Top Twelve Magazines for Elementary Students

Hi friends!

Do you have magazine subscriptions in your elementary library? We LOVE to read magazines! In our library, third, fourth, and fifth graders may check out one magazine at a time. Even though libraries have traditionally had a shorter check-out period for magazines than books, I let students keep the magazine for a week, so they have time to read it.

Here are our favorites, not necessarily in order.

Phineas and Ferb, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, and Sonic the Hedgehog are fun comic books.  
Everyone loves National Geographic for Kids. Sometimes I’ll use back issues as a source for a research project.
Boys are more likely to check out Sports Illustrated for Kids, while the girls choose American Girl and Discovery Girl.
Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy are not children’s magazines. I’m pretty sure our students mainly look at the pictures of the cute dogs and cats, rather than reading the articles.
Two that I’m trying next year, because other librarians recommended them to me, are Yum for Kids (cooking, crafts, and fun) and Bop (celebrity magazine). It’s too hard to buy biographies to keep up with the latest “hot” celebrities. By the time the book arrives, my students are talking about someone new. I think this magazine will fill that gap more inexpensively.
I only allow third, fourth, and fifth graders to check out magazines. Sometimes I set up magazines as a library center to allow the younger students to read them during their library visit.
Are the other magazines that your students love? Please share in a comment!
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      1. That’s one of the challenges isn’t it? Magazines keep going out of business. 🙁
        I probably should have ordered 2 subscriptions to Bop. We’ll see how it goes!

    1. We get double subscriptions of American Girl and Discovery Girl. We also get Boys Life, although that doesn’t circulate as much. SI for Kids is always popular. Scooby Doo and Looney Tunes have not been as popular as I thought they would be. Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy always seem to have their fans.


    2. Oh. I almost forgot one cause it’s mostly used in the library (never know if I can send it home … won’t lie, sometimes I have).
      Funny thing is … it’s FREE.
      I tell them all to go home, ask Mom or Dad or Grandma or whoever to help them sign up. I can’t sign up FOR them. Yes, there are a lot of ads. But there’s enough good stuff in there. And at least these are ads that are always kid friendly!

    3. Cari,

      Great post! I subscribe to most of the magazines, but it is great to see others using them as well!

      Another magazine to add to the list is Kids Discover. This is a great resource for research projects. Their website also has helpful items for teachers!

      Check it out!


    4. Blaze is a good one for girls who love horses. We are a rural district, so horses are big with us. I also signed up a free subscription to Lego magazine that my kids are loving. My boys also like ATV and Dirt Bike.

    5. I am new in the Library World! Could you tell me how long you keep your magazines? We have some that date back to 2006! Yikes! Thank you for the great ideas!

      1. I don’t keep any for more than 2 years. I want our magazines to be up-to-date and in great condition for our students.
        I donate the back issues to teachers for their classroom libraries, if they are still in good shape.
        Thanks for your comment!

    6. Cari, how has your experience been with Bop? I don’t have any “pop culture” mags in my K-5 school, but I am considering adding this.

      1. Danna, during the year this year, Bop was discontinued by the publisher. They replaced it with Tiger Beat, which I thought was not appropriate for elementary school. Now I don’t have a good replacement for a pop culture magazine.
        Thanks for your question!

        1. Hi, Cari-

          Have you found a replacement for Bop yet? Our school library would like to fill that void, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement for our Grads 3-5 readers. Yum for Kids is becoming a newstand only title, which will disappoint our readers too.

          1. I have not found a good replacement for Bop. I’m sad that it is no longer published! The publisher sent us Tiger Beat as a substitute to fulfill our subscription, but I did not think it was appropriate for elementary students. I’m sad that we’re losing Yum, too! I tried “Chop Chop” this year, but it has a healthy focus and isn’t as cute as “Yum.”
            It must be hard to make a profit publishing magazines for children!
            Thanks for your comment!

    7. If you were a parent just going to the children’s magazines at Barnes & Nobel, are there any favorites you might try? Primary and older…

      1. National Geographic Kids is my absolute favorite kids magazine! I subscribed for my own sons when they were younger. Yum magazine is great if you’ve got kids who like to cook! Sports Illustrated for Kids is also very popular.
        Thanks for your question, Christina!

    8. Did you ever post who your vendor is? We use Subscription services of America and they don’t seem to be as focused on elementary magazines.

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