Website review by Andrea Meyers, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2019

Time for Kids

News magazine for kids can drive current events conversation

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 4 reviews
Privacy rating
63%| Pass Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Social Studies, Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Interesting articles from a wide variety of topics. Some stories are written in Spanish, and some have multiple Lexile levels with audio.

Cons: Differentiation is in the early stages and not consistent across content.

Bottom Line: While some articles lack differentiation, and lessons don't always stretch higher-order thinking skills, this site is one of the best options for bringing current events into elementary classrooms.

Teachers can use the free stories or purchase a class subscription and have access to all the lesson guides and extra materials. Each edition has a theme that teachers can integrate with classroom learning activities, and they can use the current edition or incorporate stories from the archives. Use the lesson plans and teacher guides as provided or to jump-start your own lesson plans. Some stories have online and print quizzes for formative assessments, or you can customize them for your students. Some of the articles have Spanish versions as well as audio and multiple Lexile levels that can be used to support learners with different needs. Design lessons that have students reading individually or in groups and having collaborative discussions about the material. Motivated students can apply to the Kid Reporter program.

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Time for Kids is a digital and print magazine for elementary students. The news stories provide good examples of journalism written (with actual authors/staff journalists, which is not the case with some competitors) at appropriate grade levels. Select articles are written by kids. In the digital version, articles are grouped based on grade levels: K–1, 2, 3–4, and 5–6. Teachers and students can also sort news stories by topic and search for specific titles. Students can flip through the digital magazine, and teachers can project and present it. The news stories cover topics across educational content areas and also areas of personal interest such as sports and entertainment. Teachers will find many articles relevant to their lesson plans, and students will find articles that they enjoy reading on their own. Each edition comes with lesson guides, plans, and printables that help teachers get started right away. 

The site could be improved by making it easier for teachers and students to find articles written by the kid reporters in the manner of Scholastic Kids Press. Also, the suggested learning activities could take steps to move toward the higher-order thinking skills and encourage students to write and record their own news stories. 

Information text reading is a key skill in standards, but it's just as important to teach kids news literacy skills and foster an interest in legitimate news and reporting. Time for Kids offers a valuable, dynamic platform for both, but with some weaknesses. The reading content is sound, and the teacher lesson guides and plans help students get started with reading informational texts. Unfortunately, many of the lessons and activities presume individual work and emphasize lower-order thinking skills. Of course, teachers can expand on the content by introducing collaborative conversations in which students analyze and evaluate the articles and then create their own writing products.

There's also some differentiation, with articles written in Spanish, audio versions, and multiple Lexile levels. This applies only to a few articles in each edition, however. Teachers with English-language learners and students above and below grade-level reading abilities will need to take this into consideration when selecting news stories for their lessons. Beyond these limitations, the site's design is attentive to accessibility with good contrast, easy resizing, and captions for each image. 

Overall Rating


Students will like the topics the magazine covers. The design is full of quality color images as well as engaging videos that accompany some of the articles.


The articles support nonfiction reading instruction with timely topics. The lesson plans guide teachers through the themes and offer tips to support student reading and responses.


Teachers can print articles and find extras through the dashboard, including guides, lesson plans, and other materials. Articles are accessible with excellent contrast, and some have adjustable levels, and audio.

Common Sense reviewer
Andrea Meyers Instructional Facilitator of Technology

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Lynn S. , Other
The Montclair Kimberley Academy
Montclair, United States
Kid-friendly current events and skill building.

The Time for Kids website ( is a free and invaluable resource for encouraging students to read, think and talk about current events, both national and international.

The site is very well organized, including sections on current stories, mini-sites on topics of special interest (Election 2012 or the London Olympics, for example), pictures and video, and student polls.

The Homework Helper section includes tips on writing different types of papers, a grammar guide and ...

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Data Safety
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Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
Personal information can be displayed publicly.
User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
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Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access or review user data are available.
Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
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Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
Personalised advertising is not displayed.

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