Looking for an amazing last-minute gift idea for kids ages 0-12? How about an Epic gift idea that encourages kids to read and explore all year round? When I say “Epic!” I mean it literally!
Epic! is an extraordinary digital library for kids with value that far surpasses its low price tag. Read on to find out why this is my #1 pick for the best last-minute gift idea for kids!
What makes Epic! and epic gift for kids?
As many of you know, I’m very passionate about promoting literacy and absolutely adore anything that makes it easier to get kids reading. I received a complimentary Epic! subscription in exchange for including it in my gift guide, which I did.
However, as I was exploring the site, I realized that the features were just too vast to contain to a single blurb. I decided to write a full review to really give you a deeper look into what makes Epic! so…well…epic!
Epic! is an incredible library filled with over 25,000 books for kids of all ages from tots to tweens (and even some that teens will enjoy). It’s also so much more!
Along with the massive collection of popular books, it includes a bunch of other features that kids will love. Let’s check them out!
Read to Me
The Read to Me section is fantastic for younger kids who are just learning how to read. Kids select a book and listen to it being read while they follow along on the page. The feature is available for all ages, so older kids can use it as a sort of audio book, listening to stories as they relax before bedtime.
While the Read to Me books can most certainly be used as audiobooks, Epic! actually has an entire section filled with them for all ages. Again, the selection is outstanding. In the section for age 5, I found many great all-time favorites, including Where the Wild Things Are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and more.
Epic! offers a plethora of engaging & educational age-appropriate videos that kids can watch in a safe environment. Since you set the age in your child’s profile, you don’t have to worry about your toddler seeing something creepy, or your tween wading through a bunch of kiddie videos to get to something they’ll enjoy.
The videos for older kids are actually really cool and include things like how a Light Saber works, math test tips, and fun DIY ideas. The photo above is a sample of videos I found on Jake’s 12+ profile.
Collections are curated lists of books based on a specific theme. Some of the lists come from the team at Epic! while others are curated by teachers. I like them because they are an easy way to explore a super specific subject, or to find books that I wouldn’t have thought to look for otherwise.
The Quizzes section may not be quite as robust as the other sections, but it’s still an awesome feature with dozens of fun quiz games. Again, the offerings change depending on the age of your child, but I just took a quiz for ages 5-7 and learned that people in Ancient Egypt shaved their eyebrows when their cats passed away!
Epic! features fun little challenges to really encourage kids to read more books. For example, as I’m writing this they have a “Holiday Spectacular” challenge that offers kids a festive holiday badge (more on those in a minute) in exchange for reading 5 books from the holiday collection. I see some books that I read to Jacob when he was little, like A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree! Oh, the nostalgia. I so miss reading to him every night.
That aforementioned badge is a special achievement badge. Kids can earn them for doing all sorts of things, including opening their first book (so they get one pretty much right away), reading for a certain amount of time, and more. They can find all of their badges in their Profile, or you can look at them for all your kids in the parent dashboard.
I love love love reading logs. I started keeping one for myself back in 2002, tracking every book that I’ve read (or re-read, in some cases). The great thing about the Epic! reading log is that it keeps track for your kids, noting not just the books they finished, but their progress in other books as well. I like this because, as we all know, sometimes you just can’t finish a book. If my son reads 100 pages in a book and then decides it’s just not for him, he still deserves credit for reading those 100 pages!
Multiple profiles on one account
Parents can sign up for Epic! and add up to four children on one account. This is HUGE because many other kids’ library services charge you per child. For a family with more than one kid, it can add up fast.The monthly fee is the only fee. You won’t find any ads or hidden in-app purchases with Epic!
Incredibly reasonable subscription cost
All of these features are awesome, but they don’t mean a thing if you can’t afford the service. Epic! gives you an entire free month to try it out. If you don’t love it, cancel it. If you do love it, it’s just $7.99 a month for up to four profiles.
However, if you buy a gift subscription and pay for 6, 12, or 24 months all at once, you save quite a bit! If you decide you love it, I recommend buying the gift subscription, even if it’s just for yourself. Here’s how it breaks down:
- A 6-month subscription is $34 up front, which works out to about $5.66 a month.
- 12-month subscription is $67 up front, which is about $5.58 a month
- 24-months is $134 up front, which is also about $5.58 a month
So basically, you’re saving a little over $2.30 a month ($13.94 total) by getting at least a 6-month subscription.
FYI, if you’re a teacher or librarian, you can actually get a FREE account. Just follow the instructions here to sign up. Unfortunately, free accounts are only available for teachers in schools and not for homeschoolers. I think that is the ONLY negative thing about Epic!, since many parents are moving to homeschooling and I feel like they should be recognized as educators.
Take it anywhere you go!
Epic! goes where you go! Kids can read right on your desktop computer in your browser or through a Windows 10 app or in the app for Android and Apple devices.
Bottom line: Epic! is Epic!
Let me bottom line this for you: Epic! definitely stands by its name. It’s truly an epic gift for kids that keeps on giving all year long, and it costs less than most of the popular toys today. Plus, it’s always in stock, which is more than I can say for half of the things on my friend’s daughter’s wish list. Seriously, I get a call every day with her frantically saying, “can you find XYZ? It’s sold out everywhere!!” With Epic! you never have to worry about that!