.  Each issue of Storytime Magazine is like getting seven brilliant books in one! Every month you get six magical stories for kids plus one or two poems, all beautifully illustrated on high quality, glossy paper.

    Storytime Magazine also offers FREE printable downloads – masks, fingers puppets, recipes and games – to use in conjunction with the magazine and in school lessons.  Simply go to their website and download the printable templates to use with your little readers.  We enjoyed designing and decorating our own sandcastles using the Sandcastle Challenge Sheet (issue 48) and playing the Help a Hen game (issue 47).

    It’s also worth mentioning that although this magazine is made for children of all ages, I think it’s best suited to be read aloud with children during story time.  That’s especially true for younger readers between ages birth to 6 years.  Although the stories are great, each one takes up at least 3-6 pages in the magazine, depending on the story.  As children get older and learn to read, they will be able to read the magazine on their own without much assistance.  We like to read this magazine a little at a time over the course of a few days.  Some days we’ll read some of the stories or poems and other days we’ll do one of the activities.  I find it’s a nice way to mix it up and enjoy it without trying to read the whole thing in one or two sittings.

    Is there a discount?
    Storytime Magazine is currently offering Here Wee Read readers and subscribers worldwide a 10 % discount off their annual price for 12 issues.  There is also an option to just order 4 of their most recent issues.  Click here for the discount and to see their different pricing options based on your region.

    Connect with Storytime Magazine!
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    Your turn: Have you read this magazine with your little readers yet?  If not, are you excited to check it out?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    children's books, children's literacy, children's magazines

    Manga Comic Textbooks: A Fun Way to Teach Science to Kids

    I try to incorporate many hands-on activities to keep the learning fresh and energizing for both my kids and me. It’s important for me to find constantly find different ways to get my kids to know, understand, and demonstrate essential life skills and strategies they’ll need later in life through creative play and activities. Over the past few years of being a parent I’ve come to believe that learning has to be fun to make the kids want to keep doing it as a lifelong activity.

    One way to help make reading and learning fun for kids is incorporating comic-style  textbooks!  Many educators have found comic books provide a variety of benefits in the classroom, including: easy to track storylines, bright, attention-getting imagery, and new vocabulary, not otherwise found in children’s books.

    When I heard there were comic books that could help my children learn science, I was skeptical. But I’m being won over, because I’ve discovered the magic of Manga learning tools!

    surprisingly-awesome-learning_survive1_front_75de

    What is Manga?

    It’s a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children.

    Why does it matter? And what does it have to do with learning?

    I’ve discovered this tremendous resource for teaching kids science and all about the human body. Rather than a dry text and diagram textbook, concepts are covered in a story-based format that’s also visual, so learners of all kinds have more to glom onto, and it’s easier to recall. Sort of like our trusted and true pal Ms. Frizzle of the Magic School Bus, but for a slightly older children depending on the book. Last but certainly not least – it makes learning fun! Imagine if your child requested to re-read a science text book. That’s what these amazing books can inspire.

    We started on the Survive! Inside the Human Body series, and even I am learning!

    Topics covered in this book series about the human body: Human Body (anatomy), Digestive System, Circulatory System, Nervous System, Personal Wellness, Effects of Food on the Body, Medicine & technology, and Genetics.
    But there are also advanced topics in this format like the Universe, Physics, Linear Algebra, and more available from Shockingly Awesome Learning on Educents.com.
    See inside the books in this cute video:

    Your turn: What do you think of this new trend of using comic-style textbooks to keep learning fresh and fun for kids?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    book reviews, children's magazines, read aloud

    Storytime Children’s Magazine: A Review Plus a Discount!

    Reading children’s magazines is a great way to to keep your kids entertained and reading fresh material each month.  They contain different stories, quizzes, poems, rhymes, puzzles, jokes, and activities that spark their curiosity and satisfy their need to understand the world around them.  In addition, magazines can help hone critical-thinking skills and creativity through fun, interactive articles.

    The best part? If you sign up for a magazine subscription, children can look forward to a new magazine coming in the mailbox each month—their very own mail!

    If you are currently on the market for a new children’s magazine to share with your kids I’d recommend checking out Storytime Magazine.  Have you ever heard of this gem before?  It’s one of the UK’s biggest subscription magazines for kids that is now available to US subscribers!  The magazine is gorgeous and it’s filled with classic fairy tales, myths, puzzles, poems, and much more.

    storytime_kids_magazine

    Each month, Storytime magazine is packed with brilliant tales for boys and girls of all ages.  It’s a quality children’s magazine that actually helps to improve literacy – with no advertisements and no plastic toys, just quality, thought-provoking and entertaining content.  I just love the idea of an advertisement-free magazine.  Don’t you?  Our kids are already bombarded with enough ads on television they don’t need to see it in their reading material too.

    Storytime is published by a small independent publisher who, having grown tired of all of the magazines packed with adverts and plastic toys, wanted to create a magazine for kids that was simply all about great stories, that parents and children could enjoy reading together.

    Storytime also offers FREE printable downloads – masks, fingers puppets, recipes and games – to use in conjunction with the magazine and in school lessons.  Simply go to their website and download the printable templates to use with your little readers.  For example, in one of the magazines we received there is the story of Pinocchio.  We downloaded the Pinocchio mask so we could act out the story as we read it…so fun!

    Two other fun activities we enjoyed doing was making Midas Touch handprints and crowns!  First we read the story ‘The Midas Touch’ about King Midas and then we did the corresponding extension activities from the magazine that immediately followed it.  The kids had fun dipping their hands in yellow paint to make handprints and decorating them with glitter.  We decorated our crowns with various stickers, glitter and gems.

    midas_crown

    Here are some other things I really like about this magazine:

    • The name of it…I think Storytime captures the essence of it so perfectly!
    • Every month you get six stories plus one or two poems
    • The illustrations are so bright, detailed, and beautiful
    • The magazine is printed on high-quality glossy paper (It’s not the same type of paper I typically see with other magazines – it’s definitely more durable and better quality)
    • They have competitions every month giving children the opportunity to win books and other prizes
    • Great grammar and vocabulary words are used throughout

    It’s also worth mentioning that although this magazine is made for children of all ages, I think it’s best suited to be read aloud with children during story time.  That’s especially true for younger readers between ages birth to 6 years.  Although the stories are great, each one takes up at least 3-6 pages in the magazine, depending on the story.  As children get older and learn to read, they will be able to read the magazine on their own without much assistance.

    Sounds great, but how much is it?
    Storytime Magazine currently has three different subscription options to US subscribers:

    $69.99 – every 12 issues paid by continuous credit/debit card
    $79.99 – for 12 issues paid by credit/debit card
    $79.99 – for 12 issues paid by Paypal

    Is there a discount?

    Yes, there is!  Our friends over at Storytime magazine are offering my readers with a massive discount!  They set up a special issue whereby you can try their first three (3) issues for a total of just $5.00!  Click here for the direct link to this special offer. Update: The $5.00 initial promotion has now expired.

    If you would prefer to look around their site first, click here.  Enjoy!

    Connect with Storytime Magazine!
    WebsiteFacebookTwitter | Pinterest

    Disclosure:  We were sent copies of Storytime Magazine for the purpose of this review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

    Your turn: Have you read this magazine with your little readers yet?  If not, are you excited to check it out?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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