I’m a really big advocate of encouraging children to read, both my boys are competent readers. I think it’s important for children to read non-fiction as well as fiction and learning about what is happening in the world really helps them at school. We’ve been reading the First News children’s newspaper for the last 2 weeks.
What is First News?
First News is a subscription based weekly newspaper designed for children aged 7 – 14 years old. While this is quite a varied age group there is something in it for all age groups. There are 28 different sections including;
- Big News
- Week in Pictures
- Home News
- World News
- Animal News
- Puzzle time
- Game zone
My boys have enjoyed reading it and have taken different things away from each of the sections. William is 9 and in year 5, Ben is 8 and in year 3 at school. They have different reading abilities and different interests and it’s been nice to see that this paper can cater for both of them. They having been looking forward to getting a new copy through the post every Friday and I have to referee who get’s to read it first!
What the boys think
William – “I really like this newspaper it’s better than some of the other ones I’ve read at school because it doesn’t use so many long words that I don’t always understand. The stories are shorter so it’s easier for me to read. It tells me what is going on in the UK and it has so many stories to read. I can take it into school and read it in my free reading lessons.”
Ben – “It’s really good because it has a really good animal section. London zoo has over 750 different species which I didn’t know. I like the sports because I love tennis and football. Any bits I don’t understand I can ask mummy to read with me.”
The articles are just the right length to keep the children’s attention. They are relevant and discuss topics in an age appropriate manner. I sat with William when he was reading it and he was showing me a piece about the new currency that is going to be introduced this year. There was also a page about the war in Syria, 9 year old Judy was sharing what it is like to live in a war zone. This could be a heavy subject for a 9 year old but it was written in a way that it was easy for a child to understand and it’s important they know what is happening in Syria.
Compared to other children’s news weekly magazines that we have tried I think that First News has got it right with the language and tone of voice. It is very engaging for children without being scary or overwhelming.
I think that the 7-14 age range is about right however with the younger children parents are going to need to support the children to read the paper. I’ve found it’s really nice to sit down and read sections with Ben, I’ve even learned quite a lot myself. It’s been nice to discuss new topics with the boys and I’ve found that some of the subjects they’ve heard about in school from NewsRound.
First News are giving readers a trial offer of 5 issues for £1 (on direct debit) by clicking here.
After the 5 issues it continues as a price of £15.99 every 3 months. Most people choose to continue with the subscription. However there is no obligation and the customer can call or email to cancel the subscription at any point and no further money will be taken. This is for the print edition of the newspaper only.
For more information about First News click here.
**Disclaimer we have been sent First News for free in return for an open and honest review of the paper.