Best Alternative Magazines for Kids // Arts, Crafts & Stories

March 9, 2018 , All

We had all the standard magazine subscriptions… chirp, chickadee, owl, national geographic etc over time that we rotated through as the kids grew. And although they were fun and filled with lots of information and activities, I was often left a little bit disappointed.. a little bit wanting of something more creative. Something made with the same dedication to the arts and literature as the magazines I love to drool over myself. Then, I was wandering though the Thornbury Library one day and stumbled upon an alternative magazine for kids and was completely taken aback! “Of course these exist!!!!”, I nearly screamed in the quiet of the book aisles. I took a snap of the cover and ran off, intending to look into it immediately. Then, of course the daily grind kicked in and my mind spun with all the to-dos that it slipped into the ether… not to be thought of again for another year.

I fell down a rabbit hole on the internet one day, scoping out Taproot Magazine (one my personal favs), and then their editor, Amanda Blake Soule (from Soule Mamma Blog) and fell upon a link somewhere that led me to Root & Star Magazine. It was full of activities, beautiful illustrations and stories. I jumped and ordered a copy of their latest issue. Then, some months later, I went to order more and realised there were probably more of the alternative magazine variety out there that I hadn’t yet seen! I spent a number of hours searching and ordering select issues from each.

This is what I found….


BIG Kids Magazine

This Australian magazine is so full of beautiful illustrations, it makes me want to grab some pens and watercolours and work away in the corner while I ignore the piling dishes and laundry. The pages pour forth with artist creations and collaborations from children and adults alike, along with ideas and inspirations for your own budding artists.

Their website also offers free downloads and a submission page for those of you wanting to be published!







Ok, full disclosure, this is my FAV kids mag at the moment. I’m completely in love!!!! Their themed issues range from mammoths to museums to magic and many more things that don’t just start with the letter ‘m’. Their many issues are stuffed with beautiful works of art wrapped in poetry and useful information. Anorak is aimed at children 6 to 12 years of age although my 3yr old twins love to flip through its recycled pages after their big brother is ready to share them. Anorak TV is an added bonus with little interviews and how to videos, animated games and familiar characters.







Anorak’s little sibling. This wonderful magazine is geared towards the littles in the family with sweet stories, crafts, and imaginative games to fill their minds with wonder and excitement. My girls LOVED this mag but they were equally excited about the bigger kids version so we ordered more of those as we can enjoy them a bit longer. Love these!! It was difficult to find something for the younger group and I was thrilled to finally (albeit a bit late in my case) find something for this age group that was just as creative and art filled, with so much effort and love poured into each page.







Thank you Root & Star. You were my first foray into alternative children’s magazines and we still have those two copies carefully kept where the children can come to them time and again for inspiration and captivation. These pages are lovingly put together with artwork, crafts, beautiful stories and information that can easily take up an afternoon with storytelling, scissors and tape, sitting in the sun. There’s a great variety of things in here and I’ll be sure to order more issues in the future.






Aside from the unique layout, this magazine really jumps out for content. Filled with comics, loads of activities, fun stories and interesting info, the graphics really appeal to kids (and adults) with bright bold colours and patterns. Fun, clean, simple, beautiful.

The Loop also offers competitions which are always fun 🙂 and lesson plans based on articles in its pages!!






This UK magazine is reminiscent of Chirp and Chickedee and OWL in its layout and content information but the illustrations are beyond beautiful. The content is much more playful and attention grabbing. There are  simple crafts and science experiments, along with recipes, cartoon strips,  mazes,  educational diagrams and more. I love this for kids 4-9yrs or so.

Their website is chuck full of fun projects and downloads FYI!







Babybug is written for the younger crowd, geared to those 6months -3years. Bursting with joyful poetry, songs, finger plays, and stories complemented by illustrations from some great artists.









This is a cricket media magazine created for the early reader. My oldest is just beginning to read and is looking forward to his first issue of this one… no reviews for you just yet, but I’ll update as we try it out!







Top 10 magazines for kids, best children’s magazine, best books for children, best early readers, craft books for kids. 



Best of luck my friends, its a slippery slope into the beautiful world of print! I don’t have subscriptions to any of these right now as I like to order a few copies here and there and then switch, but if I were able, I would subscribe to all of the above!! It fills me with so much love when they arrive in the mail and when I watch little eager hands pull them from their envelope and pour through the pages wide eyed. Lots of questions, crafts, requests for reading aloud soon follow and eventually we’re all on the floor, paint brushes in hand, masterpieces being created.

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