Many special-interest magazines written for grown-ups are just as suitable for children. Games, for instance, originally published by Playboy for adults, became an instant hit among teen-agers who love its wide variety of brain-teasers. For the older child with a serious interest in art, Art and Man, published by Scholastic, Inc., under the direction of the National Gallery of Art, presents art history and technique. The child who enjoys the piano might enjoy Sheetmusic Magazine, which comes in "easy" and "hard" versions. Other specialized magazines include Star Log (for Trekkies of any age), Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Model Railroader. To find the right magazine, look through Magazines for Libraries at your nearest library. Write for sample issues.

Expect a six-week wait for new subscriptions to arrive.

Boy's Life. Ages 8-13. $10.80/12 issues. 1325 Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, Tex. 75062. Scouting tips and ideals, sports, light fiction.

Bananas. Ages 12 and up. $8.95/10 issues. Scholastic Home Periodicals, P.O. Box 1925, Marion, Ohio 43302. Humor, spoofs, satire.

Child Life. Ages 7-9. $10.95/9 issues. Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, P.O. Box 567, Indiannapolis, Ind. 46206. Fiction, nonfiction and games teach health, nutrition, safety, exercise.

Children's Digest. Ages 8-10. $10.95/9 issues. Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, same address as above. Fact, fiction, games on health, nutrition themes.

Children's Playmate. Ages 5-7. $10.95/9 issues. Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, same address as above. Easy-to-read stories for beginners on health, nutrition themes.

Cobblestone. Ages 8-13. $16.50/12 issues. Box 959, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11737. History.

3-2-1 Contact. Ages 8-14. $11.95/10 issues. E = MC2, P.O. Box 2932, Boulder, Colo. 80321. Science. Explains developments in history, chemistry, physics, electronics. Pull-out poster in each issue.

Cricket. Ages 6-12. $15/12 issues. Box 2670, Boulder, Colo. 80302. The best of children's authors, artists. Fantasy, folk, fairy tales.

Dynamite. Ages 8-12. $9.95/12 issues. 654 Count Morbida's Castle, Marion, Ohio 43302. With-it features, jokes, games, new Arcade section.

Ebony Jr! Ages 6-12. $8/10 issues. 820 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60605. Black roots, African history, crafts, reading skills.

Electric Company Magazine. Ages 6-10. $8.95/10 issues. 200 Watt St., P.O. Box 2923, Boulder, Colo. 80321. Puzzles, posters, cut-outs, Spiderman tales, reading skills.

Health Explorer. Ages 9-11. $6.95/4 issues. Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, same address as above. Short pieces on disease, diet, exercise; puzzles.

Highlights for Children. Ages 3-12. $39.95/33 issues (3 years). 2300 West Fifth Ave., P.O. Box 269, Columbis, Ohio 43216. Fiction, nonfiction, word games, nature, crafts.

Highwire. Ages 12-18. $7.97/4 issues. 217 Jackson St., Lowell, Mass. 01852. Self-styled "national student magazine." Fiction, nonfiction, satire, interviews on personal, professional, media issues.

Jr. Medical Detective. Ages 10-12. $6.94/4 issues. Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, same address as above. Introduces readers to medical investigation.

Muppet. Ages 8-14. $6/4 issues. 475 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016. Muppet interviews, movies, games, jokes and cartoons.

Odyssey. Ages 10-12. $15/12 issues. Astromedia Corp., 625 E. St. Paul Ave., P.O. Box 92788, Milwaukee, Wisc. 53202. Everything kids want to know about real outer space.

Peanut Butter. Ages 4-7. $9.95/9 issues. Scholastic Home Periodicals, P.O. Box 1925, Marion, Ohio 43302. Colorful punch-outs; imaginative games; jokes; help on reading skills.

Penny Power. Ages 9 and up. $9/6 issues. Consumers Union, 256 Washington St., Mount Vernon, N.Y. 10550. Teaches kids to be savvy shoppers; related articles teach health, nutrition, even ethical questions.

Ranger Rick. Ages 5-12. $10.50/12 issues. National Wildlife Foundation, 17th and M Streets NW, Washington D.C. 20036. Rick the Raccoon and Ollie the Otter show kids the natural world.

Scienceland. Ages 3-8. $24/8 issues. 501 Fifth Ave., New York 10017. Teaches science through photographs, diagrams, exercises.

Sesame Street. Ages 2-6 (some readers 18 mos.). $8.95/10 issues. P.O. Box 2895, Boulder, Colo. 80321. The Count teaches numbers; Ernie and Bert teach reading.

Stone Soup. Ages 5-13. $15/5 issues. Children's Art Foundation, P.O. Box 83, Santa Cruz, Calif. 95063. All art and writing done by children.

World. Ages 8-12. $8.95/12 issues. National Geographic World, Washington, D.C. 20036. Nature photography, articles.

WOW. Ages 5-8 (younger kids like it too). $8.95/9 issues. Features an abundance of pop-out props in a wide range of subjects.

Your Big Backyard. Ages 3-5. $8.50/12 issues. National Wildlife Federation, 1412 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Simple nature topics, photography, crafts.