When I was a kid, I loved going to the dentist. I loved the stack of Highlights magazines in the waiting room. There was a cozy corner where my older sister would sit with me and read Goofus and Gallant or hunt for hidden pictures. Thirty years later, I was thrilled when my mom got our twins a subscription to High-Five– a magazine made by Highlights aimed at preschoolers. The kids LOVE it. Our four-year-olds would see it in the mailbox and insist we read it immediately. Then we’d have to read it repeatedly until the next one arrived. While we’re stuck at home, it’s even more important to have new reading material arriving every month.
A new wave of kids’ magazine subscriptions
It turns out that since my days in the dentist’s waiting room, many new high-quality magazines have come out for young kids. There is especially a large variety in the preschool to elementary age range. Here are a few kids’s magazine subscriptions we love:
High Five & Highlights magazine
A classic. Highlights family of magazines include a variety of stories and games that develop learning skills but also get children to think about who they want to be. They address questions like how to treat others with respect or how to handle a fight in age-appropriate ways. They’ve recently added a Spanish-language version! They cover ages 0-12 with Hello (0-2), High Five (3-5), and Highlights (6-12).
Ranger Rick (Jr. & Cub) magazine
Ranger Rick Jr. has been my kids’ favorite magazine subscription. They claim to like it even more than High-Five “because you learn all about different animals.” The Ranger Rick series is published by the National Wildlife Federation, so naturally it focuses on nature and animals, but it also has age-appropriate (and thought-provoking) questions. Additionally, it features many ideas for outdoor activities and showcases beautiful wildlife photography. It covers ages 0-12 with three different magazines, Cub, 0-4; Ranger Rick Jr. 4-7; and Ranger Rick for 7-12.
Ditto Kids magazine
Ditto Kids was founded last year with the aim of offering parents an actively anti-racist magazine. In the founders’ own words, they wanted to “explain some of the darkest corners of our society in a way that won’t scare our young children, and won’t diminish their self-esteem.” There are stories and activities for kids and a section for the adults in their lives to help them cultivate anti-bias principles. This is a magazine that your whole family will read to work on anti-racism together, because as our fellow author wrote last year “Pursuing Justice Starts at Home“. Ditto is acessible for ages 3-11.
Ladybug & Spider
These are the literary picks. Ladybug, Spider & Cricket are full of adventure and fantasy stories, with great age-appropriate prose. You’ll also find beautiful illustrations as well as ideas for activities and even some poetry. They are part of series published by Cricket media (an education publisher). Ladybug targets 0-6-year-olds; Spider 6-9; Cricket 9-14.
Ask & Click
Accessible science magazines Ask & Click are made by the same Cricket media that publishes Spider. These inspire kids to ask questions and use science to find the answers. Every issue has fun facts, informative scientific articles, and hands-on activities. Click is for 3-6 year-olds, Ask for 6-9 year-old. Cricket has a variety of other magazines for 9-14 year-olds in science and history & culture too.
Kazoo aims at girls in the best way: It celebrates them for being smart and strong. Each magazine includes a story about an important woman (scientists, singers, policymakers and more). Every issue also has as a comic about an important woman in history and a fictional story, written by famous female authors, and of course ideas for activities. Kazoo is for 5-12 year-olds.
Have you subscribed to any of these magazines? What do you think? Tell us about your favorite in the comments below.