At our house we are searching catalogs, shopping online, going to the Mall, etc. In other words, we are gift-hunting. If you are also gift-hunting, let me suggest that for kids you consider gift subscriptions to magazines. There are some terrific magazines available for Christian kids.

Focus on the Family currently puts out two magazines for kids. Clubhouse Jr. is targeted for children 4 to 8 years of age and Clubhouse is written for 8- to 12-year-olds. The Upper Room produces Pockets for kids 6 to 12. I am less familiar with Sparkle (for girls ages 6 to 9) and Shine brightly (for girls 9 to 14), but I like what I have seen. Cadet Quest is for boys, ages 9-14. Sisterhood Magazine (formerly called Susie), a magazine for teen girls, has been on the scene for a few years now and is truly awesome. Susie Shellenberger, who is the magazine’s founder and editor, was the former editor of Focus on the Family’s  Brio and Brio and Beyond. Shellenberger began Susie after Focus on the Family stopped production of  their teen magazines. (November 29, 2014: I am sorry to announce that I received an email that this magazine is stopping publication with its November/December issue.) Nature Friend is a special interest magazine for kids, ages 8-16.

All of these magazines are written with kids in mind. The magazines present topics that interest kids. When the stories or articles wrestle with a life difficulty, the subject is handled in a way that kids can relate to and is appropriate for a child. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the stuff in the mags is fun?

The websites below will give you more info on the mags.

Clubhouse Jr.http://www.clubhousejr.com/

Clubhousehttp://www.clubhousemagazine.com/

Pockets http://pockets.upperroom.org/

Sparklehttp://www.gemsgc.org/main/magazines.html

Shine Brightlyhttp://www.gemsgc.org/main/magazines.html

Cadet Questhttp://www.calvinistcadets.org/questpromo2.php

Sisterhood Magazinehttp://www.sisterhoodmagazine.com/

Nature Friendhttp://www.naturefriendmagazine. com

Shopping savvy: If you are going to give a gift subscription to your child, you might also consider getting a gift subscription to the same magazine for one of your child’s grandparents or a beloved aunt. This could give that adult and your child some good conversation starters. And if you are the beloved grandparent or aunt and give a subscription to your special child, why not get a subscription for yourself? The magazines are fun and interesting even if you grew up a while ago. — Nancy

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) Two of her published works for children are Marty’s Monster and Jessica Jacobs Did What?  Her latest work is I Get a Clue, a mystery novel for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.

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