For kids there is something almost magical about getting real mail with your own name on it! Kid friendly subscriptions and lessons can be great continuous learning gifts for kids at Christmas. They are gifts that last the whole year through really!
When I was a kid we listened to stories on the radio every Saturday morning. One of them was Uncle Charlie's Children's Bible Hour. He also had a daily devotional for kids that he would send out on a monthly subscription basis, and I looked forward to getting that mail and reading those stories every month! As a pre-teen I enjoyed National Geographic and others. And when my parents signed me up for a 12-week piano class, I looked forward to it every week!
The following list of recommended kid friendly subscriptions are not affiliate links. These ideas have been compiled by me with the help of some friends giving you, as always, only what we have used and recommend. I trust you will find the list useful either for gift ideas or for enrichment ideas for the children in your life.
Character Building Subscriptions
Keys for Kids – a quarterly publication of daily devotionals for kids. These are great to read in family devotions or independently! Children's Bible Hour is currently offering one free one-year subscription per family!
Patch the Pirate Adventures in Character – I received some of the first episodes on cassette as a child! The lessons and character building songs I learned have stuck with me into adulthood! It's all on CD now of course, and they don't have a subscription, but you can listen each week to a new segment online and print out coloring pages at Patch the Pirate.org. Or you could gift a new download from Majesty Tunes each month for a year to make it like a subscription.
Torchlighters, Children's Heroes from Church History – Stories of missionaries, martyrs of the faith and great church leaders are brought to life beautifully in (approximately) 30 minute animated DVD presentations, followed by another 5-10 minutes of actual documentary information. Children and adults alike will benefit from the legacy and impact of these hero's lives. There are also lesson plans and activity pages to go along with each episode. While they don't have a subscription, again you could create one by gifting one episode each month of the year. The DVD's can be purchased on the Torchlighter website or other retailers.
Clubhouse Magazine – (Ages 8-12) This kids magazine published monthly by Focus on the Family (also the producers of the Adventures in Odyssey dramatized audio series) reinforces traditional values and promotes family closeness with hands-on activities, challenging puzzles and exciting stories. They also have an interactive website and you can subscribe on CBD.com for this or the Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, for ages 3-7.
Science and History Subscriptions
National Geographic Kids – (ages 6+) 10 issues per year, this magazine is packed full of great curiosity building photos and information that will have your kids asking more questions and searching for more answers in a fun way! They also have a subscription for younger biologists (ages 3-6). One word of caution though – I always try to preview the latest issue and occasionally have had to get rid of some advertising I felt was “too old” for my children. Subscribe here.
Discovery – (ages 8-12) a monthly 8-page magazine on Scripture and science for kids. Quote from their website: “Discovery encourages kids to develop a faith that is motivated by a genuine love for God and which is, at the same time, supported by evidences for that faith.” Subscribe here.
Nature Friend – (ages young child to grandparent), 12 issues per year: 6 aimed at the younger kids and 6 aimed at the older kids. This creationist publication will be enjoyed by all. They include lots of opportunities for reader participation throughout the year, including one whole issue made up solely of reader submissions! Subscribe here.
Creation Magazine – (upper elementary to adult) a 56-page full-color magazine published 4 times a year. You can download a free digital issue on their website to check them out, and when you subscribe to the print magazine you'll also receive the digital issue free each month. Quote from their website: “This unique family magazine gives God the glory, refutes evolution, and gives you the answers to defend your faith and uphold the true history of the world found in Genesis.”
The Young Scientists Club – This subscription based club for children (ages 5-12) will ship the materials and instructions for exciting science experiments once or twice monthly (your choice) to your children! Hours of science fun encouraging their curiosity, problem solving skills and future scientific endeavors. Easy to follow instructions are provided, so there's no need to have much scientific background to enjoy and learn with these fun projects! Subscribe here!
English, History, Culture, and Reading Subscriptions
Cricket – (ages 9-14) 9 issues per year in digital or print format. Quote from the website: “Cricket provides high quality fiction and classic literature and nonfiction stories on culture, history, science, and the arts. Each 48-page issue includes a story, poetry, or art contest, as well as the signature cast of rambunctious bug characters who offer humorous commentary on the stories.” Subscribe here.
Highlights for Kids – (ages 0-2, 2-6 and 6-12) choose your age appropriate issue and receive monthly issues filled with stories, games, puzzles, poetry and activities! I enjoyed these as a child, and my children still do today! Subscribe here.
Picture Book Club – (all ages) You're never too old for a great picture book. Why not create your own book club and gift one new book each month. Click here for a list of some of our family's favorites!
Lesson Subscription Ideas
- music (instrument, voice, etc.)
- horse riding
- swimming, snorkeling, scuba
- gun safety
- self defense
Part of the fun of a subscription gift is the anticipation of receiving it each time! Follow the child's interests and help them learn all they can, I guarantee you won't regret it!
Do you have other subscription or lesson ideas that would make great gifts? Please share them with us in the comments!
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