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10 Best magazines for kids

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

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Sure, our kids can do all of their reading on a hand-held device if we let them. But then they'd never experience the joy of getting their very own magazine in the mail. Sign your little reader up for one of these kid favorites subscriptions.

1. National Geographic Kids

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National Geographic Kids is designed for children ages 6 to 14. The magazine is published by the National Geographic Society and has been in publication since September 1975. With each issue, young readers enjoy a wide array of regular features such as "Amazing Animals," "Weird but True," "Cool Inventions" and "Guinness World Records." For the younger set, there’s National Geographic Little Kids, which targets preschool children ages 3 to 6. A one-year subscription (10 issues) for either magazine costs $15.

2. Odyssey

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Odyssey is an award-winning science magazine for children ages 9 to 14. Astronomy editor Richard Berry created the mag, which debuted in 1975. Odyssey originally focused on astronomy but has since expanded to cover a wide array of science topics and also includes a short fiction section. A one-year subscription (nine issues) is $34.

3. Muse

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This magazine, launched in January 1997, features nine cartoon characters known as the Muses. The articles expose kids ages 9 and up to history, science and the arts. Regular Muse content includes fun facts, a question-and-answer page and fun underlying themes such as extraterrestrial life, urban legends, pirates and so much more. A one-year subscription (nine issues) is $34.

4. ChopChop

ChopChop magazine |

The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed this award-winning, non-profit quarterly magazine for kids ages 5 to 12. ChopChop is filled with fabulous recipes, interactive games and educational food facts and is intended to inspire and teach kids to cook real food with their families. A Scholastic pick for best magazine for elementary school and preschool students, ChopChop received the 2014 Parents' Choice Gold Award and was named the James Beard 2013 Publication of the Year. A one-year subscription (four issues) is $15, and each subscription bought helps pay for a subscription to families in need.

5. Highlights

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Who doesn't remember reading Highlights magazine — whether at home or at the dentist's office? Every 40-page issue helps children explore exciting new topics, investigate cool subjects and learn about our wonderful world. Highlights is ideal for ages 6 to 12 and features stories, puzzles, games, riddles, science experiments and craft projects. High Five, the preschool version of Highlights, is intended for little ones ages 2 to 6. A one-year subscription (12 issues) is $34.

6. Time for Kids

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Time For Kids, a division magazine of Time, brings eight pages of news and activities to children. Time for Kids is available for four different age groups. The Grade K-1 edition is theme-based for young readers. The Grade 2 edition challenges kids' critical-thinking skills. The Grades 3-4 edition encourages children to better understand the world. And the Grades 5-6 edition engages kids to become active as informed citizens. A one-year subscription (28 issues) is $30.

7. Ranger Rick

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Liz Rampy, a kindergarten teacher in South Carolina, says that her students always enjoy Ranger Rick, a nature magazine that has been in publication since 1967. The award-winning magazine promotes environmental activism and is bursting with spectacular photos, fabulous stories and awesome activities. Ranger Rick appeals to children ages 7 to 12, and Ranger Rick Jr. is for kids 4 to 7. A one-year subscription (10 issues) costs $20, and all profits support the National Wildlife Federation.

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8. Popstar!

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Tweens adore this positive teen gossip entertainment magazine. Popstar! is often the first to introduce budding new stars to eager fans and it always thrills readers with coveted double-sided posters of the world's most popular teen celebrities. A one-year subscription (12 issues) of Popstar! is $25.

9. Stone Soup

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Founded in 1973, Stone Soup features the creative stories, poems and artwork of children from all over the world. This unique literary magazine was once referred to as "The New Yorker of the 8-to-13 set." Each 48-page issue, published by The Children's Art Foundation, also includes photos of the young contributors. A one-year subscription (six issues) is $37.

10. Zootles

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There are few things 3- to 6-year-olds love more than animals. Zootles presents gorgeous photos, wonderful stories and silly cartoons that nurture a child's love of wildlife (and learning). Each issue focuses on one animal group and explores its habitat, anatomy, communications and social organization. Pullout pages offer games, puzzles and easy-to-do science projects and activities. Fellow magazine Zoobies is ideal for children 0 to 3, and Zoobooks targets kids 6 to 12. A one-year subscription (six issues) is $30.

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11. Ladybug

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The read-aloud stories and poems in Ladybug Magazine are perfect for children ages 3 to 6 (and those who are ready to move up from Babybug Magazine). The award-winning periodical is written and illustrated by some of the world's best children's authors and artists. A one-year subscription (9 issues) of fantastic stories and adventures is $34.

12. New Moon Girls

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Girls are so much more than eye candy. They should be seen and heard. That's why moms and daughters alike love New Moon Girls. The advertising-free magazine skips diet tips and gossip columns in favor of content that encourages girls 8 and up to express their true inner voices. A one-year subscription to the paper or E-magazine (6 bi-monthly issues) is $35. New Moon's safe social network costs lets girls connect with peers around the world for just $4.99 per month.

13. Cricket

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For nearly 40 years, Cricket has brought high-quality fiction and non-fiction stories to the mailboxes of kids who want to know more about history, science, culture and the arts. Respected founder and editor-in-chief Marianne Carus believes that young readers (ages 9-14) will happily perfect the skill with "beautifully illustrated, lively, well-written, interesting stories… with a witty tone and a sense of humor." A one-year subscription is $34.

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