Today’s magazines for girls are filled with pictures of super skinny models who have perfect complexions, perfect hair, and perfect bodies. The message that those pictures send perfectly messes up a girl’s view of her own body image.
Because teens struggle with low self-esteem, they are at risk for becoming teen mothers, for developing anorexia or bulimia, for starting to smoke, and for abusing alcohol.
Why can’t magazines focus on what type of a woman that a girl is BECOMING and help her develop into that woman instead of just focusing on her physical appearance?
And that brings me to Sparkle and SHINE brightly. They are Christian-based magazines for girls in the first through eighth grade. They teach Christian values and help bring girls into a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ.
Let me share some of the things you will find in these magazines.
Sparkle is for girls in the first through third grades. It has interesting articles, fun activities, and clever crafts that appeal to young girls.
Some of the articles talk about:
- Refugees: what it’s like to move to a new home, to be a refugee, how to help them, and how Queen Esther in the Bible was a refugee that saved her people.
- Listening: what it’s like to be deaf and how listening is important for those who can hear. A sound scavenger hunt was included with the article. (Fun activity!!)
- Following God: what it was like for the Israelites to be lead in the wilderness with a cloud by day and a column of fire at night. Since we aren’t led by those today, God sent His Son to guide us throughout our lives.
These stories taught a moral or principal such as the importance of being a good listener, of being honest, and the qualities of a good leader.
I especially liked the article about how a small rudder steers a ship in the right direction. It likened the tongue to a rudder that can guide you into doing good (when you speak kindly to others) or into trouble (if you say mean things).
Each issue included activities such as snowflake art, finding things in a picture, a coloring activity, making designer shoelaces (I want to make some!), making a pool noodle boat, and a logic puzzle. (I absolutely love, love, love logic puzzles!)
They even occasionally have some fun jokes. Here’s one.
Question: What did the volcano eat for dinner?
Answer: Ashed potatoes!
As someone who grew up on a farm raising potatoes, I thought that was a clever joke!
Shine brightly is for girls ages 9 through 14. It, too, has articles, stories, crafts, and activities.
One article gave a little bit of history about phones. Then, it explained what an idol is (something that you put above everything else) and how for some people technology is an idol. The article gave warning signs if something is becoming an idol in their lives. The article also gave tips on how to appropriately use technology — specifically texting on a cellphone.
Other articles included:
- identifying qualities of a good leader.
- Understanding the true meaning of love (based on 1 Corinthians 13).
- Managing your time so that you can have time with God.
- Learning about ‘super’ women who have made a big impact in the world — like Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in the United States.
- Making your hometown an encouraging community where you help each other.
There were clever crafts, too: making an earbud case out of a round mint case, making a magnetic welcome board, and creating a scarf out of 2 t-shirts. All of the crafts are VERY appealing to tween and teen girls.
And of course the article on how to tie scarves would be a sure winner with teens.
My all-time favorite was the What’s It Worth activity based on the TV show The Price is Right. Readers have to decide if the item is higher or lower than the price given. Then, it talked about how we are of infinite worth to God. Our worth to Him has nothing to do with the possessions we own or what we have accomplished.
These magazines teach Christian principals and values yet are not preachy. They have a modern layout and design with bright colors and great graphics. Their articles and stories are well-written. The activities are fun and appealing. I think that girls would eagerly wait for these magazines to arrive in the mail and then instantly sit down and read them.
The articles and stories are good conversation starters. Parents can easily start discussions on various topics by first talking about what was covered in the magazine and then help their daughter apply the principles in her life and in her family.
These magazines are ‘non-denominational’ in that they do not promote any specific church. They focus on Christian values acceptable to all Christian faiths and use stories from the Old and the New Testament to support those values.
i highly recommend these magazines and feel that you will not be disappointed if you subscribed to them. They are an excellent way for parents to counterbalance what is found in other teen magazines on the market.
You can learn more about and subscribe to SHINE brightly here.
You can learn more about and subscribe to Sparkle here.