No thanks Bunty

Did you get magazines when you were a child? I don’t remember any I had when I was really little but for a while there was a rival to ‘Bunty’ and ‘Jackie’ called ‘Suzy’ and, despite hating being called Susie I used to like this. It had all your teenage photostories and suchlike inside but then was cancelled and Bunty just wasn’t the same. I switched to a football magazine and Smash Hits.

The children’s magazine market has moved on. There are LOADS more titles, many of them aimed at toddlers, all of them on low shelves in the supermarket and all with brightly coloured covers and plastic toys to give away. Predictable. I’m happy for E to have a magazine once in a while but I have some rules. There are some mags with clear gender divides – pink and princessy and passive. We don’t get those. I prefer not to get many with too many crappy plastic toys, though it’s hard to avoid.

So this leaves us with:

Charlie and lolaCharlie and Lola magazine – once a month from CBBC. There’s a story and theme to each month, and lots of stickers and things to make. This is E’s favourite magazine – she loves all the stickers and pictures to make, as well as the things to make. These range from masks to booklets to maracas to models. I actively look out for this one each month, even the month where they gave away a free plastic recorder.

CBeebies Art magazine – once a month and vaguely themed. There are 12 pages of things to make from paper – these are the kinds of things that can save you on a rainy day indoors or on a long car journey (see my post last week). This
does come with lots of creatures/ critters/ monsters to make from foam pieces and the kind of material that is probably clogging up landfill sites all over the place but E loves the two lots of monsters we’ve made so much that they adorn our bookshelves.

Thomas the Tank Engine – as it sounds. The magazine seems to be slightly less preachy than the original stories and even has women engines once in a while (woop-de-do). I’m less keen on this but S and E like Thomas and it does have about six stories in each issue which helps to keep her happy and us less bored by reading the same things over again…

The first two mags are pretty good and creative – Thomas less so but you get more stories. I’m really looking forward to her being old enough to get the Jacqueline Wilson mag (hopefully they will still make it then). I can’t seem to find any on the main market that aren’t based around a TV programme or other. There is a magazine for children 3-8 that’s available by mail order called Okido. It aims to offer a perspective on science, nature and the world. I tried a few copies of this and there were a few things that were fun to try but there were also several issues that were mainly just a lot of hand drawn cartoons featuring weird blobby characters. The good thing was that it was aimed at children rather than boys or girls – I have a feeling although it’s aimed at 3-8s, it might be better for E when she’s a bit older.

I’d really like to hear what you like – recommendations please!


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