Kids Magazines That Will Captivate Your Classroom

Is print dead?

Well, not so fast.

Being constantly surrounded by smartphones and tablets, it is easy to think that printed material is a dinosaur age remnant. But what do the numbers say?

In fact, there is one medium where print is still the king: magazines. And, contrary to what you may believe, their primary audience is young people.

Kids reading kids magazines outdoors.

Do kids read magazines?

The 2019 Factbook of the Association of Magazine Media clearly states that, while 91% of American adults read magazines, this number jumps to 94% for younger people (under 25).

And they read a lot. The average person in this category reads around ten issues per month. According to the Factbook, the average time they spend per issue is 49.6 minutes.

So, yes, kids do read magazines if they find their content compelling.

Why do kids love magazines?

Recent research has shown that children prefer printed over online material. It helps them process information better and grasp deeper concepts. In a digital world, kids need to feel real substance in their hands: things they can touch, fold, tear, cut, hang up on a wall, or tape on a board.

Kids magazines are memories that can be collected and stored. Kids magazines are also experiences. They are communities, beautiful books that light up the kids’ eyes when they arrive, and are read curled on sofas or at kitchen tables, or outside away from wifi and the world.

kids magazines: hidden pictures

Which is the oldest children’s magazine?

The Guinness World Records lists the Russian Murzilka as the oldest kids magazine. It first came out in 1924 and is still in circulation.

Murzilka is a monthly literary and art publication for children aged 5 to 12.  It features stories, poems, educational articles, riddles, and drawings for children.

The main character, Murzilka, is a yellow furry creature in a red beret with a scarf and camera over his shoulder.

kids magazines: murzilka
Muzilka Magazine

What magazines do teachers read?

What about teachers? Where do they get their information from?

Feedspot lists the following top 10 magazines for teachers:

1. Language

A monthly publication that covers language-related news, and provides resources for teachers, students, and administrators. Through promoting multicultural learning, global citizenship, and language education, Language Magazine provides well-researched insight on the literacy and language sphere of education.

2. The Old Schoolhouse

The Old Schoolhouse began in 2001 as a small quarterly print magazine about homeschooling. Now it is a 120-page print magazine found in all major bookstores and also available in digital format.

3. Teach

Being a teacher doesn’t mean you stop learning. Teach Magazine features practical tools and resources for K-12 educators all over the world, supporting teachers while promoting innovation in education.

4. Education Matters

Education Matters provides teachers with a comprehensive buyer’s guide of the most reliable, trustworthy school suppliers in the Australian market. Working with many experts across various fields, Education Matters explores the current state of education and the views of its various players – from educators and principals, to associations and businesses.

5. Teacher

Published by the Australian Council for Educational Research, Teacher promotes quality teaching and leading, assisting school improvement at a grassroots level. It aims to help teachers, principals and school staff improve their skills and practices by using evidence-based approaches. The publication supports educators by providing timely, high quality, independent content that they can trust and adapt for use in their own school settings.

6. The Knowledge Review

The Knowledge Review Magazine talks about Educational Institutions, their courses & polices, educational technologies, innovators and their success stories; and most importantly, strategies & tools to prepare today’s students for tomorrow.

7. Independent Education Today

Independent Education Today is a free, subscription-only monthly magazine that specializes in private sector education. It features the latest news, opinion, features and event reviews from across the independent education sector.

It is recognized as a driving force in independent schools and the market leading education magazine to refer to for running and developing your independent school. With its unique audience of headteachers, bursars and other key decision makers within the sector, Independent Education Today features a wealth of informed and influential content.

8. Education Today

Education Today is the only business magazine targeting the entire education sector from primary to adult education. It provides up-to-the-minute information on the supplies and services available to the 5-16 market. It also helps decision makers plug into the constantly changing elements of technology, equipment, services, teaching methods and aids.

education today magazine
Education Today Magazine

9. QA Education

QA Education magazine is the essential guide to news and product information for educational establishments throughout England and Wales. If a school needs it, it can be found in QA Education. It is distributed to headteachers, academies, and local education authorities throughout the UK six times a year.

10. Campus

Campus magazine is a bi-monthly publication for tertiary students, distributed free across all of Singapore’s major universities, polytechnics, private and art schools, junior colleges, and in some student-friendly cafes. It is rich in student-oriented content, and has dozens of student contributors, submitting articles on an array of topics from education, to lifestyle, and local happenings.

What are the uses of kids magazines in the classroom?

Apart from the typical textbook, kids magazines can be a great teaching tool, as they provide a variety of short passages with relevant and up-to-date information.

Here are some ideas on how to use them in the classroom:

  • Summarizing

Ask students to read a passage and then write a summary of the main points. A great way to practice reading for gist.

  • Teaching Text Stylistics

Teach the usage of text features like captions, headings, footnotes, bold words, word boxes etc. Ask them to find specific examples in the magazines.

  • Reading for Pleasure

Ask students to choose whichever magazine they prefer from the classroom pile, and then discuss the article they enjoyed the most.

  • Teaching Reading Skills

Use the passages from kids magazines just like textbooks to teach the basic reading skills and sub-skills, such as skimming, scanning, reading for detail, looking for the main idea, fluency, comprehension, predicting etc.

  • Practise Creative Writing

The visual element is king in magazines. Take advantage of its appeal and ask students to write their own captions, stories or even poetry for images from the magazines. Younger students can practice in groups.

  • Encourage Speaking

Cut out the titles from the covers of old magazines. Ask students to guess what each magazine is about: football, fishing, computer, teenage, business, fashion etc. After students discuss with each other, ask them which one they would buy.

  • Get to Know your Students

Find a horoscope page and talk about the predictions and the character traits which are supposed to be behind each sign. Guaranteed fun!

  • Enjoy the Online Content

Most kids magazines have additional material online, usually in the form of games, quizzes, videos etc. Some even offer resources that involve parents. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

kids magazine: highlights

What is the best app for magazines?

If you prefer the online over the printed version, these are the top 5 apps that will deliver content to your device:

Zinio is the world’s first and largest digital newsstand, giving you access to magazine content from the best publishers across the globe. For over a decade, Zinio has delivered over half a billion digital issues in over 200 countries. With over 6,000 magazines available, you can browse magazines and articles on your favorite mobile or desktop device, access your magazines anytime, anywhere, read them online or save them to read offline!

Magzter, the world’s largest digital magazine newsstand with over 12,000+ magazines in its catalogue, will change the way you read magazines. From automotive, business, cooking, entertainment and fashion to lifestyle, news, sports, technology and travel, Magzter has magazines across 40+ exciting categories to cater to your varied interests.

Enjoy Barnes & Noble’s award-winning eBook discovery and digital reading experience. Access a vast online library of over 4 million eBooks, magazines, graphic novels, and comics. Enjoy recommendations just for you curated by expert booksellers. You can customize your experience with multiple fonts and page styles and robust organization and social sharing tools.

With Readly, you can get unlimited all-you-can-read magazines for a small fixed monthly fee. Over 4500 US and international magazines, including back issues. You can share with the family on up to five devices, and also keep the kids happy and safe with their Parental Control feature.

PressReader gives you unlimited access to thousands of magazines and newspapers from around the world, so you can stay connected to the stories you love. You can read newspaper stories and magazine articles the minute they are available on newsstands. You can shift easily between the original page replica and a custom story layout optimized for mobile reading, or bring it all to life with listening mode, one-touch translation, and dynamic commenting.

The story of Highlights

One of the best and oldest kids magazines is without a doubt Highlights for Children or simply Highlights. It was created in 1946 by Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers, both nationally acknowledged teachers and education leaders.

It was a monthly edition full of stories, adventures, and puzzles. It reflected the Myers’ philosophy that ‘children become their best selves by using their creativity and imagination; developing their reading, thinking, and reasoning skills; and learning to treat others with respect, kindness, and sensitivity.’

Today, the Highlights brand includes three kids magazines, Highlights, Hello, and High Five, and extends to games, websites, mobile apps, and book clubs, available in 40 countries and in 16 languages.

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What age are Highlights, Hello, and High Five appropriate for?

Hello (0-2)

kids magazines: Hello
Hello Magazine

Developed by childhood experts, this baby/toddler magazine helps parents read to their little ones aged 0 to 2! Each 16-page issue follows a theme such as Sounds, Food or Farm Animals, that helps young children make sense of their world. Hello is filled with colorful images, whimsical read-aloud stories, poems and simple activities that make babies giggle, laugh and learn. You’ll also find word play, games and lots of silly fun.

Babies love to look at other babies, so Hello also features plenty of photos of happy faces and little ones laughing and playing. What is more, the stories are just the right length for even the youngest ones’ attention spans. Main features:

kids magazines: hello
Inside Hello Magazine
  • Themes that help toddlers understand the world around them
  • Photos and colorful illustrations guaranteed to make your baby smile
  • Word play, simple activities and games that encourage fun and silliness
  • Read-aloud stories, poems and songs that fit young attention spans
  • A just-right “Find It” version of the famous Hidden Pictures puzzles

Hello is the perfect size for little hands to hold and to fit into a diaper bag or purse. It’s also baby-safe, made of a tear-resistant, washable material with rounded corners and a stitched — not stapled — binding. For extra safety, Hello is mailed in an envelope that keeps it germ-free while it’s on its way to your home.

Reading to Babies Starts with Highlights Hello Magazine

Little ones get absolutely excited with every turn of a page. Best of all, time spent laughing, playing and reading Hello will help them make positive connections between reading and fun.

High Five (2-6)

kids magazines: high five
High Five Magazine

Preschoolers and kindergartners love High Five magazine, because it is designed and written just for their age group 2-6. The Highlights experts have designed this exciting, colorful, fun-filled magazine to encourage and inspire tender hearts and curious young minds. The main features are:

  • Hidden Pictures scenes develop visual acuity and vocabulary
  • Matching games and other puzzles boost thinking power
  • Easy recipes and crafts give kids self-confidence
  • Engaging activities encourage hands-on fun
  • Action rhymes get kids to exercise
  • Stories from other lands and cultures expand children’s empathy
kids magazines: high five
High Five Magazine

Every 36-page issue reinforces skills that prepare them for reading, math and other areas of learning, while having pure fun! High Five is packed with read-aloud stories and poems, simple crafts and recipes, learning games, puzzles for beginners and other activities that engage kids’ curiosity and set them on the path to become lifelong learners.

Highlights (6-12)

kids magazines: highlights
Highlights Magazine

The Highlights motto is Fun with a Purpose. In every 40-page issue, kids explore new topics, investigate fascinating subjects and find out about the world.

In Highlights, kids read entertaining stories about kids like them, do arts and crafts activities, solve riddles, and learn about fascinating science and nature topics. The main features are:

kids magazines: highlights
Inside Highlights Magazine
kids magazines: highlights
The famous Hidden Pictures of Highlights Magazine
  • Hidden Pictures scenes develop persistence, attention to detail and concentration
  • Matching games and other puzzles boost problem-solving skills
  • Crafts and science experiments give kids self-confidence
  • BrainPlay and other features let kids know their opinion is valued
  • Stories from other lands and cultures expand children’s empathy
  • The beloved Goofus and Gallant characters

As the founding principle of Highlights go, the magazine is helping kids become their best selves: curious, creative, caring and confident.

Magazines from Highlights for Children

How often does Highlights magazine come?

Printed copies come in the mail every month. The first issue arrives within 2 to 3 weeks from order date. For the time being they are only delivered to USA and Canada.

Digital issues are available internationally. Zinio subscribers should expect them around the middle of each month. Zinio will send an email to the parents of the child receiving the subscription to let them know a new issue has arrived. Digital Magazine App subscribers will find the latest issues upon downloading the app. They can enable push notifications to inform them when new issues are available.

How much do Highlights cost?

There are many offers and discounts running at different time periods. At the time of writing, the plans for all magazines were:

  • 1 Year/12 Issues: $39.96 ($3.33 per Issue)
  • 2 Years/24 Issues: $61.92 ($2.58 per Issue)
  • 3 Years/36 Issues: $82.80 ($2.30 per Issue)

All major credit cards are accepted. Check the website frequently for updates.

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If a product arrives damaged, you wish to exchange and replace your product, or you wish to return your order, the company has an excellent return and refund policy in place.

How do I subscribe to Highlights?

If you order through Zinio, you will get a confirmation email with further instructions. If the subscription is a gift, the parents of the child will receive an email (at the email address you provided) asking them to give permission for their email account to be used for the child. After the permission is submitted, you (or the parent) will be guided to set up an account with Zinio, a distributor of digital magazines. The first issue will be available immediately. An email will be sent by Zinio when each subsequent issue becomes available.

If you order through the Highlights e-shop, you will get a confirmation email with further instructions. If the subscription is a gift, you should forward the email to the parent or guardian of the child who will receive the magazine. The email will instruct the recipient to download the app from either the App Store or Google Play to their device. It will also provide an account number and ZIP Code to use for authentication within the app. The welcome issue will be available immediately for users to read. The first issue of the subscription could take up to 14 days to be delivered to the app.

Kids Magazines That Will Captivate Your Classroom 1

How do I cancel Highlights?

To cancel a magazine subscription, you can call Customer Service at 1-888-372-6433 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (ET), or email them at [email protected]

Do magazines have a future?

One can only speculate on how magazines will evolve in the future. But we should be confident that the best magazines will not only survive but thrive. Established brands like Highlights, with a long history and a wide fan base will always have a place in kids’ hands and hearts.

Moreover, the subscription model for delivering content is becoming the norm. And just like newspapers (like The New York Times), movies and TV (e.g. Netflix), or music (Spotify), magazines have already proved that they can attract subscribers, digital or not.

Especially kids magazines will always be a pleasure to pick up (even in digital format), they will be worth the annual subscription, and you can always count on them to be beautifully designed, gorgeously illustrated --  even when they become voice-activated.

If you would like to try out Highlights in your classroom, click on the link below to claim your discount!

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Savas Savides
Education born and bred. I have worked as a teacher for many private language schools, as a test centre administrator, as a teacher trainer, as an educational consultant, and as a publisher. I am an advocate for literacy and a huge proponent of using technology in the classroom. I have a BA in English and an MBA in Marketing. I mostly write about English Language Teaching. I live in sunny Athens.