As well as stories to read online, their website has some nice activities to promote creative expression.
The art work offered here is delightful - tiny pictures of characters that kids can drag and drop to the position they want on their chosen template. The really nice feature is that you can interact with the picture by not only stamping characters, but drawing, and changing colour. There is no save feature, but kids can print or take a screen grab.
Make a Robot
Click on a background, then scroll through parts available. Click on the robot parts, and click where you want to place them to assemble your robot. Controls let you flip, resize and move, as well as add colour, draw and erase.
This would make a great place to create pictures for a narrative set in a futuristic environment.
Finish the Creature
This follows the same formula as the two above. Choose a background template, then mix and match body parts to create a strange creature. Writing is encouraged too. Push a button and you get to name your creature and describe it, then you can print out your picture and words.
My favourite activity was Time Machine. Use the lever to choose "past", and you are shown not only a timeline of the magazine, but also a timeline to put the issues into a social context. Great to get a sense of a print magazine's place in history. There's also an index page that shows you every activity available. Even if you don't subscribe to the magazine, Highlights Kids.com is well worth a visit.
(The Book Chook blog is undergoing renovations at the moment. Things will be back to normal soon. Well, as normal as they get around here.)