Well, it seems the post I wrote last week ‘How do you tell the children?’ hit the spot. It got picked up by various websites and blogger communities, most notably Christianity Magazine who put it on their blog. Their sister radio station then chose my blog post as the topic of discussion on their Drive time show, which I just happened to tune into that afternoon – imagine my surprise when I heard my name read out on the radio as I peeled the carrots for supper! Lets just say the supper was a little delayed that night 😉
Anyway, one of the things I touched on in that post was how it can be hard to introduce our children to national or world news in a sensitive way. TV news is simply too ‘in your face’ and alarmist in our view, so we prefer not to have it on whilst they’re up (or even after they’re in bed to be honest).
So, I thought I’d tell you about a couple of newspapers written especially for children which share the news in a very age appropriate way which some of you might find helpful.
First News is an award-winning weekly newspaper for junior school kids which we discovered earlier this year. Or at least I discovered it as the kids say they have it at school already. That said, they rarely read it there, so we decided to subscribe. It comes in a tabloid size paper, covers world and national news in bitesize portions, has a sport section (at the back of course!), puzzles and competitions, online polls, loads of photos and animal stories and plenty of good news and ‘fancy that’ stories.
My son’s favourite last week was the piece about Hull University’s Dept of Chemistry inventing a version of Minecraft that helps kids learn chemistry called MolCraft. It’s currently being trialled at select London schools so don’t reach for google or your purses just yet! My daughter loves the puzzles page, competitions and likes to go online and take part in the polls (“Should Orca Whales be kept in captivity?” “Do you prefer to read e-books or paper books?”).
They do need some encouraging to read the news section but when they do, it provides just about the right level of detail for them.
That said, she really didn’t want to read the Paris attacks piece which took up a centre spread this week. However, that was purely because she’d “rather not know any more”. If she’d read it she would have found it excellently presented with a big emphasis on the importance of not worrying. In fact, First News editor, Nicky Cox, was on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour last Tuesday to discuss the issue of teens finding out about the Paris attacks via social media.
But if you want something a little more glossy and looking like a magazine, then look no further as The Week has just last week launched The Week Junior. It looks very similar to the magazine style of The Week, for those of you who are familiar with it. Pitched at ages 8-14 the feel and presentation of it is slightly older, in my opinion, to First News, yet the articles are actually slightly shorter and less in-depth interestingly. It has all the animal news, some puzzles, less give-aways and plenty of funny photos and stories to make it an enjoyable read.
Both are excellent resources for getting your junior children or young teens aware of what’s going on in the world, with plenty of interesting and amusing things along the way.
And quite impressively, neither leave you feeling like you’ve just spent an hour with Eeyore, which most adult newspapers often leave me feeling. And that’s got to be good!
Price comparison: Both can be bought in the shops but its more convenient to subscribe. Both magazines have good offers to try for free first. You can get 6 issues of The Week Junior for free which is very good value, and 3 weeks of First News for £1 (The Week has just introduced that offer but don’t let that stop you trialling First News). They both have Christmas Gift Subscriptions. Give your child or grandchild a Christmas present of First News for 6.5 months (26 weeks) for £29.99 or The Week Junior for 15 weeks for £18.99. If they like it, you can subscribe for longer for a cheaper price. See websites.
And you never know, you find yourself reading them instead of the grown-up alternatives…..
This was not a paid review.We are current subscribers to First News and I received a free copy of The Week Junior at a bloggers conference I attended at the weekend but with no obligation to write a jot about it.