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Get them reading more with First News Children’s Newspaper Subscription Offer


Did you know they discovered space dust on the rooftops in Paris and Berlin, that dates back to the birth of the solar system? I read it in First News this week. We’ve been testing out this newspaper for 7-14 year olds, and have a fab subscription offer to share so you can hook your reluctant readers or challenge more confident readers, without having to remember to go to the newsagent every week and the best bit is pages of enticing reading material the whole family will enjoy, for a bargain price – it’s a no brainer in our house. You can even try 5 issues for £1!

It was always my dream to be a writer or journalist. I fell in love with Press Gang and I was so excited when my Mum found me a children’s newspaper, I absolutely loved having my own newspaper turn up through the letterbox each week. And here I am making a living from writing.

Sounds perfect huh? Well memory is a funny thing…

It appears I’ve erased how hard my parents worked to foster that love of reading in me, my Dad reminded me of that this weekend. I am struggling to motivate my two to love reading, but I’ve completely forgotten a lot of the initial reluctance I showed, and all the things my parents did to make me fall in love with reading. Like buying me newspapers…talking to me about the contents…

You just have to keep on trying things…my new year resolution…

In some ways it is harder these days, kids have more distractions competing for their attention, screens, interactive technology, video. We’re evolving as humans, and many kids these days are reluctant readers, I have this conversation with teachers frequently. But in our world where social media filters and skews our news, more than ever I believe we also need to support traditional, high quality news reporting.

In addition, one of my children is dyslexic, so I am always on the hunt for new tools to help overcome text barriers.

So I was thrilled when First News asked us to work with them this year. First News is a weekly newspaper for 7-14 year olds which is mostly bought by subscription. Time and again, teachers give examples of children who previously wouldn’t even pick up a book, but are now reading for the first time because of First NewsFirst News has proved very successful in getting even reluctant readers engaged, especially boys, due to the mix of sports and science pages.

First News keeps children up to date with news events in the UK and around the world. The news is explained in a responsible manner so children are not scared by the news but engaged. It’s also full of fun and happy stories and entertainment.

I feel like it’s already making a huge difference in our house this year and as an anxious to get them reading parent, that feels amazing.

Here are some articles my kids picked out that they enjoyed:

Healthier Eating

This page immediately convinced one of my kids we should be having healthier breakfast. Of course I do tell them, until I turn into a piece of soggy sugar drenched puffed wheat, that the cereals they crave are utter junk, but they seem to actually believe it when they read it here. Thank you First News!



My 10 yo chose the entertainment as her favourite pages. I liked that they could read about TV shows, there are so many great hooks to reading in First News.



First news also has Sudoko, puzzles and quizzes, lots to keep kids busy while travelling or at a loose end!



Both my 7yo and 10yo loved the animal stories, a fab mix of news, fascinating facts and features. Snippets of dog facts hooked my 8yo in, he bought a piece of ivory recently in an antique shop, so being able to read about the ivory trade was fascinating. The chimp school feature was full of gorgeously cute animal pics which kept my 10yo engaged and we loved the environmental slant to this too.

Discussion points

We also loved that pictures inspired us to debate news stories, pictures are a brilliant way to encourage family discussion.

Child friendly presentation

The presentation is super reader and dyslexia friendly – lots of colour and varied size pieces of text, with plenty of bite sized stories, yet enough variety and challenge so that children of very different reading abilities will enjoy accessing it.

Culturally on the pulse

My 10yo loved that their were health and happiness tips from TV teen actors here too – First News has it’s finger on the contemporary cultural pulse too. Just like when my mum used to use pop star Tiffany as an example of someone who followed her dreams AND did her homework…worked for me!

I absolutely love our First News subscription, it is such an easy way to get great reading material into the house on a weekly basis, for very little cost.

To finish my story, in my teens I became an indie kid and moved onto devouring NME from cover to cover. The children’s newspaper served me well though and I soon moved onto my parents’ daily delivery of  The Guardian, discussing news stories together and reading features in G2 always inspired me. I went on to teach Media Studies and then to write.
I can’t thank my parents enough for investing in newspapers, I really think it shaped who I am today in so many ways. It wasn’t just about me becoming a writer – a goal I did go on to achieve – reading newspapers encouraged me to see other viewpoints, gave me confidence in my own opinions and filled me with a desire to learn more about the world.

Brilliant Subscription Offer!

Now for the best bit  –  Parentshaped and First News have teamed up with a brilliant subscription offer to share today, your first 5 issues for only a £1, and the rest for only £1.23 a copy (RRP £1.80 in the shops) I would really encourage you to consider it – that’s a whole lot of inspiration and reading encouragement for just over a £1 a week!

Click on this special promotional subscription offer link to access:
  • Your first 5 issues for £1 (via direct debit).
  • After the 5 issues it continues as a price of £15.99 every 3 months.

You will receive a print edition of the newspaper delivered to your home once a week.

Most people choose to continue with the subscription, but there is no obligation, you can call or email to cancel the subscription at any point and no further money will be taken.

Do let me know how you get on with your subscription and please do share any tips to encourage reluctant readers or help children overcome difficulties with text.

I’m still marvelling about that space dust you know, amazing huh!


We received a yearly First News subscription in return for sharing our impression and this offer here. All opinions remain my own.

Image credit – Shutterstock: Views of the roofs of Paris




  1. 17/01/2017 / 12:01 pm

    We’re really enjoying our First News subscription. I like that it’s so easy to dip in and out of. Heidi loved learning about cheetahs and Harry was really interested to learn about google’s latest tech developments.

  2. 19/01/2017 / 2:47 pm

    This looks really good Penny – and nice to be able to show kids a newspaper without worrying that the content might be unsuitable or upsetting.

I'd love to know your thoughts!