Whether you want to encourage your child to read, give them a fun quiet-time activity, or help them pursue an interest, children's magazines can be just the ticket. Buying magazines for your kids can add up quickly, though, so it's important to know what free options are available.
Free Print Children's Magazines
There are a variety of free magazines that kids can receive in the mail. Kids love getting mail, so these magazines will bring joy twice - when they arrive and when they're read!
LEGO Club Magazine
LEGO puts out a free magazine for club members ages 4 - 12. If your child loves LEGOs, you can't go wrong with this! The magazine is published six times a year and includes building ideas, comics, and more.
Kids' Guide to Helping Animals
The Kids' Guide to Helping Animals is a free, one-issue magazine from PETA. It includes information about conservation, buying cruelty-free products, and animal-friendly field trips. If you have a young animal lover at home, this might be perfect!
Sample of Animal Wellness Magazine
If your child loves animals, a free sample of Animal Wellness Magazine may provide him or her with hours of educational entertainment. This magazine is especially wonderful if you have a dog or cat at home and want your child to learn about pet care.
Sample of Teen Ink
If you have an older child, ages 13 - 19, he or she may enjoy a free copy of Teen Ink. Teen Ink is written entirely by teens, for teens. If your child is interested in writing, he or she can submit creative writing, art, and photography for publication in the magazine. There are also frequent contests your teen can enter.
Free Online Children's Magazines
We live in a digital world, and children today barely know what it means to not be online. Because of this, sometimes free digital magazines are exactly what you need to help them learn while also having fun online.
Kids Discover Online
Kids Discover is an excellent online resource where elementary and middle-school children can learn about all kinds of different science and social studies topics, from rivers to butterflies to the American Revolution. The free version gives you access to 30 units with 200 topics.
National Geographic Kids
The free online content from National Geographic Kids is extensive. You can gain even more access by creating a free account. There are educational articles on dozens of countries around the world, as well as articles on animals, planets, and more. Aimed at kids ages 8 - 14, this magazine is a great option for learning and fun.
Sports Illustrated Kids
If you have children that are sports fans, look no further than the Sports Illustrated for Kids website. Children can get analysis of recent games, forecasts about next season, and fun trivia and games. It's all free, and your son or daughter will love getting caught up on the latest sports news.
Scholastic News Online
If you're interested in your children staying up to date on the latest news in an age-appropriate way, Scholastic News Online is a great resource. The online magazine covers politics, history, fun trivia, and the environment in a kid-friendly way. Your children can be informed without being overwhelmed with this resource.
The Smithsonian is a network of incredible museums, and they also share knowledge with all ages online. Smithsonian Kids gives your children access to Animal Cams of the National Zoo, information about insects, articles about innovation, and much more. Kids will never get bored with this online magazine!
You can also find resources in your community for free magazines. When you take your children out on errands or to play, swing by one of these locations to see what might be available.
- Local library: Libraries often have magazines that can be checked out and then returned or enjoyed on-site. This is a great way to get free magazines without having a mess at home when your kids are done.
- Family literacy centers: If there is a local family literacy center in your area, you may find that they have free magazines and other no-cost resources for family learning available.
- Magazine swap. You may already have a magazine swap in your area - if you don't, you can start one! Simply implement a system to trade magazines with other families once your kids are finished with them. This is a definite win-win, as it helps save trees and money.
Spending Time Well
Children are well known for the phrase "I'm bored!" With you have free magazines handy, both in print and online, you can always have a budget-friendly answer. No-cost magazines allow kids to learn about a huge variety of topics, play games, work puzzles, and connect with their world. They provide a great way for children to spend their time well.