I love sharing zines with all kinds of audiences, and have been leading zine-making and zine history workshops with campers at Girls Rock NC summer camp for about a decade. One big challenge is finding zines that are appropriate for ages as young as 7-8 through high school. Kids are always eager to point out any “bad” words they find, and can be a tough crowd! I eventually started making my own mini-zines about women musicians since I had a hard time finding things I could share. I am always on the lookout for all-audience zines, and over the past few years other folks have asked about these as well.
What does “kid friendly” mean? Think about G-rated movies, and if in doubt, err on the side of caution. No bad language–and be liberal (or is that conservative?) with what might be “bad.” No naked pictures or sexual content beyond hugs and (chaste) kisses. Keep it to topics kids can understand or relate to– some of the science zines are fine content-wise, but are they about insects or particle physics? (Not that 2nd graders aren’t into physics, but you know what I mean.)
- Small Science Collective
- Guitar Basics by Sarah Utter (Buy Olympia has other kid-friendly zines, so shop around!)
- Zines by Marian Elizabeth about Pen Pals and other topics
- Girl Groups of the 60s by Bijou Karman
- Mocha Chocolata Momma zine by Marya Errin Jones
- Sweet Candy Zine Distro section on Kids, Teens, and Parenting. (Not all of these titles are kid-propriate, but it should be clear which ones are and the rest are fun for you! Includes zines written by ACTUAL kids.)
- Birds Birds Birds by Tennessee- sweet collaborative zine created by a kid & dad, via Pioneers Press.
- Zines about paper craft by Kelsey Pike, via Pioneers Press
- Sometimes, You Gotta Be Your Own Cheerleader– zine about body positivity by Carrie, shared with permission, or purchase from Pioneers Press.
- Women Musician mini-zines by Kelly Wooten for Girls Rock NC (Feel free to print and share these, as long as you don’t charge money for them.)
Tips for finding or making your own kid-friendly zines:
- If you want to make multiple copies of any zines you purchase, ask the creator. I have found that many people are open to this since they often want to share the love of zines. Or ask if you can pay extra when you purchase and then make copies. Keep it ethical!
- Try searching Etsy.com for “your mellow and innocent topic” plus “zine” and see what comes up. Sometimes “girl” + “zine” = zines that are perfect for Girls Rock camp, and sometimes it doesn’t. DIY zine is another good search to try. I always end up spending a few bucks on things for myself, so be warned!
- Sometimes I go ahead and buy zines when I’m not sure if they are G-rated. I can afford to just keep the DIY zines with gratuitous swears or inappropriate crafts, but if you’re in doubt and don’t want to risk it, just message the seller.
Please add any other suggestions to the comments!