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The best charity clubs for kids

Adopt a polar bear WWF © Steven Kazlowski / WWF
A charity membership is a great gift idea for your primary school child that will keep entertaining them – and helping others – all year round. From "adopting" a polar bear with the WWF to finding out how children around the world live with Plan International, we've rounded up our pick of the best.

Main image: Adopt a polar bear WWF © Steven Kazlowski / WWF

RNLI Storm Force

The RNLI's junior club, Storm Force, is open to children aged 11 and under.

Junior crew members receive a membership pack that includes a backpack, pencil tin, activity book and more, four issues of Storm Force magazine a year, packed with stories, games, puzzles and cartoons all about lifeboats and lifeguards, access to the club's online Crew Room, exclusive station days where your child can meet real volunteers and a collectible badge for every year of membership. It costs £12 per year.

Adopt an Animal with the WWF

Animal mad kids can adopt their very own animal through the WWF from £5 per month (although you can choose to pay more, or pay annually). There's a choice of animals to adopt, including snow leopard, Bengal tiger, giant panda, and bottlenose dolphin. Your child will receive their own cuddly version of their adopted animal, a magazine three times a year, and an adoption package that includes a certificate, factbook, bookmark, stickers and more.

Alternatively, a subscription to WWF's Amazing Planet (from £10 a month) offers kids aged 7-11 a monthly magazine through the letterbox, full of facts, educational features and fun stuff. They can then bring it all to life in augmented reality by using the Amazing Planet app.

Adopt a Donkey with the Donkey Sanctuary

Adopt a Donkey with the Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary provides homes for donkeys who have been neglected or abandoned, and your child can help to keep them fed and sheltered by adopting their own donkey. From £3 a month you can adopt a donkey for a year, and your child will receive a framed photo of their donkey, a certificate of adoption, four postcards and a membership card. They'll also be able to access online benefits including an exclusive app and donkey webcams. They may even be able to visit their donkey in the flesh.

RSPB Youth Membership

A great value option if you'd like to sign all of your children up for a charity membership, the RSPB's Youth Membership costs £25 per year for one child, or £36 for two to five children. Each child will get a Wild Welcome Pack, full of indoor fun ideas, plus a magazine tailored to their age group four to six times a year. There's also unlimited entry to over 100 nature reserves.

Woodland Trust Family Membership

Outdoorsy kids will love a Family Membership to the Woodland Trust. The package includes Nature Detectives membership for each child, including activities, stickers and their own membership cards, along with seasonal activity packs four times a year. Woodland Trust membership costs from £5 a month for a Family.

RSPCA Animal Action magazine

Children under 12 who love reading about pets and other animals can subscribe to the RSPCA's Animal Action magazine – for just £7.50 a year they will receive four issues straight to their door. Animal Action is packed with animal news, facts, RSPCA rescues, posters, puzzles and competitions. The RSPCA kids' blog, Animal Action Park, also offers information, activities, videos and fantastic pictures of animals.

The Shark Trust Pup's Club

Cute and cuddly they may not be, but many types of shark are at risk which makes a Shark Trust membership the perfect gift for kids who like their animals fierce. Membership of the Pup's Club, for under 12s, costs £25 per year, and your child will receive a welcome pack full of information about shark projects, a bookmark and a window sticker. They'll also get two issues of Shark Focus magazine during the year.

Sponsor a child with Plan International UK

Plan is a global children’s charity, working with thousands of communities in 51 of the world’s poorest countries to help realise children’s rights. Plan pioneered child sponsorship 80 years ago, and over one million children worldwide are sponsored through Plan. 

When you sponsor a child with Plan UK you have a unique one-to-one connection with a child and their family in one of the developing countries where Plan works, communicating with them through letters and photographs (some families even arrange to visit their sponsored child with Plan's support). In order to help your own child develop a connection with the child you sponsor you can ask Plan to sponsor a child of a specific age or in a specific location. Sponsorship costs from £19.50 a month.

Explore the world in virtual reality with Greenpeace

If your child dreams of travelling the world, offer them the opportunity to visit some of our planet’s most remote, pristine and stunning places without any of the environmental costs.

Donate £10 to Greenpeace to receive a Virtual Explorer pack including a bespoke, ethically sourced VR headset, an interactive map to guide users through their adventures, a bookmark and stickers. It’s the perfect ethical, sustainable gift for the next generation.

Hear the Roar Club from Born Free

Help your child learn about wildlife, the natural world and conservation with a Born Free kids' club membership (for ages 7-11).

Hear the Roar Club members receive a welcome pack which includes a Hear the Roar membership embroidered patch, a certificate and a Superstars chart, as well as monthly e-newsletters. The Hear the Roar magazine, packed with fun activities, educational facts, inspirational conservation ideas, games and more, is sent to members twice a year.

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