I am a lifelong magazine lover.
We had several children’s magazines subscriptions when I was young and I eagerly anticipated those arriving in the mail.
Now my girls are equally into children’s magazines.
Hardly a week goes by where they don’t check out at least one or two from the library and they routinely ask for magazine subscriptions for their birthday or Christmas.
There’s nothing quite as fun as something with YOUR name on it showing up in the mail, and when it’s packed with your favorite things, whether that’s animals or food or history or princesses, well. . . then you really can’t go wrong.
If you’re looking for some children’s magazines, here are some of our favorites.
9 Favorite Children’s Magazines
Ages 6-12; $39.96 for 12 issues
If I had to choose one children’s magazine subscription, it’d be Highlights. Ella asks for this one every year for her birthday and we had a subscription my entire childhood. From the stories to the projects to the hidden pictures, it’s hard to beat Highlights for an overall general interest children’s magazine.
They also have Hello magazine for babies 0-2 (and it’s washable and tear-resistant) and High Five which is similar to Highlights but aimed a little younger at 2-6 year olds.
Ages 5-12; $18 per issue or $72 per year for 4 issues
Bravery launched on Kickstarter less than two years ago, raising more than $55,000 for their first issue. It’s now a full-fledged quarterly children’s magazine with each issue featuring a female role model (previous issues have covered Julia Child, Junko Tabei, Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Temple Grandin, and Jane Goodall). Each issue is packed with stories (and stunning illustrations), plus DIY projects and activities that go along with the issue’s role model. If you’re looking for an absolutely spectacular magazine with substance, this is a winner.
Ages 6-12; $60 per year or $15.95 per issue (4 per year)
Honest History magazine is pretty new (only three issues are out so far), but as a former history major and life-time history buff, I couldn’t resist. I love how they’re bringing real stories and people to life with lots of interactive games and activities in each issue. I can’t wait to see who they feature in upcoming issues (I mean, issue 2 was about Cheng I Sao, a female pirate in the early 19th-century who commanded the largest pirate crew in history (almost 40,000 pirates! I’ll never complain about four kids again. . . ). You can use the code EVERYDAYREADING for10% off any issue.
Ages 3-12; $8 for 12 issues
We got The Friend throughout my childhood and now my girls watch the mailbox for it. It’s a magazine produced by my church that comes monthly and it’s filled with stories and simple activities. I love the focus on families and positive relationships, and I really love that so much of the art and stories are submitted by children all over the world. In recent years, they’ve started doing half the magazine aimed at older children and then when you get halfway through, you flip it over and it’s for younger children.
Ages 3-12; $18.95 for 4 issues
I discovered ChopChop almost a decade ago when my friend Meghan got a bunch of copies from her pediatrician’s office and passed several of them on to me. And I still have them after all these moves! They’re packed with fun information about food, recipes to make, and ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. Perfect for a foodie kid or for a parent who wants to help their child be more active in the kitchen or willing to try new foods.
Ages 6-12; $19.95 for 9 issues
For the child who wants to know everything there is to know about animals, it’s hard to beat Zoobooks. They’re a little more text-heavy than some children’s magazines and they include a lot of illustrations, rather than photographs. They also have younger versions, Zoobies and Zootles, plus a dinosaur focused magazine called ZooDinos.
Disney Princess Magazine
Ages 3-9; $38.99 for 6 issues
We’ve never subscribed to the Disney Princess Magazine, but my girls are obsessed with it and have checked out every copy from our library over the past four years (I just discovered that they no longer offer subscriptions – it’s only available at newsstands . . . or your library). It’s full of short stories, coloring pages, little crafts, and activities.
National Geographic Kids
Ages 6 and up; $15 for 10 issues
If your child loves animals like mine do, you can’t go wrong with National Geographic Kids. They’re known for their stunning photos and they are on full display here, plus tons of interesting facts. They also have a version for 3-6 year olds that I particularly love called National Geographic Little Kids.
Ages 3-6; $34.95 for 9 issues
This might be the first magazine I remember – my grandmother bought us a subscription when I was a child and each issue is full of stories, poetry, art and songs. The parent company, Cricket, also publishes a whole slew of topical magazines for children, including science, art, history, and geography.
Any other great children’s magazines I’ve missed? I’d love more suggestions!
Photos by Heather Mildenstein
We’ve enjoyed Ranger Rick magazine in the past, though Highlights is the current favorite. I have a question though, how do your pre-readers use magazines? Do you sit down and read it with them? Or do they just look at the pictures? My pre-readers don’t really seem to enjoy magazines and it feels strange for me to read it to them….
Janssen Bradshaw says
I don’t often read aloud magazines to them – mostly they just love looking through them or my older daughters will read them to the littler girls.
We love Muse and Ask magazines by Cricket Media. It is hard to get my two engaged in non-fiction, so this format, with very short articles and lots of photos, is a big win. Plus, it allows us to do “research” for school projects without relying solely on the computer (i.e. YouTube).
We love the line of magazines from Cricket Media! Such a fantastic mix for all ages.
Elizabeth Bulfin says
We are long time Highlights, High Five and Friend lovers. My kids all love receiving the LEGO magazine.
I’ve been meaning to subscribe to Kazoo Magazine for a while. Some dear friends with two daughters (7 yo and 5 yo) rave about this fairly new, award winning magazine aimed for girls 5-12. Issues contain articles with a strong female protagonist, experiments and activities. Each issue is $10 and comes out quarterly. I just found it on Amazon and might have to finally check it out.
Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr., and Ranger Rick Cub are great!
Nature Friend Magazine is good but expensive, we got it as a gift one year.
I saw the Julia Child issue of Bravery Magazine when I visited my local bookstore a few weeks ago. I was impressed with the quality. I almost bought it for myself. 🙂
Allie Taylor says
Such a great list! We live down the street from the Chop Chop Kitchen and I always assumed it’s magazines were local. So fun that it’s bigger than one city!
I have enjoyed following your posts for a while now, and appreciate that you have good suggestions for books for me and my kids. Also, i love all your reading logs. I don’t intend to offend, but to list The Friend magazine is a “Christian” magazine is a little disingenuous. The magazine is very much LDS with references to LDS scripture. I think you should make that clear in your description. I look forward to continuing reading your posts. All the best to you!
Janssen Bradshaw says
I appreciate your feedback – I’ve updated that description to be more clear.
New Moon Girls is fab. No ads!
My daughter LOVED Wild Animal Baby when she was a pre-reader. It’s put out by the National Wildlife Federation and geared toward babies-age 4 or so. It’s a sturdy paper book that’s pretty short but has nice photos, poems, finger plays, songs, etc. I definitely recommend it!
Louisa Dang says
Great rundown of children’s magazines! I wanted to let you know about JUMP!. It’s an online magazine I started about three years ago. Our back issues are free, but we’re currently selling our summer 2020 issue for $2 to raise money to print copies for children in Alamance County, NC. We also have lots of freebies on our blog: https://jumpforkids.wordpress.com/
We discovered this magazine in France and we love it. Their back issues are unbelievable.
If you could only choose one of the above for your girls at age 6 – and a really great reader, which would it be? Which would they choose?
Looking for a new magazine for my granddaughter, who is a pretty voracious reader. She’s nine, but has outgrown Highlights, which I also subscribed to for her dad when he was little! I think Highlights is a proven winner and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great magazine for kids.
We recently started getting The Week Junior. It is a weekly news/current events/sports/world/environment/science/arts/books/etc. They pack a lot in 30 pages! My son is 10 and is really enjoying it!!
He also loves Sports Illustrated Kids
My kids ages 9 and 11 have been loving The Week Junior for years! Best kids magazine in my opinion!