Have you considered magazine subscriptions for kids as a perfect gift for your littles?
It is common to overlook magazine subscriptions for kids when we start shopping for the perfect gift.
If you are looking for an ideal gift your littles are sure to love, consider magazine subscriptions for kids as a top choice.
Preferably get them started in print and choose a magazine specifically tailored to their age!
In our thriving world of technology, this hands-on gift is often forgotten.
While most magazine subscriptions for kids are available in digital and print format with the growth in technology, taking your grandchild back to reading in print is a fun and often new experience.
I still remember anxiously waiting for my Highlights monthly subscription to come in the mail when I was a little girl. Filled with vibrant colors, fun stories, loads of activities, and a bundle of fun, it was the highlight of my day!
This is also a great way grandmas can encourage their littles to read and get them off to a strong start not only for school but for lifelong learning. Reading regularly enhances a child’s focus, vocabulary, and abstract thinking.
The most exciting part?
Reading is fun!
It opens up doors to a world we would never know without the opportunity to read.
As a prior school teacher and school counselor, I learned how to motivate my students very quickly. If I wanted to be effective in teaching a topic to them, I had to find a way to integrate the lesson with things that interested them most. This would make the topic come to life in their mind.
As a grammy, I don’t have any magic powers that I didn’t have as a teacher when it comes to keeping my precious littles interested in learning. One of the best ways I can do this is to share stories they can relate to for their age and ones that are entertaining so they hold their interest.
I’m not sure about your grandbabies, but my little guy loves to get the mail! He carefully carries it into the house each day so it doesn’t fall out of his little hands.
To get his own mail is a thrilling event and one he looks forward to just like I did when I was little!
Thousands of magazine subscriptions for kids are available, each created for specific age groups and interests. However, quality varies among them so you want to be sure you are getting the best available for your money.
This article includes a list of 17 magazine subscriptions for kids. Each is highly recommended by kids, parents, booksellers, and educators, including picks for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, early elementary age children, tweens and teens.
Each magazine on the list is suitable for both girls and boys.
Also, each has earned one or more awards for their outstanding content so you can feel confident knowing your hard-earned dollars are being well-spent! ?
Top Magazines For Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers
Your littles don’t have to be able to read by themselves to enjoy the fun and excitement of getting their own kids magazine subscription!
Quality magazines for children this age feature colorful pictures, stories, activities and games. The main purpose of a magazine for this age is to introduce the child to reading as a beginner, develop literacy skills, and create an excitement for reading that will carry into starting school.
1 | BABYBUG
Babybug is magazine created for infants and toddlers between the ages of 6 months and 2 years.
Although this magazine is created for infants, giving it a test drive at this young age is the best bet to see if your grandbaby is ready or if you should wait until closer to the 1-2 year age.
Each issue of Babybug focuses on topics such as recipes, giving, sharing, imagination, music, and poetry with words that are easy to sound out.
Learning topics might include colors, shapes and weather-related facts on things such as wind or temperature. Stories include carefully thought out ideas with matching illustrations that are sure to hold the interest of these young minds.
Babybug ends each issue with a guide that extends the lessons from the issue. It includes ideas and thoughts for activities a grown-up could do with the child to extend the information that was presented in the issue (the perfect opportunity for grammy time!)
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice granted Babybug with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for infants and toddlers.
A one-year subscription to Babybug includes 9 issues. It is a Cricket Media publication, which means it is completely ad-free.
Toddlers And Preschoolers
2 | CHIRP
Chirp is a Canadian kids magazine subscription that describes itself as “The See and Do, Laugh and Learn Magazine for Children Ages 3 to 6.”
The description alone sends vibes that littles will love the contents packed inside the pages!
Filling the magazine pages is
- read-out-loud stories
- interactive puzzles
- engaging illustrations
- games and crafts,
Each piece of content follows the adventures of its mascot, Chirp, a curious yellow chick who wears red boots and sometimes a fun hat.
Chirp prides itself on creating content that beginning readers can enjoy on their own or with an adult ( another perfect opportunity for grammy time!)
The main focus is to develop strong reading skills. The child’s interest stays high with cartoons, simple puzzles and games, silly jokes, crafts, and recipes, all preschool-age friendly.
In 2019, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice awarded Chirp its Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for children.
A one-year subscription to Chirp includes 10 themed issues. The theme of a recent issue, for example, centered on space and included a ‘meteor maze’ puzzle, facts about Mars and the International Space Station, and a story in pictures about Chirp’s ‘moon cookies.’
3 | CLICK
CLICK is effective with their intention to get preschool-aged children (between the ages of 3 and 6 excited about science, art, nature and the environment.
It answers questions like, “What do animals eat?” and “What would you find in outer space?”
The information is shared in the format of kid-friendly articles, comic strips, and short stories, each sporting vibrant colors.
Each issue of CLICK focuses on one topic throughout the pages that will hold the interest of kids. For example, one issue might cover all things about dinosaurs, the ocean, insects, whales or wild animals. A specific instance is from an issue called “Amazing Journeys”, which explores the migrations of different types of insects, animals, whales, and dragonflies.
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice granted CLICK with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for infants and toddlers.
A one-year subscription to Click includes 9 issues. It is a Cricket Media publication, which means it is completely ad-free.
4 | LADYBUG
Ladybug is a kids magazine subscription for preschool-age children (3 to 6 years) that resembles a picture book.
Each colorful page is styled with a glossy finish. The issues are filled with poems and stories written by top children’s authors and illustrated by award-winning artists.
The focus of Ladybug is to expose children to various cultures and different ways of life. For example, a story in a recent issue featured the morning meal at restaurants in Vietnam, Norway and places in-between.
Ladybug shares content other than stories and pictures. Examples of this other content might include
- music that is complete with piano music
- kid-friendly games
- activities such as hidden object searches and cutout crafts
The main characters in each issue include stories about two young kids ‘Max and Katie’ and the adventures of cartoon characters ‘Ladybug, Muddle and Thud’.
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice granted Ladybug with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for toddlers and early primary age children.
A one-year subscription to Ladybug includes 9 issues. It is a Cricket Media publication, which means it is completely ad-free.
5 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LITTLE KIDS
National Geographic Little Kids is written for children between 3 and 6 years old.
It does an excellent job of balancing the text and vibrant images to keep young minds interested and entertained while keeping the content age-appropriate to meet the component of being an educational publication.
Each issue introduces young readers to
- new animals, their habitats, their diets, and their behavior
- answers to questions while providing fun facts, for example why baby deer have spots and why crickets chirp
- a variety of activities such as matching pages and look-and-finds
- age-appropriate mazes, matching games, counting exercises, and rhymes
- activities designed for adults to do with their littles such as crafts, science activities, and recipes to try at home (perfect opportunities for grammy time!)
- activities to practice pre-reading and reading skills such as matching words to pictures
In 2018, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice granted National Geographic Little Kids with the Silver Award, recognizing it as a top-quality magazine for toddlers and preschoolers.
A one-year subscription to National Geographic Little Kids magazine includes 6 issues. It is completely ad-free. This ensures no outside influence on your grandchild’s developing mind.
Each 6″ x 8″ issue is 24 pages long. Parents describe it as “the perfect size for little hands, and a great size to throw in a purse or diaper bag.”
The Best Magazine Subscriptions For Kids That Are Primary Student Age
Kids who can read on their own especially benefit from kids’ magazine subscriptions. They jump into the content head first and take it all in with pure enjoyment.
With age-appropriate articles and activities focused on building reading skills and literacy, they have a significant opportunity to grow at a fast pace. Adding this tier of learning at home and outside of the classroom caters to their interests and creates an environment where reading becomes true enjoyment for entertainment, not just something their teacher ‘tells them to do.’
6 | ASK
ASK is the kids’ magazine subscription about science, history, inventors, artists, and more, all written just for primary age students (ages 6 to 9.) The publisher describes this age group as ‘the most curious people on the planet!’
As a prior teacher that worked with this age of student for a lot of years, I cannot say I disagree!
The name ASK is an abbreviation for ‘Arts and Sciences for Kids.’ However, according to Parents’ Choice, it includes a variety of additional content.
For example, a recent issue was titled ‘What’s News?’ Special features in the issue included how news was delivered to people before TV. It also shared how newspapers gathered the information for stories, and how a news photographer in the early 1900s changed the way workers were treated at their jobs.
Each themed issue contains a variety of content that encourages the child to participate in activities. ASK, which is written for primary age children, it is still filled with educational fun such as
- colorful visuals including graphic design
- photographs and explanatory illustrations
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice granted ASK with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for primary age children.
A one-year subscription to ASK magazine includes 9 issues of 32 pages each. It is a Cricket Media publication and each issue is enjoyed completely ad-free.
7 | CHOPCHOP
ChopChop magazine is a cooking magazine for kids between the ages of 2 and 12 years. It is available in English and Spanish.
Developed by a group of nonprofits and children’s hospitals, each issue has a theme and features easy-to-follow recipes that are inexpensive to make and represent a wide range of world cuisines.
It includes mouthwatering photos, facts, puzzles and more.
The cover and pages inside each issue feature kids, making the magazine appealing to children. Each recipe is clearly defined with step-by-step instructions that include the process of ‘Wash, Clean, Gather, Scrub and Prepare.’
The recipes commonly include various vegetables and healthy eating is referenced throughout the pages. Math challenges are also a part of recipes, helping children hone their math skills from an educational standpoint.
ChopChop is the perfect companion to a fun-filled afternoon of grammy time with both grandsons and granddaughters!
In 2019, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented ChopChop with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for toddlers, primary age children, and tweens.
The magazine is published once each quarter and each issue is 36 pages.
8 | HIGHLIGHTS
Highlights, one of my personal favorites because I enjoyed it as a child, has been creating educational content for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old since 1946!
Their motto is ‘fun with a purpose,’ and this accurately describes what each child will find inside the pages of a Highlights subscription.
Highlights magazine shares educational and entertaining content in a multitude of forms including
- stories representing various world cultures
- educational games
- entertaining riddles
- skill-building puzzles
- science experiments
- activities and craft projects
The main goal of each Highlight issue is to
- strengthen reading ability
- promote creativity
- sharpen thinking skills
- build confidence
Regular features include ‘Hidden Picture’ puzzles, and ‘Goofus and Gallant,’ which teaches children how to treat themselves and others with respect through the use of good and bad examples.
Highlights magazine has won over 30 awards throughout the years, including the 2016 Family Choice Award and 2015 National Parenting Publications Award.
A one-year subscription to Highlights magazine includes 12 monthly issues that are 44 pages each, as well as completely ad-free.
9 | RANGER RICK
Ranger Rick has been inspiring, educating and entertaining children for over 50 years!
I used it in my classroom as a teacher for many years, and my students looked forward to our Ranger Rick classroom activities every time they came around.
Written for children between the ages of 7 and 12, the main focus of each issue is on nature and wildlife.
A Ranger Rick subscription is perfect for the child that loves animals and the outdoors in general. Each issue features the magazine’s raccoon mascot, Ranger Rick, and his many animal friends.
Ranger Rick is published by the National Wildlife Federation, The focus of the magazine is on teaching young kids about wildlife, nature, and conservation. Each issue is packed with full-color photos of animals and stories of adventure.
Seasonal issues are also published. For example, one October issue shared stories on various ways animals show fear, and another year the October issue featured animals that “dress up” in disguises and plants that are frightening to look at.
The front section of the magazine includes letters from readers and photos and riddles about animals, and toward the end of each issue are puzzles, games, word searches, and a comic strip featuring the adventures of Ranger Rick (perfect opportunities to spend valuable grandma time together completing the activities!)
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Ranger Rick with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for primary age children and tweens.
A one-year subscription to Ranger Rick includes 10 issues. It is completely ad-free.
RANGER RICK, JR.
Ranger Rick, Jr. is also available for children ages 4-7 years old. Although I did not feature it in this article, it is also an award-winning publication, formerly known as Your Big Backyard magazine.
10 | SPIDER
Spider magazine is filled with fun and entertaining stories in various genres, poems, activities and vibrant illustrations by famous artists.
It will keep your 6 to 9-year-old grandchild engaged and drawn into the fun of reading, as well as developing skills with fun activities sprinkled throughout the pages of each issue.
If you are a fan of Ladybug magazine, Spider is the next step. Writers of each issue includes well-known children’s authors and illustrators.
Each issue of Spider comes packed with
- varied illustrations
- reader contributions
- a fold-out game page with cutout game toys and pieces
- comments from the magazine’s regular cast of cartoon characters (headed by Spider, the magazine’s cartoon mascot)
A key focus of each themed issue is on the important character traits children are developing at this age, such as friendship, honesty, communication, and responsibility.
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Spider with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for primary age children.
A one-year subscription to Spider includes 9 issues. It is a Cricket Media publication, which means it is completely ad-free.
Top Magazines For Tweens & Teens
Older kids generally have the reading skills to dive into more challenging material on a wide variety of topics.
However, it is important to note that this age group also has numerous distractions pulling for their attention. Examples include social media like Facebook and Snapchat, TV and online gaming.
Therefore, it is important for content to be well-planned and well-written. It also needs to be entertaining to capture the attention of a kid in this age group.
The magazines I include in this section were strategically chosen because they meet these high standards.
11 | COBBLESTONE
Cobblestone magazine is a perfect choice for tweens and teens between the ages of 9 and 14 years that love history.
Does your grandchild love movies depicting the Civil War or Colonial America? Does he/she enjoy watching documentaries and read biographies about historical personalities? If so, Cobblestone would be the perfect subscription to choose.
Cobblestone makes learning about history fun so it doesn’t feel like learning is really happening! Each issue covers important American events and places.
For example, in past issues features have included
- colonial Williamsburg
- famous battles of the Civil War
- facts about the Gold Rush
- stories on the Korean War
My experience as a high school history teacher showed this age of child is easily intrigued by history. They typically enjoy all types of historical events. If a child shows even some interest in history, this time in their life is the perfect opportunity to get them excited to learn more. Helping them ignite an interest that will carry them into their upper years of school cannot be underestimated.
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Cobblestone with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for kids in the tweens and teens age.
A one-year subscription to Cobblestone magazine includes 9 issues that are enjoyed completely ad-free.
12 | CRICKET
Cricket magazine is the flagship publication from Cricket Media.
The slogan of Cricket magazine is ‘the realm of imagination.’ Issues include both fiction and nonfiction stories that share intriguing information on culture, history, science, and the arts for kids ages 9 to 14.
Literary content is at the core of each themed issue.
Marianne Carus, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cricket, says, “The way to create in children a love of reading and an appreciation of good writing is to offer them beautifully illustrated, lively, well-written, interesting stories that sustain a witty tone and a sense of humor. I am convinced that children will respond to quality if it’s not forced upon them but presented in an engaging manner.”
Cricket follows through with this vision and description. It delights, engages and entertains tween and teenage kids to inspire them to learn and enjoy the love of reading.
An example of the excellent content is represented in issues between 2018 and 2019. It included a folktale from Persia and a story about the real-life 19th-century amusement park attraction known as the ‘Haunted Swing’. It also featured a biography of the female Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson.
One aspect that Cricket does differently than many other magazines is to write content that is carried out in story format over several issues. This is an excellent way to keep kids excited about reading the magazine when it arrives since they want to continue the next part of the story.
Cricket does not leave out the fun activities kids of all ages love. Each issue includes bonuses like puzzles and recipes. The last few pages of each issue focus on actual readers, sharing their writing, artwork and book reviews.
In 2020, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Cobblestone with the Gold Award, recognizing it as one of the highest-quality magazines available for tweens and teens.
A one-year subscription to Cobblestone magazine includes 9 issues that are enjoyed completely ad-free.
13 | MILITARY KIDS’ LIFE
Military Kids’ Life is a magazine that supports the common changes a child of a U.S. service member experiences.
It can be tough to move frequently from place to place throughout childhood. Adjusting to new neighborhoods, schools, and making new friends can be hard, not to mention going for months and sometimes years without a parent present.
During the years I was a teacher and school counselor I lived in a city that had 5 military bases. Therefore, t was super common for me to work with students from military families. There is no doubt these kids have special circumstances that can create stress in their lives. This is often a different type of stress from that of non-military children.
Military families experience a unique lifestyle. Military Kids’ Life shares stories that are familiar to these kids. This helps them realize they are not alone with their struggles.
Military Kids’ Life covers all branches of the military including Active, Reserve, Veterans and National Guard families. Written for kids between the ages of 6 and 16 years, it covers a variety of topics. A recent issue included an advice column that discussed challenges military kids experience. It also shared an interview with a military child and a story about family hiking trips. The main theme throughout each issue is the importance of resilience and giving back to society.
Each issue also includes material on more mainstream topics such as
- fashion design
- outdoor adventures
- dog training
- horseback riding
- Women in STEM fields
In 2019, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Military Kids’ Life with the Silver Award, recognizing it as a high-quality magazine available for primary age children, tweens and teens.
A one-year subscription to Military Kids’ Life magazine includes quarterly issues.
14 | MUSE
Muse magazine is for the 9 to14-year-old kid that is fascinated by science, technology and the arts. Filled with factual articles and stimulating photos and illustrations, kids are sure to love it!
Muse is perfect for the child that loved ASK and they are starting to outgrow it. Muse picks up where it leaves off!
Each themed issue of Muse focuses on a specific topic. For example, they include technology features such as computer security, and chemistry, space, etc.
The sample issue on the Cricket Media website has a theme of ‘Explore Earth’. It features articles on deep-sea exploration in the Mariana Trench, an article on a crystal cave in Mexico, a plant that shows how to locate diamonds, an article on an isolated tribe in the Amazon and an article on the liquid sea beneath Antarctica’s ice sheet.
Along with the various articles, each issue of Muse has regular sections. The ‘Muse Mail’ section shares letters from readers that are often entertaining and show creativity. For example, in the past one was written in the persona of a house cat. Another was written as an alien from another galaxy.
Other regular sections include:
- ‘Muse News’ which covers science-related stories in short form
- ‘Science at Work’ which features interviews with modern scientists
- ‘Parallel U’ which chronicles the adventures of cartoon teens from a different universe
- ‘Do the Math’ which explores a math-related topic
- Contests which challenge readers to submit original stories or art on a specified theme
Packed with entertainment and activities, Muse is ideal for grandma time. What an excellent way to grow your relationship with your teens and tweens grandkids!
In 2019, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Muse with the Gold Award, recognizing it as a high-quality magazine for tweens and teens.
A one-year subscription to Muse magazine includes 9 issues that are enjoyed completely ad-free, a feature of all Cricket Media magazines.
15 | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS
National Geographic Kids has been capturing the attentional of 6+ year old children for over 35 years.
The magazine features a balance of content between lively photos, fun facts and educational articles, each presented in an entertaining and age-appropriate style to hold the attention of a young mind.
National Geographic Kids brings the world to life for young eyes that explore each page with excitement.
Similar to the adult version of National Geographic, the kid’s version shares similar age-appropriate articles about
- technology and pop culture (an addition to the kid’s version that the adult issues do not have)
Each issue also prides itself in including
- magnificent wildlife photography
- animal posters embedded within the pages to tear out and hang up
- games and jokes
- various activities such as puzzles and competitions
- important and interesting facts
Each issue will allow your grandchild to explore ancient civilizations on one page, for example, and meet face-to-face with exotic wildlife on the next page.
Issues often share gross yet interesting facts about animals. This is sure to open up a fun conversation as you spend time with your grandchild!
The authors, photographers, and illustrators for National Geographic Kids have earned numerous awards over the years. The National Geographic Kids cover image(s) are the sole property of National Geographic Kids or its parent company. They are for illustrative purposes only.
A one-year subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine includes 10 issues, and they are enjoyed completely ad-free.
16 | OWL
Owl magazine is the perfect choice if your 9 to 13-year-old grandchild is fascinated with science, technology, engineering, art and math.
Owl keeps learning fun by including puzzles and comics. Articles feature ground-breaking discoveries and innovations, futuristic inventions, book and movie reviews, and challenging contests.
Owl has been writing inspirational, educational and entertaining information for kids for over 40 years. The writing format is perfect for tweens and early teens to keep them interested and looking forward to each issue!
Features of each issue include:
- Interviews with well-known people in the STEM and art fields (STEAM)
- Nature articles featuring various topics such as the rise of urban coyotes to the life of a spider
- Breaking news stories about discoveries and recent inventions
- Illustrations of science concepts shared in the form of detailed infographics
- Puzzles and mazes
- Cartoons featuring preteen characters
- Photo and art contests
- Reader submissions such as reviews, advice, and tips
A special feature of Owl is that the print subscription also includes the bi-weekly edition of OWLconnected eMag. This is an email newsletter that includes weekly news, feature stories, entertainment, puzzles, quizzes, and sports stories and news. Also included is access to the kid-friendly daily news website, OWL connected.
In 2019, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Owl with the Silver Award, recognizing it as a top-quality magazine available for tweens and teens.
A one-year subscription to Owl magazine includes 10 issues that are enjoyed completely ad-free, a standard feature of Cricket Media magazines.
17 | SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS
If your grandchild loves sports they will love reading Sports Illustrated Kids, a kids’ magazine subscription which shares articles and information written specifically for 8 to 14-year-olds.
Sports Illustrated Kids authors write with humor and detail, creating action-oriented articles that keep every kid eagerly waiting for the next subscription to arrive in the mail.
The content inside the pages of Sports Illustrated Kids includes articles covering sport-related content such as profiles of young athletes, kids’ perspectives on major sports events, and the latest sports news written in kid-friendly language and format.
The magazine steers its focus away from controversial topics in the sports world. For example, it did not cover the news of national anthem protests in the NFL. It also skips coverage of athletes reported to use performance-enhancing drugs.
Instead, the articles tend to focus on the importance of setting goals. The focus is also on practicing perseverance for success, character building, and teamwork.
Another focus of the magazine includes health-related content and nutrition tips.
In 2008, the nonprofit Parents’ Choice presented Sports Illustrated Kids with an award, and the magazine has also been recognized by the Educational Press for excellence in publishing.
A one-year subscription to Sports Illustrated Kids magazine includes 10 issues, as well as a double issue.
Final Words On The Best Magazine Subscriptions For Kids
Kids magazine subscriptions are a great choice as a gift for your littles, tweens and teens.
Gifts can often be hard to find that are both educational and fun. Kids seem to have too much of everything already in the realm of toys and clothes. Sometimes they even have a large number of books!
There are also other great reasons to give the gift of a magazine subscription. It creates an opportunity for you to spend time with your littles. You can help them complete the activities and read to them or with them. Furthermore, it is also fun to talk about the stories or articles together!
Best of all, a magazine subscription is a gift your little will absolutely love. This makes it an exciting gift they can enjoy month after month!
Which of these magazines would your littles enjoy? Do you have any other favorites you have already subscribed to that I didn’t mention in this article?