Online Fun and a Magazine Subscription for Girls With Two Academics' Choice Products

It’s sometimes hard for me to believe that I’m the mother of teens and tweens- and an almost tween. I’m always on the lookout for fun things that will appeal to my ten and eleven year old girls and will also be wholesome and educational. Too often the media that they encounter online, through movies, in books, or in magazines is filled with content that isn’t always appropriate. I recently had the opportunity to review two Academics’ Choice products that are appealing and appropriate- Discovery Girls magazine and Lucky Kat World, an online game site.

Review of a tween girls magazine and an online game site for kids

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Discovery Girls Magazine

Review of Discovery Girls Magazine for tween girlsDiscovery Girls Magazine is a bimonthly magazine that is aimed at girls age 8 and up. The magazine features fun informational articles, advice posts that explore physical and emotional questions girls have, celebrity information, fun quizzes, craft ideas, and opportunities for reader submissions. All of the articles and features encourage girls to have good self esteem and good attitudes about themselves and others. The posts deal with topics such as friendship, body image, and having confidence to try new things. The Discovery Girls website also has games for girls to play, information for parents and a blog.

The magazine is very visually appealing. One of my daughters is a huge magazine fan and quickly scooped up the magazine to read when she saw it. There is a great variety of content in the articles and features. From information to photo features to quizzes and fun, there is something here to appeal to everyone. Because the magazine features real girls doing real things, girls can relate to it and are interested in it.

As a parent, I appreciate the positive content in the magazine. There is a positive focus on self esteem and attitude and a general tone that encourages girls to be themselves and appreciate who they are. I was also pleased that the celebrity focus seemed to be on celebrities who are a good role model and that are good for girls to look up to and emulate.

One thing that I would have liked to see more of was an acknowledgement of and encouragement of girls’ relationship with their parents. Only once did I really see a mention of talking with parents over handling a problem. As a family we really like to encourage the kids to talk with us about issues they encounter, not just turn to friends or other advice.

Despite that concern, I think that the magazine is a positive and fun resource that is appealing to tween girls. It’s one I know that my girls will enjoy.

Lucky Kat World

Lucky Kat World is an online game site. It is targeted for K-5th graders. Kids can play with a free membership that allows them to earn coins and save progress or you can purchase a paid membership that offers other features including more coins upon joining as well as opportunities to play more levels of the game.

The game centers around Katalina Island, a tropical island where kids can play fun and educational games. On the main screen, kids click on certain areas to take them places in Lucky Kat World. Each location has a variety of games that kids can play. Some of the games are just for fun, such as a target shooting game or a car chase game. Some of the games have a more educational thrust such as a game that has kids identify food groups for a variety of foods that appear in the fridge or a game that has kids pick up recyclable items from a conveyor belt and place them in the correct recycle bin. In some scenes there are Lucky Kat World characters. These characters will say certain messages when they are moused over. The messages involve having good character traits and making good choices.

The games in Lucky Kat World are designed to teach kids critical thinking skills in a four step process- Dream it! Believe it! Plan it! Do it! As kids play the games they’ll have opportunities to develop thinking skills as they have fun and learn. Schools can also have a subscription for students, and many of the learning activities are designed to meet Common Core standards.

Review of Lucky Kat World online game site for kids

I know that many kids love online game play. Mine are no exception. Lucky Kat World is a visually appealing online game world that will draw kids in to play. There is a great variety of games available for kids. Some of them will be too difficult for the younger players who may try out Lucky Kat World. I tried some of them out to get an idea of game play. I have to admit that even I had fun. I was concerned, though, about the difficulty of the games. Each of the games that I tried seemed to start out slowly, but the difficulty level increased very quickly. I grew frustrated, and I’m sure that kids- especially younger players- would get frustrated by this.

As a parent I appreciate that the site offers a place that kids can play in a safe online environment. The games are nonviolent, and there is no online chat that can turn into online bullying. Kids don’t give much personal information- even in the registration process- so they are kept safe from anyone who might gather this information in a negative way. I think it’s also a good thing that kids can play a limited version of the game for free.

I think Lucky Kat World could be a safer and more educational way for kids to play games online. My only concern about the game would be the fact that some of the games seem to increase quickly in difficulty, becoming a frustration for kids. Despite that, I know the site will be appealing to kids who enjoy playing online.

You can learn more about Academics’ Choice and their recommended products here.

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