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Top Rated Children's Magazines - A Great Gift that also Encourages Reading

Updated on December 25, 2012

Magazines for the little kids

Ranger Rick Jr.
Ranger Rick Jr.

Ages 3 to 7 years. Activities, easy stories and wild animals for little ones enjoy. Shows preschoolers the wonders of nature. Seasonal crafts, simple cooking recipes and fun games to enjoy. 10 issues in 12 months. Only 3.9 out of 5 stars - however none of the complaints was about the magazine itself. You can get a cheaper price by going to National Wildlife Federation's website, but I wanted to include it in this list as it's a great magazine. First issue arrives in 6 to 10 weeks.


A lot of great kids' magazines are available for gift giving that lasts all year

Children may begin to read their first words either at home or at school. However, they learn to love reading at home. Those moments when they are read to and when they read material that interests them, and that they can easily understand are very valuable for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, when the grownups around them usually also have jobs outside of the home, finding the time to read to them and to foster that love of reading in children doesn't come as easily as it used to.

So it means a little extra to use the available tools to build their confidence in the words they already know, and to give them reading that matches their abilities and interests. Here's a great way to help your child or grandchild build enthusiasm for reading - give a gift subscription to a children's magazine! Children love it when they receive something in the mail that's addressed to only them. A magazine comes every month or so, and each child can have his or her very own magazine to read.

One Christmas I gave my grandchildren magazine subscriptions as part of their stocking stuffers. They didn't seem to notice it that much. But when the magazines started coming, their mother sat down with them and read the first one for each child to introduce the magazine. After that, they looked forward to each issue arriving. They loved them so much that I continued to give gift subscriptions to them for many years.

I was fascinated with how much each child liked having a magazine and how often they mentioned new articles to me. They each had a different magazine, and they talked about articles not only to me, but to each other. They also traded magazines for each other to read - and were very possessive about getting them back. One of the kids told me that he still has all of his old Ranger Rick issues. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been there to see them doing it!

The list of children's magazines below doesn't include all of the children's magazines available, by any means. However, it includes the top 10 rated magazines on Amazon. ( I checked several magazines for comparison of the cost from their own websites. The subscription prices that I checked were the same price that they would be on the magazine's website.)

When you're thinking of ordering and you want to time the subscription as a gift, the shipping time for the first issue is important - it's usually several weeks away. Some magazines ship in six weeks and others can take up to sixteen weeks for the first issue. Each magazine's announced shipping time is listed below.

Also, not every magazine comes once per month. They vary, with issues arriving every month to every two months. A few are even quarterly magazines. I've listed the issue frequency of each.

I have chosen the magazines by the customer reviews they've received - both text and number of stars. The magazine has to have at least 10 customer reviews with no more than one review below three stars (the maximum Amazon review is five stars).

Some well-known children's magazines received a surprising amount of low reviews. So I didn't include them. The biggest surprise was the low ratings that National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids magazines received. The complaints were not centered around quality of content, but rather lack of content. Several reviewers commented that the magazine was so thin that it could be mistaken for junk mail, and could be completed in a few minutes.

Please feel free to comment and add more magazine titles for kids that you and your children have enjoyed.

Great children's magazine subscriptions on Amazon


Ages 9 - 14. Cricket has been around for decades. It contains stories, poems, puzzles, recipes, and science and nature articles with an eye to stimulating the imagination and helping children to discover and explore the world around them. Rated 4 out of 5 stars. 9 issues in 12 months. First issue in 12 to 16 weeks.



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    • Healthy Pursuits profile image

      Karla Iverson 5 years ago from Oregon

      I know what you mean, CarNoobz. I didn't have a children's magazine when I was young, but I read the Natl Geo for adults. I was fascinated with the pictures and stories. I lived out on the plains in Nebraska, so it opened a whole new world for me.

    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 5 years ago from USA

      Magazines are a great way to get kids into reading. I had National Geo for kids when I was young, and I loved it