Monday, September 4th, 2006
Wild Animal Baby Magazine for Toddlers
“Show me more double-yous papa.” That’s what my 27-month-old daughter demanded during breakfast yesterday because of a new magazine she is “reading.” I was holding a newspaper and she knew there must be W’s inside.
The day before we showed her Wild Animal Baby magazine by the National Wildlife Federation. It’s about the size of a large board book, with thick pages aimed at one to three-year-olds. The pages are derived from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Ten issues cost about $20. We borrowed a couple old issues, circa 2004, from a friend. Two dollars per bookish-magazine is a deal.
The magazines are filled with about 22 pages of photos and drawings of animals. Each issue seems to have a special emphasis on one animal, a letter or number, a poem, a story and a simple activity.
One page in particular caught our attention with a Playboy-like spread of a warthog sunning himself in fresh mud.
We first spent some time explaining to my daughter that the warthog was not a pig. Horns = warthog. No horns = pig. We’ll explain the difference between horns and tusks later.
The photo was labeled “Warthog” in white letters and an orange “W.” A sentence on the page had its W’s also coded orange, “Have you ever watched a warthog wallow in the mud?”
This idea resonated with my daughter and she proceeded to identify W’s elsewhere in the book, always at the beginning of a word. Later, we went for a drive and she began pointing out W’s she saw on road signs, picking out the letter from anywhere within a word. She grew quite emphatic about finding W’s.
I should explain that we’ve been playing with alphabet photo flash cards about once a week. She knows a few letters by sight, but I’m not sure she knew W. She certainly never showed an interest in letters when not playing with the cards. The magazine made something click inside her head.
The friend we borrowed the magazines from is turning 4-years-old next week and she still loves to read them. They are well worn.
Subscription note: I noticed the subscription page on the Animal Baby web site checks out as “connection partially encrypted.” (On an encrypted page, click the lock icon at the bottom of your browser window for details.)
I’m subscribing through Amazon.com for safety. Click Amazon’s “See more magazine gift options” link for instructions on how to have the magazine addressed to your child rather than the Amazon account owner.