Disclosure: This magazine was sent to me free of charge to be reviewed. However, as per my PR info disclaimer, this review is my unbiased honest opinion of the product.
Product: Swashbuckle Magazine
Price: £2.75 per issue
Age Range: aimed at 3-6 year olds
Manufacturer’s Description: Swashbuckle magazine is the ONLY magazine for Swashbuckle fans! Join Gem and the naughty pirates for new and exclusive games, puzzles, stories, colouring, things to make and lots of stickers. Plus, there’s a brilliant Swashbuckle gift each time, too!
Rating: (5/5 stars)
Review: We sometimes buy the girls magazines for treats, when they have been good. Usually they might get one magazine a month each, and then perhaps an extra one on birthdays. Typically, they choose one of the CBeebies Magazines that are available, and Swashbuckle magazine is the latest member of this family of magazines. We were sent an advance copy of the very first issue to try out, much to the delight of Georgie and Lydia.
The Swashbuckle magazine is packed full of things to read and do, with focus on seven areas of learning; feeling good, physical development, maths, communication & language, being creative, finding out, and literacy. I love that the CBeebies magazines all support the Early Years Curriculum as it makes them feel sneakily educational as well as fun for the kids.
There are lots of opportunities for children to practise pen control for writing & drawing, counting, fine motor skills, and so on. There are stories to read and plenty of activities too; ranging from smoothie recipes to cut out puppets that walk the plank. As you go through the magazine, each page has a little sign top right saying which area of learning is being primarily supported on that page.
You get a gift with each issue of the magazine, and this one came with a pirate hat, a treasure chest with five shiny jewels, and a spinner. You can use your spinner to decide which pirate walks the plank into the slop. The girls had loads of fun hiding and then finding the jewels, and Lydia spent a good five minutes with my dad counting and recounting them.
This is a magazine for the modern age, and as such it has a few interactive smartphone features hidden inside. There are Blippar pages which bring up interactive content – videos and so on, and QR codes which contain links to various places on the CBeebies website. This is a nice added touch and it is so easy to just reach out to your phone and zap the pages. The girls both love the video of Gem doing the Swashbuckle salute, and enjoy joining in with the actions – and of course the “AH-HARGH!”
Here’s a hint for anyone who buys this issue: load up the Blippar app and point it at the front cover for an extra surprise.
In the centre of the magazine we found a pull out page – with a poster on one side (complete with all the lyrics to the Swashbuckle song and a Blipp This spot taking us to a video of it), and a game on the other. The game is achievable for the age range and doesn’t require you do have a dice to hand or anything – just simply the first child to complete all the tasks wins; stuff like colouring in or standing on one leg and stroking a picture of a parrot.
The girls favourite thing about magazines like this is probably the stickers, I’m not going to lie. This one came with 77 stickers for this issue, and they were easy for the girls to handle and stuck well to the page. The sheets were just inside the front & back cover, and perforated down the middle to stop them tearing when you pull them out – handy.
Overall, we have been really happy with this magazine. The girls are both big fans of the show and it has been translated really well into magazine format, with quests to complete, jewels to find & lots of pirate fun. We still have stuff to do in it which to me proves that it’s value for money – you don’t end up completing it all really quickly and then feeling like your money has disappeared for half an hour of peace.
5 stars for this piratey treat. I think it’s great value and they have really enjoyed issue 1!