Modern Life

In living color: 9 great print magazines for kids

These creative publications keep kids of all ages entertained at home, off-screen, and offline.

By Leigh-Ann Jackson — August 6, 2020

After months of sheltering at home, parents may have reached their wits’ end keeping their children entertained, enriched, or at the very least, quiet. There’s the ongoing saga of managing kids’ screen time, and the struggle to keep them preoccupied just long enough for you to proofread that important email or log onto the next Zoom meeting. 

Children’s magazines are the perfect antidote to the “I’m boooored!” blues. 

A serious boost in the sales of kids’ magazines suggests that parents are increasingly looking for tactile entertainment to provide a different kind of escape for their children. At-home subscriptions can also help when many libraries and bookstores have COVID-related closures or limited hours. These publications are filled with puzzles, coloring pages, and projects that promote play-based learning. Most importantly, they help bolster kids’ literacy skills, which is crucial in helping prevent the dreaded slide during hybrid or all-remote learning. 

“We are our child’s primary teachers, now, more than ever before,” says Annisha Jeffries, Youth Services Manager at the Cleveland Public Library. “Magazines — unlike books — are filled with immediate chunks of information,” she continues, pointing to stories, crafts, and games that can stoke kids’ curiosity about animals, the arts, history, and science. She encourages caregivers to join in the fun when kids dive into magazine games or word search puzzles. “These are memories parents are creating that a TV program or the internet can’t supersede.”

Most parents are no-doubt familiar with household names like Highlights, Ranger Rick, and Cricket. But we’ve compiled a more recent roster that are sure to pique children’s imaginations, as well as teach them. Whether your kid is a bookworm or a reluctant reader, a gadget geek or a budding artiste, you’ll find their perfect fit in this readable round-up.


With content designed by professional scientists and artists, this UK-based publication is a best bet for the kid who’s always asking “Why?” Okido’s credo is “Every child is a creative scientist,” and each of their colorful issues is filled with answers about all things STEAM-related. The magazine’s mascot, Messy the Monster, helps children learn to express their emotions, explore nature, and get creative with recycled materials. Their latest, the “Virus Issue,” explains the COVID-19 pandemic in language little ones can comprehend, and features such DIY projects as making your own mask and growing your own vegetables while sheltering at home. 

Ages 3-6

Monthly; $100 for a one-year subscription*

HP's The Garage's top 9 kids printed magazines 2020

Honest History | Aquila | Kazoo

Printed magazines for kids are a creative alternative to screen-time and can help improve reading skills.


This National Magazine Award-winning publication celebrates inquisitive, creative, and strong girls. Each issue is based around content developed or inspired by female luminaries, including artists, chefs, activists, and scientists. Readers can learn to plié with the help of boundary-breaking ballerina Misty Copeland, go on a bird-themed scavenger hunt led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Amanda Rodewald, and get artistic advice from renowned collage artist Mickalene Thomas. The pages pace from tales of history-making women to art projects, science experiments, mazes, and games galore.

Girls ages 5-12

Quarterly; $39.99 for a one-year subscription

Whizz Pop Bang

Curious minds that love to experiment will get quite the mental workout with this science-centered magazine. Every month, the British brain-booster delivers hands-on science projects using household items. Readers can learn how stuff works — from cotton candy machines or their own toilet — and bone up on the latest science news that affects their everyday lives. There’s also a history segment celebrating scientists of the past, as well as interviews with pros who specialize in everything from engineering to aeronautics to architecture.

Ages 6-12

Monthly; $83.50 for a one-year subscription*

Honest History

Young history buffs can get a sneak peek into the past with this magazine’s true stories of people who’ve changed the world. One month, they’ll learn about scientists Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla and their “War of the Currents.” Next, it’s the 1960s Space Race, Jesse Owens’ Olympic feats, or Jacques Cousteau’s oceanic adventures. Each issue features a timeline of world events, topical fun facts, puzzles, coloring pages, and DIY activities. Kids are encouraged to dig deeper and conduct their own research.

Ages 6-12

Quarterly; $69.99 for a one-year subscription


Every issue of this UK magazine covers a new scientific or historical topic, breaking down complex concepts into kid-friendly bites. Past issues have focused on evolution, microorganisms, and the science of light. The magazine’s arts and crafts projects allow young brainiacs to apply their newfound knowledge. They can learn to build a biosphere, write their own radio play, or create a wildlife documentary. Experiments, expert interviews, “Brainfeeder” quizzes, and vibrant, frame-worthy illustrations round out the experience. 

Ages 8-13

Quarterly; $90.51 for a one-year subscription*

Anorak | New Moon Girls | Whizz Pop Bang!

Magazines can introduce children to significant figures in history, and keep them entertained with puzzles and coloring pages.


Bravery shines a spotlight on strong female role models throughout history, but the magazine aims to inspire both girls and boys. Whether it’s poet Maya Angelou or Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bravery does a deep-dive into their lives and accomplishments. Each issue is dedicated to a different envelope-pushing woman, featuring illustrated stories and thematic educational games. Plus, a subscription comes with a corresponding patch, a collector card, and a digital PDF filled with activities.

Ages 5-12

Quarterly; $72 for a one-year subscription


Dubbing themselves “The Happy Mag for Kids,” the folks behind Anorak are serious about fun. Using whimsical illustrations, imaginative games and comics (all printed on eco-friendly recycled paper with vegetable ink), this hip, London-based magazine plugs into kids’ natural creativity. Each page prompts readers to doodle, scribble, giggle, and daydream to their hearts’ content. There’s also a “Little Editors” section, featuring drawings and stories submitted by young fans, also known as “Anorak-sters.” Younger siblings can get on the happiness, too — companion magazine, Dot, is geared toward the five and under set.

Ages 6-12

Quarterly; $41.38 for a one-years subscription*

New Moon Girls

Since 1993, this empowering magazine has centered around girls and the issues that matter to them. Its diverse all-girls editorial board offers advice and stories addressing such relatable subjects as overcoming shyness, dealing with cramps, and cooking healthy meals. The adolescent editors churn out articles addressing positive body images, LGBTQIA allyship, fighting racism, and other hot-button issues that affect their lives. There’s also fiction featuring female lead characters, as well as stories about activists, adventurers, and athletes. The publication’s goal is to strengthen girls and create a sense of community, compassion and creativity. 

Ages 8 and up

Bi-monthly; $43.95 for a one-year subscription

*Subscription prices subject to conversion rate change.


Check out 7 more ideas for family fun this summer.