Out of the Toy Box Gift Guide: Best Magazines for Kids

We have a big family, lots of friends, plus four kids, that means lots of presents. I appreciate (LOVE really) creative non-toy gifts for our family and/or children. Watch this week for a series of Out of the ToyBox Gift Guides to give you ideas on ways to gift big without filling your house with stuff. In case you missed them:


My kids love to get mail! When they were younger I used to give them my junk mail and magazine and tell them it was for them, then they learned how to read and realized they weren’t getting mail and it was kind of dumb.  Grandma to the rescue! The following are our favorite magazine subscriptions, they make perfect gifts!

Ranger Rick – My kids LOVE  animals and this is filled with great pictures and information, fun facts and activities for ages 7 and up. Ranger Rick Jr.  – same great content, made for younger kids ages 4-7. This cold also qualify as a gift that gives back since it supports the National Wildlife Federation.



American Girl – For years my daughter was happy with the American Girl catalog but as she got older I wanted less “I wants” and more content. My husband is super wary of tween magazines, especially for girls, but we have been so happy with this one. Recommended for ages 8-12 (my daughter is 7) it has stories and activities that are all very encouraging and positive for girls.


Highlights For Children – everyone knows and loves this classic for ages 6-12. Stories, poems, puzzles, and games. We also get Highlights High Five the preschool version for ages 2-6.

Highlights also produces some great puzzle and game books that are sent as a monthly or quarterly subscription. We get Puzzle Buzz  (ages 4-7) and Puzzlemania  (age 7 and up) we also have Which Way USA and Top Secret Adventures. The later two are great to keep  your kid engaged and learning over the summer. We have also gotten a few issues of Mathmania

LEGO Club Magazine is a free magazine that comes in one of two levels depending on your child’s age. It also includes online content and is obviously heavily marketed for LEGO products. I included this one (despite it being a glorified catalog) because it has LEGO comics which are great for reluctant readers as well as monthly build contests. Even if we never submit my kids love the challenge! There are also occasional instructions for building different projects in it.

We don’t get the following magazines but they all have been rated really high:

National Geographic Little Kids (ages 3-6) and National Geographic Kids (6-14)





Growing up I had, and loved Cricket (ages 9-14) and it looks like they have expanded to include Spider (6-9), Ladybug (3-6) and Babybug (infant to 3).




Time for Kids – my kids school use this for current events and it can be tailored to your child’s grade level K-1, 2, 3-4 and 5-6.

New Moon Girls is on my list for when my daughter gets older. It’s pricey but it’s ad-free and skips diets and gossip for engaging stories and has a safe social network for girls to connect.




What are your favorites? Share them with us in the comments!


Disclosure: Some links provided in this story are affiliate links. A small percentage of purchases made through those links are earned and used to cover the expense of running the site. Thank you for clicking!
Dance academy of Libertyville
About Melissa Haak 843 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.