> The Beesley Buzz: Aquila magazine review: a fun educational children's magazine

Aquila magazine review: a fun educational children's magazine

Although both boys have recently returned to school (very recently in J's case), having homeschooled for several years, we are always on the lookout for educational resources that can enhance the children's learning. Along our home-schooling journey we have discovered some fantastic fun educational apps like Squeebles from key stage fun, and Monster Physics by Dan Russell-Pinson. My children also love to read both books and magazines. They subscribe to a couple of regular kids magazines as well as picking up even more kid's magazines at the supermarket.

One thing we have noticed over the years is that children's magazines vary massively in terms of the quality of content. Some are surprisingly good whilst others purely seem to cash-in on the characters featured in the magazine. They stick on a cheap plastic toy and charge several pounds for our kids to have the privilege of 'reading' utter drivel. Dissapointingly, there is often not actually much to read at all - a few pictures and posters of the characters. 

That's why I get excited when we come across childrens magazines that have quality content and yet still appeal to the children. Aquila magazine is one such magazine.

Aimed at children aged 8-11, Aquila magazine prides itself on its educational content, and contains no advertisements in the magazine. 

We were sent a few issues to review. Here's what the kids had to say:

The pictures look exciting. J aged 9

It was a book in a book. There was a story in the Aquila magazine and it was called 'The man in the woods.' (January 2014 issue). D aged 7.

D reading the short story in Aquila magazine
Regular features include a competition in each issue for subscribers, a letters page, a short story, and a 'things to make' article.

Each magazine seems to have an overall theme. For example, the November 2013 issue had a picture of the night sky as its cover and the magazine focused on this theme throughout with features on Galileo, our solar system, planet facts and a solar system board game on the 'things to make' page.
There is a theme each month. January 2014's theme is 'Giants'
D really enjoyed the puzzles and, as he's a strong reader, read the short story to himself. He is really keen to try out some of the craft activities too. 

The back page ends with a jokes section which is perfect for J. As regular blog readers will know J has his own jokes section on our blog and is also 'master joker' for online toy company The Toadstool. So he always enjoys reading jokes.

From a parents point of view, I liked having a theme running through the magazine each month. It adds to the educational value and you feel that the children are really learning something. As it is a magazine, it doesn't feel like 'heavy' reading like a textbook on a particular topic would, so it engages the kids well. 

The mix of articles, puzzles, letters and jokes really breaks the magazine up into manageable chunks that helps children read more independently.
A mix of articles, stories, puzzles, things to make and more!
Other than the monthly competitions, the remaining content doesn't really go out of date, meaning that these are great magazines to keep and re-read. Back issues are also available to purchase. Whilst I can't see my children replacing their favourite character magazines, I could see Aquila magazine becoming another magazine in their repertoire which provides valuable educational material at a comparable cost to regular kids magazines. 

I think a lot of 8-11 year olds would enjoy Aquila magazine and I would guess it would be particularly useful to home-educators, avid readers (like my son who is always on the lookout for more to read as he has pretty much exhausted our local library), and inquisitive minds. An Aquila subscription would also make a great addition to any school classroom or school library as it is likely to complement learning that is done in school.

Do pop over and say hello to Aquila magazine on facebook and they can be found here on twitter

Disclosure: We were sent 3 issues of Aquila magazine for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own. More information on Aquila subscriptions is available here. Thanks to Kids Blog Club for putting us in touch with Aquila magazine. 

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