[amazon_link asins=’B01KKLIO9W’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’62b5cded-1d6e-11e8-84c5-9fe4bce2f500′]
Games Magazine has been around for 40 years. I was around 8 when I started getting it. I couldn’t do most of the puzzles in there but enjoyed the ones I could, and strived to do better each issue and try new puzzles. The format of the magazine has changed quite a bit since those early days and gone are some of my favorite sections, such as the Hidden Content. Also, they have since merged with World of Puzzles magazine to become ‘Games World of Puzzles’.
But the magazine is still the single source for puzzles by the best puzzle designers in the country. No other magazine or website comes anywhere close to having the wealth of styles and quality as Games.
They have finally updated their website where you can get a sense of what the issues are like.
An issue typically has lots of standard pencil puzzles (crosswords) more challenging ‘cryptic crosswords’ (like the kind you see in the Times of London) and unique puzzles such as solo battleships and many others. There are also brain teasers, logic puzzles. And also game reviews (both board and electronic) and contests. There are also usually two pages devoted to kids’ games, which are easier versions of some of their standard puzzles.
It’s a magazine that can sit on the coffee table for weeks with something for just about everyone in the family. An annual subscription is a good gift for a precocious child, and is a good alternative to videogames.
LEGO has a free magazine that comes out 5 times per year.
In some ways the thing is one huge ad, but the puzzles and activities (mazes, code-breaking, etc.) are pretty fun and our 6-year-old looks forward to it coming in the mail.
The cost is free, but you do have to sign up for a Lego ID, which means giving your email address.
[amazon_link asins=’B0160CLMWQ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’69160609-3fde-11e7-b716-27b6d77d64cf’]
I had never heard of Ask until we got it as a gift. It’s somewhat in the same vein as Ranger Rick, but with a much snarkier tone. There is Marvin, a raccoon character in Ask, but unlike Rick, Marvin is a bit of a jerk.
There are no ads and each issue is a mix of long-form articles and comics.
What is most striking about Ask is the articles are quite deep and detailed. Articles on candy, or explosions, or glass get into the chemistry and physics of the subject with much more detail than is found in most media aimed at adults.
[amazon_link asins=’B003I7HS5M’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’60c5fd88-3fdd-11e7-9c35-19d322f914de’]
In this digital age, tangible media like postcards and magazines are special for children. I like magazine subscriptions as gifts because they continue being a part of the child’s life for months later.
Ranger Rick Jr. is the version of Ranger Rick for younger kids and comes out 10 times per year. It is published by the National Wildlife Federation and it focuses on animals and nature.
Unlike some media aimed at kids, the tone of Ranger Rick is very gentle and mild and there are no ads for sugary breakfast cereals or whatever.