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The lowdown on subscription boxes for kids

Excited child with mouth open and arms spread wide, looking like they're running towards the camera

 

I have one crystal clear memory from my 80s childhood, and that is of the elation I’d feel on the day that my new Storyteller tape and magazine would arrive. Those two simple items would provide hours of entertainment immediately and for years to come…and if you asked my mum, I think she’d say she was pretty happy with that result too!


But that was 40 years ago; today subscriptions are becoming an enormous part of many people’s lives, from music and tv streaming services to Amazon prime delivery and regular toilet roll arrivals. Convenience is the name of the game and subscription boxes are definitely not restricted to the grown-ups.


So, what about subscriptions for kids? Think of any hobby or interest and I’m pretty sure you could find a subscription service offering a regular delivery that kids would be eager to receive. But are subscriptions a good idea? And how do you go about choosing one?


We’ve set out to answer these questions and more and hope you find it useful.


Are subscriptions beneficial for kids?


As the co-founder of a kids’ subscription book club, I’m obviously biased but would definitely say yes. At the simplest level, I love seeing my kids happy, excited and enthusiastic - that’s how they respond whenever they receive something in the post addressed to them. It’s a novelty and makes them feel special.

Beyond that, most subscriptions on the market for kids have an educational or enrichment element. Often, it’s indistinguishable from all the fun they’re having but as adults we know it’s there. It could be nurturing a particular interest they’ve developed, broadening their horizons or supporting them to learn a new skill that might not be covered at school.

Read more on the top 4 benefits of educational subscriptions for children.

There’s also something to be said for getting a regular delivery of something new and exciting. It can be so easy to get stuck in a rut of school, activities and chores so it’s nice to know there’s going to be something different in the mix regularly too.

 

A mother and daughter both looking happy and excited as they open a subscription box delivery

Are there pros for parents too?


Definitely. As mentioned above, most subscriptions for kids have an educational element. As parents it can feel good to know you’re doing something to further enrich a child’s experiences at home. It can also be reassuring to know that experts have developed each subscription box and are able to offer input you might not otherwise have been able to.

The convenience of subscriptions is also a big benefit. We’re all so busy and creating or curating multiple activities for kids can be time-consuming and stressful. If you know that a subscription or two can take care of a few elements each month, it gives you a chance to really focus on the things you most like doing for and/or with your family.

There’s also a lot to be said for the bonding and family time that can be generated by a subscription. Coming together to explore each new delivery can be a wonderful time together and create memories that you all will cherish.


How do I choose the right subscription?


This can be the tricky bit. With so many options on the market where on earth do you start? We’d definitely suggest using your child’s existing interests or learning needs as a starting point. They love animals? How about a subscription to a children’s nature magazine? They need some encouragement to feel excited about reading? What about a book club subscription?

You won’t be surprised to hear that we’d always advocate you picking a book subscription. Our subscribers tell us how important our monthly boxes have been in transforming their children’s experience with books – whether that’s discovering the magic of reading for the first time or broadening their horizons to try new authors and genres. 

Young girl tightly hugging a wrapped gift, Christmas tree in the background

Do subscriptions make a good gift?


Absolutely. This is where I think subscriptions can really come into their own. We’re all mindful of having too much “stuff”, so gifting occasions can sometimes feel stressful. Where are you going to put the new gifts your child receives? Will you have to do a sort and tidy out to make space? Will your house be overtaken with plastic tat?!

We’re so pleased to see that there’s been a shift over recent years towards the idea of giving kids experiences. That could be family activities or trips, but we think subscriptions are also a great idea.

A subscription is a gift that keeps on giving as small and regular bursts of excitement over a number of months. The anticipation of receiving each parcel, the excitement of hearing it drop through the letterbox and frantic dash to unearth what’s inside is an experience children won’t forget in a hurry.

Because subscriptions are an experience, there’s also often the opportunity to give a gift voucher, which is a helpful option for grandparents, aunts and uncles. It can take some of the stress out of trying to pick a specific suitable gift and is easy to pop in the post if you’re unable to meet in person.

And what about that kid that seems to already have everything? Again, a subscription can be a great option as there’s always an element of surprise in what will arrive each month with a focus on doing and experiencing something new.

Happy child in blue checked shirt, holding up a cardboard box against a grey background

What’s the best subscription for primary school children?


There are just so many options available for kids this age but if we were going to narrow it down these are the subscription categories I know my own kids would adore:

  • Book subscriptions
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Baking subscriptions
  • Craft boxes

 

A teen or tween wearing a purple top, holding out a cardboard delivery box against a yellow background


What’s the best subscription for tweens and teens?

We know from experience that this can be a tricky age to buy for. With their growing independence it can feel harder to keep abreast of their burgeoning and changing interests. Opting for cash, vouchers, toiletries or clothes can be an easy option but doesn’t feel quite so exciting or personalised. Again, a subscription may be a great option and it would be worth checking out:


  • Book subscriptions
  • Stationery subscriptions
  • Beauty subscriptions
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Plant subscriptions

 


As you can tell, we’re big fans of subscriptions and we hope you’ve found this article useful. We’ve got loads more posts about subscriptions in general and books in particular on our blog, which you can check out here.