Updated: May 2, 2021
Child-Friendly Font Contenders
I did some research to find out which are the best fonts for kids and then, along with the child-friendly fonts that I'm already familiar with, put together a list of 10 contenders that I'll be comparing in this post to help you decide which is best for you.
Here's my list of 10 child-friendly fonts for kids:
1. Comic Sans MS
2. Sassoon Primary
3. Gill Sans Infant Std
6. KG Neatly Printed
8. Architect's Daughter
9. National First Font
What makes a good font for kids?
Here are the aspects of the 10 fonts that I am looking at and that I will compare to help me decide which fonts from the list are best for kids to read and type with.
The Font Design
I'll be looking at how clear and easy to read the style is, proportions that don’t make the letters too tall or wide and whether any of the letters in the font differ from the letter formation that we teach children to recognise and form themselves.
Availability of the Font
I'll be finding out whether these fonts are usually pre-installed or have to be added or installed separately and also how easily available the font is to add or install if necessary. All of the fonts I am looking at are free.
Clear & Easy to Read Fonts
Kids fonts need to be clear and easy to read but also not overly stylised to the extent that there is less resemblance when compared with letters that kids are taught to read and write at school. To begin with, let's get a look at the 10 fonts listed.
None of these fonts are particularly hard to read but I'd say the most stylised are Andika, Futura and Architect's Daughter. That's not to say that these fonts are no good for kids though - just that there may be simpler options.
I'd say that all 10 of these fonts are perfectly easy to read and clear, even for younger readers.
Best Font for Children's Handwriting
The letter formation that kids learn at school isn't what is necessarily used in most fonts and certain letters, such as a, y, f, g and t, can often look quite different on a computer compared to how we write them and even the correct formation of a letter can be done in many different ways depending on the design.
For fonts to be as easy as possible for kids to read and possibly type with, they should resemble - as closely as possible - the letters as they have been taught.
I noticed that the only font where the letter f descends below the baseline was Sassoon Primary - although children can be taught both ways of writing f and so this doesn't disqualify the other fonts or mean that Sassoon Primary is the best.
So, to decide which of the ten fonts is the best in terms of having letters that look similar to letters they are taught at school, I created this table of each font and letters that can often look different:
What stands out to me is the different ways y is written across the 10 fonts. There seem to be three ways with the first being the best for kids because it's closest to how they are taught to form y on paper.
y with a fully curved tail - Sassoon Primary, Gill Sans Infant Std & National First Font
y with a slightly curved tail - Muli, Mulish & Andika
y with a straight tail - Architect's Daughter, KG Neatly, Comic Sans MS & KG Neatly Printed
Font with a Single-Storey Lowercase a
Infant characters are letters in typefaces that are designed to be read more easily by children and include one-storey, or single-storey 'a's and 'g's.
The fonts in my list all have single-storey 'a's and 'g's that will be easier for children to recognise, but if you're ever looking for a good font to use for kids make sure to look out for single-storey 'a's and 'g's.
Best Font Design for Kids
In terms of child-friendly font design, the only negative thing I noticed from the table above was the straight tail on the y in four of the fonts - including, surprisingly, Comic Sans MS! The straight tail on the y makes the fonts less child-friendly because kids are taught to write a y with a curved tail.
So the four fonts that have a straight-tailed y (Architect's Daughter, KG Neatly, Comic Sans MS and KG Neatly Printed) are still good fonts but not the best fonts for kids to use.
So this leaves three out of the ten fonts that are the best child-friendly fonts because all of the letters - including the 'y's - can be easily read by children.
Gill Sans Infant Std
National First Font
Child-friendly fonts that are pre-installed
Sometimes it's easiest just to use what you have available - especially if you're only looking for a child-friendly font to use one time or if for some reason you can't or don't want to add or install more fonts to your device for your kids to use.
I checked out which of my 10 child-friendly fonts come pre-installed on devices generally and the clear winner was Comic Sans MS. Here is the table showing which child-friendly fonts are available automatically and on which types of devices:
As you can see, only two fonts from the list ever come pre-installed so if you aren't willing to add on or install extra fonts then your options are either Comic Sans MS or if you're on a Mac you can use Comic Sans MS or Futura.
Download & Install Child-Friendly Fonts for Kids
Unfortunately, none of the three fonts that I found to be best designed for kids to read tend to be pre-installed on devices in general, according to what I have read. So next I looked into how easy it is to get the best kids fonts on your device for your children to use.
I was able to install all of the fonts that I didn't already have extremely easily onto my Mac. Here is a list of where you can download each font. To install the font onto Mac or Windows just download the file, open the .ttf file and then you will be prompted to Install the font.
Add Child-Friendly Fonts to Google Docs
Andika and Architect's Daughter are available to add to G Suite for use in Google Docs, Slides etc.
To add one of the child-friendly fonts for kids to Google Docs:
1. Click on the font drop-down (it says Arial by default)
2. Click on More fonts
3. Type in the font that you want to use
4. Click on the font name to add it
When the font name turns blue and a tick appears and the font name appears in the list to the right, you have added the font and will be able to select it from the font drop-down to use it in your doc.
Extensis Fonts is an Add-On for G Suite apps like Google Docs which lets you use hundreds of extra fonts in your documents.
You can read the instructions I wrote and watch a video that I made on how to install and use Extensis Fonts for Google Docs for my post about getting fun fonts and rainbow text in Google Docs.
The best child-friendly options in Extensis Fonts are Mulish, Andika and Architect’s, Daughter. There's also Comic Neue, which is a nice alternative to Comic Sans MS, that you could use in Google Docs or other G Suite Documents through Extensis Fonts too.
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