Since 1975, National Geographic Kids magazine has been fulfilling its mission of “exciting kids about their world.” Published 10 times a year, the magazine is aimed at 6- to 14-year-old boys and girls. Since my two kiddos are younger than the target age, I asked a neighbor’s 6-year-old son and his friend to look it over and give me a kid’s perspective.
The good news is that they already had a subscription, so they were familiar with it. Much like its adult counterpart, the kid’s version focuses on wildlife, entertainment, science, technology, extreme sports, adventures, amazing kids and world wonders. Each issue is packed full of facts, photographs, maps and pull-out sections and posters.
I found myself drawn to the “Weird But True” section, which had “outrageous” facts such as, “The smallest bone in the human body is shorter than a grain of rice.” Who knew?! My 6-year-old reviewers loved the plethora of facts as well, which were found all over the magazine in other regular sections like “Guinness World Records” and “Bet You Didn’t Know.”
In true National Geographic magazine style, the photography in the kid’s version is great. You get up close and personal with everything from butterfly wings and tigers to chimpanzees and piglet squids.
The magazine encourages readers’ participation through two regular sections, “Art Zone” and “Back Talk.” Art Zone features original drawings by kids based on a certain theme each month, like amusement parks or how readers would save the environment. And Back Talk is a great reminder of how funny kids can be. Each issue provides a photograph with a blank thought balloon. Kids are encouraged to fill it in and send it back, and the most clever ones are printed in the following month’s issue.
Though both of my reviewers thought the magazine was a little “long” for their attention spans, I think it’s a good sign to parents who want to get their money’s worth out of a subscription. The 6-year-olds went though the entire magazine in one sitting for me, and my neighbor did mention that they normally read it in spurts. They’re also on the younger end of the target audience, so older kids might enjoy digesting it all at once. The magazine’s media kit says that almost 79 percent of kids read the entire magazine the first day they receive it.