It’s final countdown to the holidays, which means last-minute gift ideas, which means subscription gifts for kids, which are always some of our favorites to give — last minute or not!
Wwe know from experience that our kids love to receive boxes in the mail each month, addressed to them. So fun!
So many of these 40+ subscriptions are educational or inspire our kids’ creativity, and they give us a fun excuse to sit down at the table with them and create together. Or hey, some are just pampering or fun, or indulge a kid’s passions and interests.
So if you’re considering a subscription gift for the kids (or grandkids or nieces or nephews) in your life, these are some of the best subscription gifts for kids that we’ve seen this year. Hope you find what you’re looking for!
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THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED FOR 2020
Related: The best list of last-minute holiday gift ideas that skip the $$$ on shipping
9 subscription gifts for kids who are readers
In honor of National Reading Month, we rounded up 8 favorite book subscriptions for kids, and it’s a great place to start if you’re considering a gift for a kid who loves to read. From books for little feminists to subscriptions featuring Black characters to books that come with costumes, for kids who love to act out their favorite stories!
Or, for kids from preschool on up who prefer to read on their devices and like the flexibility of having, literally, an entire library at their fingertips, an Epic! ebook subscription is a fantastic gift. The digital and audio books in their collection are the ones our kids are really wanting to read — like Timmy Failure, Nancy Clancy, Big Nate, Olivia and thousands more.
9 subscription gift ideas for STEAM-loving kids of any age
Kiwi Co, makers of the original Kiwi Crate subscription gift, now offers a total of 8 smart, innovative art and science-based boxes for kids of every age. Their Koala Crates are for kids as young as 3 years old, while the Doodle Crates and Tinker Crates send art and STEM projects to kids up to 16. We’ve always been impressed with the quality of their boxes and the types of educational, inspiring projects our kids can create out of them. The site is always worth a look for a great subscription gift for kids.
Runner up: Amazon’s STEM Club subscription for kids is fairly affordable at $15.99/mo, and you can chose for one for preschoolers, for 5-7 year olds, or one for kids 8-13.
Subscription gift ideas for crafters
If you have a crafty tween or teen who loves putting a personal touch on their room, then the Crayola CIY craft kit is a great option (in addition to the Doodle Crate from Kiwi Crate, above). Each box has two premium crafts that often seem to be accessory- or home decor-related: think, functional clocks, woven wall hangings, canvas art or things like tote bags and key chains. We were impressed with the quality of the crafts and think your kid will be too.
Cratejoy also has a ton of crafting subscription gifts for both kids and adults and wow, what a range! Kraft Kitsune is a highly rated subscription gift for fans of anime, while the Craftsman Crate was created for teens and men who felt there weren’t enough crafty gifts for them — though anyone who wants to try activities like soapstone carving, mosaic creation, or basketry will love it.
And of course there are the Doodle Crates from Kiwi Co which aren’t just about doodling. Made for kids 9-16, kids get to work with felt, faux leather, even make their own homemade soap.
Subscription gift ideas for babies and toddlers
Lov Every Baby is a big splurge subscription gift for a very special baby in your life. We’re blown away by how carefully curated their educational baby toys are, sending you new toys for each stage of development in the first year, from small motor skills, to social-emotional learning in those later months. (Sniff.)
Another splurge: MontiKids is a brand we worked with in the past, and wow, are their baby toys gorgeous. They draw from the Montessori educational philosophy in their design and function, and I’ve even shared them as a good gift for kids with developmental delays. If you have the budget, they make an amazing gift for a family with young kids…who hope to have more on the way, so they can continue to use these toys for years.
For a more affordable option, look at the Please and Carrots quarterly subscription. You’ll get 5–6 toys and books in each box, plus cards with ideas for activities to help you stimulate your baby’s language skills and motor development.
3 clothing subscription gifts for kids
We were surprised to see more kids we know asking specifically for a Stitch Fix Kids subscription gift (above) so clearly it’s caught on as a gift that’s exciting and fun, and not just practical (for so many parents).
Liz’s kids also loooove Rockets of Awesome, a cool mom-owned business. Their items are a little more fashion-forward, well-suited to different styles, and lets kids wear one-of-a-kind designs that classmates won’t be wearing. (Unless they get a subscription too.)
Not too long ago, we put together a thorough comparison of 3 top kids’ clothing subscriptions which is worth checking out.
A subscription gift for teens supporting Black-owned business
Friend of CMP Stacie Ferguson, better known as Justice Fergie, has created the amazing Revelry Box subscription gift (item no longer available), which delivers “the best Black-owned product discovery experience, periodt.” And it’s true! Designed for women, but perfect for teens too, you’ll receive luxurious lifestyle boxes themed around family, life, home, success and style, so you can imagine how varied the items are. It’s a cool chance to discover some new makers and small businesses that you can continue to support, too.
A subscription gift idea for a kid who can’t have a pet
It’s not just our VSCO girls who love their succulents right now. Kids and teens are going crazy for them — and so are we, frankly! — maybe because they’re just so easy to take care of. We love them because they’re so pretty…and hard to kill. And teach responsibility. And don’t require walking at 6AM out in the snow.
At just $10 a box, this succulent-a-month-club is an affordable gift that a lot of kids will adore — and there’s an entire category of succulent subscription gifts on Cratejoy, too, should you need more options. And this year, as part of our 50+ seriously cool gifts for men and women, all under $15, this Monthly succulent subscription box for just $4.95/mo (without the pot) has been a huge hit!
Related: Our 10 Best Gifts for Teens in 2020
A subscription gift idea for the teen who loves some pampering
Don’t worry about accidentally gifting your teen wrinkle cream and anti-aging lotions; with a Birchbox subscription, they get to choose their own products each month. From eyebrow gels to fragrances, makeup tools and of course, makeup, your glamour-forward teen will love this indulgent subscription box gift. She doesn’t have to know it starts at just $13 a month.
Related: The coolest gifts of the year for an older tween or tween
A subscription gift idea for kids who love superheroes
If your kid eats, sleeps, and breathes Marvel, then they’ll love the Funko Marvel CollectorCorps box, which sends out collectible figures, mugs, and other swag from the greatest superheroes in the Marvel universe every couple of months. The boxes center around new release movies, too, meaning your kid is always getting current, cool toys.
A subscription gift idea for family game night fans
My kids beg to play board games all the time, but you can only play Life so many times, right? So I love the idea behind the different board game subscription box options at Cratejoy. Their board game options range from vintage games to premium strategy games, and they even have dice subscriptions for role play fans — or opt for one of their video game / gamer subscription boxes instead. But I have my eyes on the Unbox Boardom premium game subscription (ha, get it?), which gets fantastic reviews.
A practical subscription gift idea for kids
Not everyone wants something fun and frivolous for the holidays — even one of our own CMP team kids asked for an electric toothbrush for Christmas this year! In our post on 4 smart, stylish and decidedly practical subscription box gift ideas we included the awesome toothbrushes from Quip, which make one just for kids in some great colors. And the watermelon toothpaste gets big thumbs-up from us.
A subscription gift idea for the adventurous eater. Or, any eater.
My family has had a lot of fun trying Universal Yums snack boxes, which is themed around a different country’s unique snacks each month and so much cooler than your standard “cookie of the month” club. There have been several items we’ve all tried to grab for at once. (Hi, chocolate truffles from Europe) Other treats have been more of a surprise delight for my kids…See, baklava is delicious! And then, there were those raspberry potato chips that were more of a “we dare you” type item. No matter what, it’s been a lot of fun to see what’s in there, and to try a different unusual treat before bed each night.
Want to drive a parent crazy, all you cool aunts, uncles, and grandparents reading? Check out Candy Club, which sends kids either a fun-box, featuring six 6-oz candy cups, or the party box, which is great for bigger families. Every single candy in there looks a-mazing.
Also be sure to check out our post on Cool Mom Eats about 19 wonderful food subscription gifts, which includes some ideas that kids will love too, if they’re chocolate-loving kids, or teens who adore tea.
A subscription gift idea for the budding detective
Take a game subscription one step farther with this! My kids spent a month trying to work through the clues to their personalized Mail Order Mystery subscription. They receive custom letters and clues in the mail each week, and some are more complex than others. Our verdict: So much fun. Our final box arrived full of goodies for the kids, which they naturally freaked out about. If your kids love adventure and intrigue, this is a great kit for them — and lasts longer than an Escape Room visit.
Subscription gift ideas for kids with a travel bug
Younger kids will learn about different countries and cultures all over the world through Little Passports’ travel-themed subscription boxes. The first shipment arrives in their signature kid-sized suitcase, which you can use to store each subsequent mailing. Educational info about each destination and arts and crafts supplies are included each month, and they’re well–produced and engaging.
Note: Little Passports has subscription box gifts for kids of different ages, including an awesome Science Expedition themed subscription box for kids who love the idea of conducting experiments as a way understand the world.
5 subscription gifts for kids who love to cook
My kids love to cook, and we have recently shared our 4 favorite kids cooking subscriptions on Cool Mom Eats From all-in-one kits that send you everything you need except the egg, to kits based on science or cooking tools there’s a lot to love there, including KidStir, above. A fifth option: The fun Gramma in a Box, aims to recreate the experience of baking cookies with grandma from far away. (Or, uh, Grandpa in some families!)