Category Archives: Parenting

Reading

Beat the Heat, Save Your Wallet

Sometimes, it’s just too hot to be outside. When you and your children want to spend some quality time together but don’t want to brave the heat or spend money on indoor activities like going to a movie theater for the latest blockbuster, it’s time to get creative!

guacMake a taco bar with the whole family! Get out of the sun for a little while with this delicious, creative recipe from Food Network Magazine. Everyone can play “chef,” with each person in charge of his or her own part of the taco bar, from the guacamole station to the hot sauce station. An extra perk of this family friendly recipe? With a multi-compartment lunch box, you can even take your taco bar with you for work or school lunches for a tasty lunch that is much cheaper than dining out!

 

 

To make 2-4 servings, you will need:

  • 4 thin slices roast beef (about 3 ounces)
  • 4 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup store-bought fresh guacamole
  • 1/4 cup store-bought fresh salsa
  • Mini bottle hot sauce
  • 2-4 multi-compartment lunch boxes
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  • “chefs” to help out

Directions

  1. Fold 1 slice roast beef inside each of 2 soft tortillas, and put in the biggest compartment of the lunch box
  2. Sprinkle cheese onto the roast beef and tortilla
  3. Pack other compartments with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and other favorite toppings each.
  4. Seal and send off to school or bring to work!

Everyone has the chance to contribute to the meal, and you get to spend a little extra time with the family!

On lazy summer days, sometimes we just don’t feel like being active, and even cooking a meal together seems too ambitious. Even energetic children need some downtime! Take the opportunity to read to your kids. You can even act out scenes from the stories to get them involved! Scholastic’s Parent & Child magazine has a few recommendations for places to start.

  1. Charlotte’s Web
  2. Tuck Everlasting
  3. A Wrinkle in Time
  4. Anne of Green Gables
  5. Where the Wild Things Are

Reading together will stimulate your children’s imaginations and will build memories that will last a lifetime! Support local literacy and save money by renting these books from your local library. Need more reading ideas for children? Magazines like Highlights can turn a lazy afternoon into a time of learning and discovery for children!

smores

Indoor camping is another budget-friendly way to get the whole family involved. All you need are a few household materials before you and your kids are ready for a camping adventure! 

  1. Rope
  2. Sheets
  3. Flashlights
  4. Chocolate
  5. Marshmallows
  6. Graham crackers
  7. Toothpicks
  8. Small candles
  9. Lighter
  10. Additional snacks (optional)

Choose a “campsite” – a room with enough space for the project – and tie the rope to furniture. Drape the sheets over the furniture to create your tent. Once you are ready for the camping to begin, get the small candle, chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers for mini s’mores! Turn out the lights and use the flashlight to make the camping experience more realistic.

Even when the temperatures a tipping the 90s, you and your family can find fun, inexpensive ways to enjoy the summer. Let us know which of these ideas is your favorite!

 

iStock_000019900294Small

Summer Activities for Kids

iStock_000020184652SmallAre you trying to come up with some fun summer activities for your kids? If you are looking for some creative, inexpensive ideas that will keep your kids entertained, try some of the following ideas:

1.) Tie-Dye Shirts

Help your kids unleash their artistic side by creating tie-dye shirts! Give each of your kids a white 100% cotton T-shirt and let the magic begin!

2.) New Outdoor Activities

Have your kids been dying to ride horses? Have they always wanted to go sailboating? Write a list of new activities on slips of paper and stick them in a Mason jar. Throughout the summer, draw out one of the activities and try it together! This is a great way to expose your kids to new activities without breaking your bank account.

3.) Read Together

Give your child a subscription to one of their favorite magazines so that they can continue reading all summer long. According to the literacy non-profit Reading is Fundamental, children who read during the summer retain their reading skills much more effectively than those who do not. Find a magazine that your child will look forward to receiving each month so that they can be both entertained and educated all summer long!

4.) Sidewalk Chalk

Give your kids some sidewalk chalk and let them create masterpieces in your driveway! You can also teach them to play fun games like Hopscotch. For added fun, you can draw a racetrack on your driveway and let your kids race toy cars!

5.) Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling

This is a fun and inexpensive alternative to traditional bowling! You’ll need six glow sticks, six empty water bottles, a ball that can knock over the water bottles (such as a small basketball), and paper and a pen so you can keep score. Crack each glow stick to make it glow. Put one glow stick into each of the empty bottles. Arrange the bottles like bowling pins. If you’re bowling indoors, make sure to play in a clear area without breakable items (such as a living room or playroom). If you’re playing outside, you can play on the patio, driveway, or in the yard. Let each family member bowl, and keep track of the score! For added fun, serve bowling alley style snacks like hotdogs, popcorn, and soda!

6.) Ice Cream Party

Facing a particularly hot day? Let your kids run through the sprinkler or take them to the pool. Afterwards, have an old-fashioned ice cream party! Let your kids choose between making banana splits, ice cream sundaes, or root beer floats. This is a fun and inexpensive way to cool down on a hot day!

7.) Cook with Your Kids

Summer is the perfect time to teach your kids some basic cooking skills. Teach them how to prepare basic foods such as baked potatoes, tacos, and cookies. You can find simple recipes for kids in Yum for Kids or Real Simple!

Park reading

Encourage Kids to Read All Summer Long

Spending time with momAccording to the National Education Association, children can lose up to three months of reading progress over the summer months. Reading is Fundamental, America’s largest literary non-profit, noted, “Children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward.” Are you looking for some tried-and-true ways to encourage your child to read all summer long? Here are some surefire suggestions:

1.)   Make Reading Fun

Many teachers hand out a required reading list at the end of the school year in an attempt to encourage students to read throughout the summer. However, it can be difficult for children to stay engaged unless the book captures their attention. Does your child have a favorite activity, such as sports or animals? If so, consider buying them a subscription to a magazine that revolves around that topic. It will be much easier for them to stay focused on something that captures their attention.

2.)   Combine Activities With Reading

Does your child love swimming? Read a story about a famous swimmer before heading to the pool. Does your child enjoy baseball? Suggest that they read a story about a baseball player before you head to the game. Encouraging your child to read about a favorite activity can help them learn more about something that interests them.

3.)   Read Aloud to Your Child

Respected educator Jim Trelease, who wrote the Read-Aloud Handbook, says that reading aloud to children helps create lifelong learners. He states,

“It’s long established in science and research: the child who comes to school with a large vocabulary does better than the child who comes to school with little familiarity with words and a low vocabulary. In books, newspapers, and magazines, the language is more complicated (than in ordinary conversation). A child who hears more sophisticated words has a giant advantage over a child who hasn’t heard those words.”

He adds that reading aloud also increase a child’s attention span. He encourages parents to read to older children as well, since a child’s reading level usually doesn’t catch up to their listening level until 8th grade. As a result, reading aloud to older children will continue to help cultivate their comprehension skills.

At Magazines.com, we have several magazines for children. From American Girl to Highlights, we have a wide array of entertaining and educational magazines that kids of all ages will enjoy. If you’re trying to motivate your child to continue reading all summer long, consider buying them a subscription to their favorite magazine. They’ll look forward to receiving it in the mail each month!

First Day of School_featured

5 Ways to Ease First-Day-of-School Fears

Easing First Day of School FearsBlogger and kindergartner mom Shannon McRae shares simple tips for taking the stress out of the start of a new school year, especially for first-timers or younger students.

My oldest starts kindergarten this year, so the first day of school has been marked on our calendar for months. Sometimes I’m not sure who’s more nervous—the kindergartner or his mama! Whether jittery about riding the school bus, making new friends, or even (and I remember this one) wondering if you’ve chosen the right “first day” outfit, the start of school can be stressful for kids.

Family Fun magazine had some great tips for helping ease those first-day-of-school fears. Find their ideas (and some of ours) below—and then go enjoy the last days of freedom:

1. Carry a Keepsake. This idea was sweet and seems like it’d work for any age. One reader mom found a heart-shaped rock on the playground, took it home and painted it. She gave it to her daughter on the first day of school to keep in her pocket as a reminder that her mom loved her no matter where she was. The little girl carried the rock in her pocket for the first few days. But after she felt more comfortable at school, she moved the rock from her pocket to her backpack. If sending a rock makes you nervous, a simple note or sticker would work the same.

2. Write to the Teacher. My 5-year-old is a little shy and takes a while to open up to people he doesn’t know. That’s why I loved this tip about helping your child write a note to his or her new teacher. The mom who submitted the idea said that in her little boy’s letter, he tells his new teacher things he likes to do and his favorite parts about school. “This makes him feel that he’s broken the ice, and it helps his teacher get to know my sweet, slow-to-warm-up boy a little faster,” writes Marilee Duggan Haynes.

3. Ease Bus Worries. The protective mom in me feels nervous thinking about my child riding home on a bus. Karen Freeman in West Chester, Ohio, came up with a creative way to help her daughter remember her stop on the way home. She cut out a traced hand and wrote her daughter’s school on the thumb. She numbered the fingers, reminding her to get off at the 4th stop. I also like the idea of making sure your child knows someone else on the bus so that it doesn’t seem so unfamiliar.

4. Read a Book. When my little boy started preschool, his teacher sent a copy of the book The Kissing Hand before the first day of school. The story follows Chester Raccoon as he prepares to leave his mom for the first day of school. His mom tells him about a family secret called the Kissing Hand so that he’ll know she’s always with him when he’s scared or alone. For my kids, stories are a great way to talk about things that make them nervous.

5. Start a Countdown Calendar. For younger kids who don’t have a strong concept about time yet, a countdown calendar can help them feel more informed about the approaching Big Day. Simple construction paper chains or tear-off calendars are a good visual to prepare kids for the exciting school year ahead.

Back to School_featured

5 Magazines to Help You and the Family Get Ready for Back to School

Between homework and after-school activities—not to mention dinner and house cleaning—how will you manage? These five magazines have at least some of the answers you’ll need.

It’s that time of year again—time to wonder where the summer went while stocking up on school supplies for the kids. As they head back to school, will life settle in to a familiar routine, or will schedules only get busier?

No matter where you find yourself along that spectrum, you probably wouldn’t turn down any pointers that would help make you feel a little more organized. So as the kids get back into the swing of things, don’t forget to prepare yourself—and stock up on these school supplies with you in mind.

These are five magazines—now just $2 or less an issue in our Back $2 School sale—to help get you and the rest of the family ready to tackle the new year.

All You: Back to school means more field trips, more activities, more money in general. Stay within budget—or below—with this magazine packed with money-saving tips from meals to clothes to everyday expenses.

Real Simple: Brace your home to be overrun with everything from sports equipment, dance gear, backpacks and books with advice on keeping everything in its place with this magazine devoted to all things efficiency.

Cooking Light: Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to providing meals on busy weeknights, snacks for school or desserts for school parties. Quick and easy—and healthy!—recipes for all these and more are the mainstays of each issue.

National Geographic: A subscription to this news weekly will help keep you—and your kids—on top of fascinating history and science topics around the world. Not a bad idea if you’re the source for research paper topics or school projects.

InStyle: Don’t skimp on yourself! When you need a little “me” time, turn to this fashion bible. It contains everything you need to keep your wardrobe, your makeup and your beauty routine in step with the latest trends.

Summer Reading collage_featured

Save Up to 70 Percent on Children’s Magazines in Our Summer Reading Sale

Magazines.com Summer Reading SaleTeach your child that reading and learning is fun at any age with the help of the age-appropriate magazines featured in our Summer Reading Sale!

Want to foster a love of reading or give your already book-loving children something new to read every month? The deals that are part of our Summer Reading Sale will do just that—plus you’ll save up to 70 percent on some of our most popular children’s magazines.

You may already be familiar with a classic like Highlights—maybe you even read it as a kid yourself! But we’ve got many more magazines for kids that are parent-approved with multiple awards from the Parents’ Choice Foundation.

In our broad selection of more than 25 children’s magazines, there is something for every age that will help curious minds blossom and active kids to explore. Here’s a peek at what you’ll find in our Summer Reading Sale, but hurry, these savings end June 25, 2013!

For Highlights Fans

The Highlights line of magazines has expanded over the years to include something for children ages 0-12. The classic Highlights still contains puzzles, projects, riddles, and stories for ages 6-12, but for younger readers ages 3-5, there’s Highlights High Five. The newest member of the Highlights family is Highlights Hello, specially designed with thicker pages and rounded corners for the littlest of readers ages 0-2.

For Animal Lovers

Just like Highlights, Zoobooks’ line of animal-centric magazines has something for children of various age ranges. Zoobies is just for ages 0-3 focusing on basic concepts like colors, shapes, and sizes, while Zootles targets preschoolers ages 4-6 with lots of photos, stories, puzzles, and activities. Children ages 6-12 can explore the animal kingdom up close with Zoobooks and its photography and interactive activities.

For Young Inquiring Minds

From Cobblestone Publishing comes a wide range of magazines by both content and age range to satisfy young curiosities. Its 14 titles cover literacy and language arts, American and world history and world cultures, and science and ideas divided by grades pre-K to second grade, grades 2-5, and grades 4 and up. Titles include Babybug, Ladybug, AppleSeeds, Calliope, Cobblestone, Cricket, Dig, Muse, Odyssey, and more!

For Spanish Speakers/Readers

A select number of Cobblestone Publishing’s extensive line of parent-approved magazines are also available in Spanish. Babybug en Espanol is specifically for children 6 months to 3 years to introduce Spanish to children regardless of their native language. Ladybug en Espanol is the next level of Spanish education for children at the pre-K to grade 1 level. Ask en Espanol is an even more advanced application of the language to science concepts for children in grades 3-5.

For Older Girls and Boys

Your older son or daughter may seem like their 10 going on 20, but you know they’re not quite ready to be all grown up yet. Magazines like Girls’ Life or Boys’ Life provide age-appropriate advice and cover their unique concerns while bridging their transition from childhood to teen. Girls’ Life, recognized with a Parent’s Choice award, tackles fashion, friends, and self-esteem in each issue, while Boys’ Life features articles on history, science, sports, and more.