Given that I set up and run a children’s book subscription, my interest in subscriptions is a given. But, my interest is not just professional. Over the years my family in general, and children in particular, have enjoy a wide range of subscriptions that have often come to us as gifts.
As my children moved from the baby and toddler stage, particularly the second and third siblings, I increasingly found that we were stumped for present ideas. Friends and relatives would ask what the children might need or like and it was increasingly hard to think of anything.
This pressure to come up with gift ideas felt overwhelming at times (particularly as we have 2 birthdays and Christmas within a 5-week period!) and it was easy to name this toy or that craft set that the kids would no doubt like, but I questioned whether they actually needed.
But then I hit upon the idea of suggesting experiences and subscriptions when family asked for ideas. We’ve had magazine subscriptions, craft and baking boxes, science kits and snack deliveries.
These subscriptions have always been a big hit with the kids and we’ve loved them as parents too. These are the 7 reasons why:
1. They’re focused on the experience rather than stuff
There’s a reason unboxing videos are hugely popular. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of opening a surprise gift and seeing what’s inside. And with a subscription, that’s an experience that recurs regularly. Subscriptions are designed to take you on a journey of discovery, and we’d take that over a toy they’ll tire of quickly any day of the week.
2. They’re a gift that keeps on giving
There’s the initial excitement when a child first opens their present and realises what awaits them. They then feel the excitement and anticipation build as they wait for each subsequent delivery.
3. They are often educational and inspiring as well as good fun
There are more types of subscription on the market for kids than we could possibly list. But it’s fair to say that the majority are designed to maximise fun, education and inspiration. I know that my kids often only see the fun and that’s exactly how it should be. But, as parents, we can see that they’re enjoying an enriching, educational experience and that can only make us feel good.
We've also written more about the benefits of educational subscription boxes.
4. Subscriptions are easy to give as a present
Picking the right subscription can be the trickiest bit. You might like to check out the lowdown on subscription boxes for kids if you need any pointers. But once you’ve chosen you can usually either pick a gift voucher or simply give the first box of the subscription as the gift that they unwrap on the day.
Another big benefit of a subscription gift is that they can work well if you’re not able to get together in person to exchange gifts. Vouchers can be popped in the post or delivery arranged straight to the child.
Beyond that, subscriptions can be a great way to connect with the child that’s receiving it, even if you’re not able to meet in person. They’re a great conversation starter and as per point 1, they keep on giving!
Last year, Hannah Jull wrote a blog post for us about the benefits of a subscription gift for grandchildren who live far away.
5. They’re a great way to try something different
We all know how easy it is to become stuck in a rut – picking the same types of books, reading the same magazines. With a subscription there’s always the opportunity to try something different and challenge kids to broaden their horizons. Whether that’s by choosing a subscription in a new genre or the very fact that each delivery will be carefully designed to feel fresh and different to the last.
6. They can be very eco-friendly
We know that businesses large and small are working hard to create eco-conscious products and experiences. In our experience, small subscription companies are leading the way. They’re called subscription boxes for a reason – for the most part the product arrives in a cardboard box each month that can be repurposed or recycled.
Beyond that, though the contents of subscription boxes can vary hugely, we know that very careful thought is given to every single element that goes into a box – they’re certainly not just thrown together and sent out.
There are even digital subscription options, such as audiobook or content streaming subscriptions that would mean nothing is physically produced or sent out.
7. Subscribers feel like they’re part of a club
Who doesn’t like feeling like they’re being treated to something special? Whatever the subscription gift, children will have the feeling that they’re accessing exclusive content, usually not something they could walk into a shop and just buy. Each new delivery will feel like a real treat!