If you're a concerned parent trying to find some quality kids magazine subscriptions to present to a child as a gift you need to realize that not all magazines for kids are of similar quality; some are definitely better than others. Several publications exist that are aimed at young children, but a number of them only seem interested in placing an abnormally large selection of ads in them instead of quality content. This article tries to separate the the good from the bad as a lot of the magazines listed below are not made to sell things; they are made to educate. Some even have a strict policy of no advertising whatsoever. I’ve tried to group the magazines together to let you know which ones are more suitable for boys or girls, but you’ll find that the groups are very subjective and many can be interchanged with no problem.
Magazine Subscriptions for Kids – Boys and Girls
• Highlights for Children is a monthly magazine chock full of fun puzzles, riddles, crafts and stories that challenge young minds as well as bringing child and parent closer together. This one has been around for a while and is a perfect magazine for kids ages 6-12. You may also want to check out High Five, which is produced by the same company but for an even younger age group.
• Ask is a kids’ magazine written just for 6-9 year olds on topics such as inventors, science, history, artists and more. Designed not only to entertain but to educate and inspire them to explore new ideas as well. Each issue is usually devoted to a particular theme to maximize learning and is published 9 times a year.
• Creative Kids is chock full of stories, games, brain teasers, artwork and contests that are written by students from all over the world. A lot of kids get started writing for the publication by doing short opinion pieces about day-to-day issues in their lives. It is published four times a year.
• Ranger Rick magazine is a monthly nature magazine full of pictures and facts that lets kids gain a better appreciation for their environment. Because it is published by the National Wildlife Federation there is quite a bit of focus on conservation based topics. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Two other highly regarded magazines by the NWF are Wild Animal Baby (ages 1-4) and Your Big Backyard (ages 3-7).
• Muse magazine is published nine times a year and sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. Articles try to encourage your child (and adults) to think and examine questions about science, history and the arts.
• Cricket is the first publication that will make you want to choose several magazine subscriptions for your kids as each issue not only has beautiful artwork but interesting stories as well. Each title is specifically designed for a certain age group and the company even allows you to change your subscription to one of their other titles any time you wish at no cost.
Babybug (for kids ages 6 months – 3 years/published 9 times a year)
Ladybug (for children ages 3 – 6/published 9 times a year)
Spider (for ages 6 – 9/published 9 times a year)
Cricket (for children ages 9 – 14/published 9 times a year)
Cicada (for teens ages 14 and up/published 6 times a year)
• Chirp is the perfect paper periodical for kids that are getting ready to go to school. It has very simple text and artwork that will hold a child's interest along with age appropriate puzzles, crafts and stories.
• School Arts describes itself as the art education magazine for K-12 art education. If you are a teacher and trying to figure out some magazine subscriptions for kids, you could do a lot worse than this publication. Although aimed at teachers, I believe this would be an excellent subscription for anyone with kids that are showing an increased interest in art. One particular feature enjoyed by many is the Famous Artist cards that appear in each issue.
• Faces is a magazine made for children ages 9-14 that shows how other people throughout the world live. Each issue focuses on a different a different culture and covers topics such as history, traditions, daily life, recipes, folk tales and much more.
• Kids Discover helps children become lifelong learners as each issue targets a particular subject related to science or social studies. Lots of photos and illustrations are also included in every issue. Published monthly.
• Click is an award winning science publication for kids at 3-6 years of age. It introduces children to fantastic building blocks of knowledge such as animals, art, nature and more. Published 9 times a year.
• Other kids magazines subscriptions that you might be interested in include National Geographic Kids Magazine (preschoolers), Young Rider (horses), Know: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids, Jack & Jill (ages 6-12), Dig (ages 9-14/ about archeology), Appleseeds (ages 6-9/world history), Calliope (ages 9-14/world history), Odyssey (ages 9-14/science) and Zoobooks.
Quality Magazines for Boys
• Boys’ Life is the monthly magazine of the Boy Scouts of America and is targeted for boys ranging from ages 6-18. As you might expect articles center around scouting and similar activities such as survival, sports, fishing, tools, the outdoors and more.
• Boys’ Quest is a bimonthly themed magazine with a strict policy of no violence or advertising. Each issue contains adventurous stories, jokes, riddles, puzzles, building projects, experiments and more.
• Sports Illustrated KIDS is a monthly publication for sports fans ages 8-14. It ignores the darker side of sports news focusing instead on positive stories and lessons from athletes around the world.
Quality Girls Magazines
• American Girl is a bimonthly publication that comes out six times a year. It is geared toward young girls 8 years old and above and an excellent alternative to the typical teen magazine. Instead of having loads of articles on boys, puberty and makeup, it instead focuses on more age appropriate and wholesome topics such as advice, crafts, games and contests.
• Discovery Girls is a preteen, bimonthly magazine that addresses problems that are usually encountered between ages 8-12. Past topics have included celebrity interviews, embarrassing moments, middle school challenges, sports and inspirational stories about other children their age.
• Sparkle World magazine is full of characters that little girls love such as My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake and Polly Pocket. Each issue helps develop early learning skills that are essential in school while having fun with their favorite characters.
• New Moon Girls is published bimonthly and aimed specifically at preteens. Each issue is ad-free and helps girls discover their full potential through self-discovery and articles that focus on real world problems instead of the fluff you find in many other such publications.
If you are still trying to decide whether to get some kids magazines for someone you may know, keep in mind that some children just aren’t that interested in reading a book. One good option to books are magazines as they are often more colorful and more entertaining than books, and if your child is anything like mine, they will enjoy getting mail month after month. If you know a young boy or girl who hates to read books why don’t you try to get them a magazine subscription as a gift? You may be pleasantly surprised a few months down the road at how much they enjoy it. I hope this article will open you up to the idea of giving subscriptions as gifts, and keep in mind that there are a lot of other magazine titles that can be given to gardners, food lovers, filmmakers and more.
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