Choosing the right kids' subscription box for your child

Siblings unboxing a Parrot Street pack


Your child loves receiving post (who doesn’t?) and you think a kids’ subscription box would make a great gift for them (we couldn’t agree more). But with so many subscription boxes for children on the market now, how do you choose right one? We know it can be a little overwhelming when there’s so much choice, so here are our top tips for things to think about when choosing the right subscription box for your child:

What are they interested in?

It’s an obvious place to start – is there a subscription box out there for your child’s favourite hobby, activity or topic? Probably! Or perhaps you’re keen to broaden their experiences and try something new? Whether they are a bookworm, an artist, an animal-lover, or a budding historian, engineer or scientist, there’s likely to be a monthly subscription box that will feed their passion or introduce them to a new topic you think will inspire them.

Our monthly book subscription is the perfect choice for bookworms from 5 to 14. It’s also great for craft-lovers, cooks and more, and an ideal way to discover new topics and interests. Every book we send is accompanied by an activity pack inspired by that book’s themes, containing facts, jokes, puzzles, craft projects, recipes and more.

What do they need support with?

Perhaps your child is struggling with a particular subject at school. A subscription box could be a great way to ignite an interest or consolidate the learning they are doing during the school day. Most importantly, they can reinject some much-needed fun and enjoyment into the learning experience if a child is struggling to engage with a particular subject, skill or activity.

For example, parents of reluctant readers have told us that our kids’ book subscription has really helped inspire a new-found love of reading. We are passionate about the many benefits of reading for pleasure and the primary goal of our kids’ book club is to make reading fun – which in turn helps them develop essential literacy skills and more.

Read more about the benefits of educational subscriptions.

Something for the whole family to enjoy?

Are you looking for something that your child can engage with independently, or would you like to see the whole family enjoying and benefiting from the subscription you choose? Every subscription box works in a slightly different way and it’s worth considering whether your child is going to need your hands-on help to get the most out of the subscription you choose – and if that’s an advantage or disadvantage for you. For example, will they be able to access any craft activities independently, or are they things you will enjoy doing together?

Obviously, this depends entirely on the individual child, their age and abilities. Our activity packs include a range of activities, most of which our older subscribers will be able to get on with under their own steam, while younger subscribers may need a helping hand with the recipes and craft projects – but there’s always a drawing activity or puzzle they can enjoy independently, too.

Is it age-appropriate?

Most kids’ subscription boxes will provide clear age guidelines, which are always worth checking out. Again, it depends entirely on the individual child, and you know your child best, but it’s worth bearing in mind and being confident they will get the most out of what that subscription has to offer.

Some subscriptions will offer different options for different age groups. Our book subscription is available in three reading categories: Parakeets, recommended for 5 to 8; Cockatoos, for 8 to 12; and Macaws, for 12 to 14, meaning you can be confident that the books and activities your child receives will be appropriate for their age group.

Is it eco-friendly?

We all enjoy receiving an exciting parcel through the post, but we also know we need to be mindful of the waste this generates. It’s always worth checking out how the subscription box you are looking at is packaged and whether or not it includes additional bits and pieces that might look great when the box is opened, but which are quickly discarded. We are big fans of magazine subscriptions for this reason – our favourites (The Week Junior, National Geographic Kids, Aquila) have all shunned plastic gifts and the magazines themselves can be easily recycled. At Parrot Street, we are careful not to use extraneous packaging and our cardboard book wraps are both recycled and recyclable, as are our activity packs.

Try before you buy?

Purchasing a subscription to anything is a big commitment. Often you are being asked to pay upfront for a fixed term. But what if you’re not sure it’s going to be right for you? Look for a subscription where you can try a one-off box first. For example, we sell past packs from our book subscription individually on our website, so you can pick one to try before you commit to a longer subscription term if you like.

Are there easy gift options?

Subscription boxes for kids are an increasingly popular gift option. Find out more about why they make a great gift here. But some subscriptions are easier to gift than others. It’s worth checking out the gifting options and whether or not you are subscribing to something that auto-renews, or whether you can purchase a fixed-term subscription. Even better, avoid all the admin by purchasing a gift voucher if one is available, meaning that the parent or guardian is then able to manage the subscription themselves and you can sit back and relax knowing you’ve bought them a great gift that keeps on giving!

Head here for the full low-down on subscription boxes for kids. And find out more about the particular benefits of a book subscription here.


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