Last night before I fell asleep, I found myself tucked in bed, perusing the pages of National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) Your Big Backyard--alone. That's right, I was reading a magazine for preschoolers by myself. I enjoyed the photos of darling sifaka lemurs, and, yes, comparing the beak shapes and sizes in an article called "Take a Peek at Beaks."
We just started my son on Your Big Back Yard, which is written for ages three to seven. It contains a nice mix of simple nonfiction articles on animals and not-so-factual stories, such as the adventures of Ricky Raccoon. I recommend it.
We're still reading NWF's magazine for kids under age four, t00. Wild Animal Baby comes in a sturdier, smaller format. It includes very simple articles about animals, poems, a simple game where babies match an animal cracker on one page to the real animal on the adjacent page, a story about kids encountering nature, and more. My son loves the stories and still asks for them by the characters' names. These magazines are big hit with all the little kids we know. Indeed, my five-year-old niece won't part with hers.
Our family also likes National Geographic's Little Kids. This magazine covers nature and world cultures in a format aimed at preschoolers. It includes stories and games. A nice touch is the punch-out animal cards that come with each issue. For older children, check out National Geo Kids.
National Wildlife Federation also publishes Ranger Rick for young people over age seven.