The first thing I noticed when I read Disney’s FamilyFun magazine for the first time was that there aren’t a lot of lengthy articles. Instead, the magazine is jam-packed with information presented in quick paragraphs, lists, bullets and step-by-step guides, along with lots of photographed how-tos. It’s the perfect magazine to pick up when you have a few minutes to spare (think nap time, carpool line, doctor’s office) without worrying about getting too involved in a multi-page story.
The magazine’s publishers say it’s “a trusted source for moms with kids through age 12.” Its “for readers/by readers” approach is one I really like. A majority of the content comes from real families–not 20-something-year-old magazine editors. I think that’s especially important in parenting magazines. I know I turn to other moms first when I have questions about parenthood.
Here are a few of my favorite sections of the magazine:
- “My Great Idea” is a collection of the best strategies submitted by readers. It reminds me of the kind of advice moms trade at play groups and lunch dates. A recent issue offered creative ways to make car rides more fun, how to help an allergic child give up sweets and a simple treat to try for breakfast. They’re all quick and easy to read and leave you thinking, “Hey–I should try that too….”
- Who isn’t always planning their next vacation? The “Family Getaways” section offers advice on can’t-miss destinations across the country, and often at least one of their suggestions is within your region. I like the real-life tips from families who’ve been there before. When you travel, it’s nice to have recommendations on where to eat, where to stay and what to see. And if you’re skeptical like I was, rest assured: Despite Disney being its publisher, the magazine is not constantly pushing the company’s theme parks in its travel section!
- I’m sort of a health freak, so I appreciate the “Healthy Fun” section, which is touted as “ideas and strategies for keeping your family fit and feeling great.” Whether it’s an idea for getting active or an easy recipe, it’s nice to have a healthy focus in every issue.
- Speaking of easy recipes… my toddler is much more likely to eat something if he’s had a hand in making it. The “Let’s Cook” section offers simple recipes that kids can prepare (with some help depending on their age). Most have few ingredients (five or so) and just a couple of steps.