Fun Fall Crafts for Tweens

Fall is a great time to get crafty, especially with all the beautiful colors and textures of harvest season. Here’s a short round up of some fun fall crafts for tweens.


Melted Crayon Pumpkin Craft

This project will satisfy both the color-crazy girl and the mad scientist type. Plus your front porch will be sooo totally adorbs with these rainbow pumpkins on display!


Maple Leaf Mason Jars

Who doesn’t love a little Mod Podge, right? This beautiful craft transforms ordinary leaves and glass jars into festive harvest lamps for indoors or out.


Pumpkin Fridge or Locker Magnets

These sweet little magnets are easy to make and super cute to display on your fridge or in a locker. Make a whole bunch to share with friends!


Button Tree Wall Art

Celebrate fall’s vibrant colors with this beautiful DIY button tree canvas. It makes a lovely original wall hanging for your own home or to give as a special gift.


Fall Glitter Slime

And last but not least, everybody’s favorite DIY product—slime! Here’s a great recipe for fall slime using saline solution instead of Borax!


No matter which project you choose, make sure you encourage your tween’s DIY adventures and even get hands-on involved for some quality bonding time. Remember God is the ultimate Creator. We reflect His image; therefore, we were created to create, too!

Teaching Kids to Be Servants at Heart

Today is International Day of Charity, a day to focus on serving others less fortunate. As Christians, serving others is a key aspect of our faith. We don’t serve others to earn God’s favor; we serve others because God’s favor already rests on us—and we’re eager to share His generous love with the world.


Are you teaching your kids to cultivate a heart of service? Here are some practical ways you can encourage them to love and serve others.


Be on the lookout. Opportunities to serve are everywhere. We just need to open our eyes to see them. Do you see someone sitting alone in the lunch room? Invite her to join you. Do you see a woman pushing a stroller through a store entrance? Hold the door open. Did a classmate drop all his books in the hall? Help him pick them up. Acts of service don’t need to be big projects in order to count. Developing a lifestyle of service involves noticing and responding to the little needs around you.


Team up. Gather a group of friends or neighbors to form a service club. Choose one project a month and tackle it together, such as picking up trash around town, watching younger kids for a single mom, collecting goods for a food drive, and so on. Serving together is a great way to build relationships while putting your faith into action.


Adopt a cause. As a family, choose one charity to support year-round. Maybe it’s sponsoring a child overseas, praying regularly for a missionary family from your church, donating used clothing to a local homeless shelter, or volunteering in Sunday School. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a cause that has meaning to your family, then rally the whole crew around it.


Tithe. Encourage your kids to give a portion of their allowance to a worthy cause. While giving time is an important part of serving, giving money can also help teach kids that the world does not revolve around them, and God wants them to share with others.


For more information on International Day of Charity, visit

Teaching Kids to Respect Their Teachers


Remember kindergarten when your daughter’s teacher was a saint in her eyes? Back then the teacher knew everything. Your daughter adored her.

In middle school, well, not so much.

As kids mature and reach an age of discernment, they also learn to be critical. They might begin making fun of their teachers or testing their boundaries in new ways. As parents it’s our job to teach our kids to respect authority—even if that authority supposedly smells like cat food or hums out of tune.

Here are a few important points to share:


God commands us to respect authority. Why should we respect our teachers? Because God says so. Plain and simple. Respecting your teacher is obedience to God.

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you” (Hebrews 13:17).


Christians should love others. How do we show the world that we are Jesus followers? By praying? By reading the Bible? By singing worship songs and attending youth group? Those are all great activities, but they are not the mark of a true Christian. Can you guess what is? Loving others—including your teachers.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).


We all have flaws. Whenever your child is tempted to point out a habit or character trait she dislikes about her teacher, gently remind her that no one is perfect, yet God loves us all. Encourage her to accept her teacher’s human faults just as God accepts her own.

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7).


Pray! Perhaps your daughter feels her teacher treats her poorly. In that case, you may need to consider addressing the issue with school administrators. But first spend some time with your daughter in prayer, asking God to give you both wisdom and strength to forgive. Then ask God to bless and equip the teacher to guide students in an honorable way.

“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28).


Throughout the school year, keep an open line of communication between you, your daughter, and her teachers. And be aware of how you represent God in each of those relationships. The best way to teach respect is by example!

Does She Know She’s Chosen?

(This post is a guest contribution from Elisa Puliam, a member of our FaithMomz network.)

Have you struggled with feeling like you’re not good enough? Maybe that you’ll always be the one that doesn’t quite fit in? Can you think back to when that feeling first became a thought that ultimately shaped a core belief about yourself? Was it critical word spoken by a parent or coach or someone you looked up to? Or maybe it was a result of being the last one picked for the team in gym class . . . for the umpteenth time?


While there are so many reasons why you might feel like you’re not good enough, there are a hundred more reasons why your daughter may be struggling with those emotions today.


Why so much more? Because as soon as your daughter has access to social media, she begins the arduous journey of carrying in her soul this thing called “feedback” and “likes” and “followers” and the power of the mighty SnapChat “streak.”


When we were her age, we boarded the bus home and left our peer influences behind. We had a break — a detox time to breathe and not worry about our worth. To not think about being judged. To not fret about our appearance. To not worry about our friend count. To not think about the possibility of being left out. And yet, didn’t we struggle with our identity and sense of worth?


Our girls live in a different world, where every social activity is documented. Where every moment is recorded publicly. Where every image is rated. And to top it all off, we’ve become addicted to this kind of information, thanks to the dopamine loop.


Raising girls to know the Truth of God’s Word and their identity in Christ in the face of so much social input is no easy feat.


While I was able to hold social media at bay for my older girls, allowing access to one platform at a time through their early high school years, a majority of my twelve year old’s peers are already on SnapChat — the one social media app that I believe is the most dangerous because of the built in autonomy. But because this is not my first rodeo with a tweenage daughter, I know that keeping a hard and fast policy of no social media before ninth grade would be like sentencing her to social death through isolation. Yes, it’s a reality, as much as I balk at it. So we’ve given her access to it, but with tremendous limits on and frequent check-in-on-the-heart conversations. We’re striving for balance between protection and prudence, wisdom and independence, responsibility and accountability.


While navigating the murky waters of social media with our girls, we’ve got to be equally vigilant to look for organic and authentic ways to convey truth to their souls and affirm their identity in Christ.


That’s going to look different for each of us. The way we connect with our girls doesn’t fit a mold because our personalities and relational style come into play. But we can share a common mission of seeking precious moments to drop “truth statements” deep into their hearts and minds. I think of this as a kind of Deuteronomy 6:5 mentoring. For example, while I’m driving my daughter up to the farm for her riding lesson, I gently encourage her to remember that she is already approved by God and to not become pre-occupied with everyone else’s opinions. On the way home, I ask her questions to pinpoint where she struggled and excelled, wondering how she’s doing in allowing God’s power to work in her weakness. When we scroll through her SnapChat feed, I ask questions and, Lord willing, I respond with truth and grace, as we deal with the hurt from not being invited to a “snapped-revealed” party. As we snuggle down to watch her favorite show, I whisper into her ear that she’s chosen, holy, and dearly loved by the God of Universe and by me and her daddy — a truth I know she’ll need to hear again and again.


My goal is to keep as connected to her heart as possible through doing life alongside her so that I can seize every opportunity to bring the Truth of God’s Word to the forefront of her mind. Is this your mission too? And so it is my prayer — and maybe will become yours as well — that when our girls hear the voice of Truth from us, it will make them crave more of the Word and leading of the Holy Spirit for themselves as they mature into owning their faith and believing their identity in Christ is secure.


We won’t always be around to remind our girls that they are indeed chosen, holy, and dearly loved, but we can prepare them to hear God’s still small voice deep within their soul.

Be sure to check out Elisa’s workbook, Seven Strategies for Navigating Screens and Social Media with Tweens and Teens

Involving Kids in Family Chores

Smart parents make it their job to care for the household.


Brilliant parents work themselves out that job.


We’re all buried in housework, right? Laundry, dishes, mowing, dusting—yeah, forget the dusting. Overrated. Point is there’s so much to do and so little time to do it. Especially in summer when the whole family would rather be at the beach.


So why not make chores a family affair? Everybody chips in, the work gets done faster, and the whole family enjoys more time in flip flops under the sun. Here’s a simple strategy for getting kids involved in family chores.


First, explain the why. Chores aren’t just Mom or Dad’s idea. They’re God’s. He created work and He made us a team. So by working together to take care of the house, we’re simply doing what God asked us to do.


“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).


Then explain the how. Grumbling is not an option. Bickering is not an option. Dawdling—yep, you got it. Not an option. Explain to the kids that in our family, we’re not just doing chores to benefit ourselves (or because Mom said so). We’re doing them for God. And that alone should give us a positive attitude.


“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).


Divvy up the work. It’s your call how much responsibility you allow your kids, but consider dividing the labor according to age-appropriate tasks. Teens can mow the lawn or do their own laundry. Tweens are old enough to empty the dishwasher and mop the floor. Younger kids can learn to fold towels or set the dinner table, and even toddlers can help pick up toys. Just be sure to give everyone a fair share of work and explain that “fair” does not always mean “equal.” Different ages come with different responsibilities and privileges.


Finally, decide how (or if) to reward. Consider setting a list of daily expectations—such as making your bed and feeding the dog. Nobody gets paid to do those chores; they are simply a family requirement. Anything above and beyond the daily expectations then becomes an opportunity to earn rewards—such as money or privileges. Rather than calling these rewards an “allowance,” try referring to them as “work pay.” This will help kids get used to the idea that in our world, people work for their income. Chores are a child’s first experience at developing a healthy work ethic.


Ultimately, if you’re successful at training the entire family to pitch in on chores, “housework” is no longer just Mom or Dad’s job. It’s everyone’s job.


And so is swimming. Off to the beach you go!

Faithgirlz – Holiday Gift Guides for Your Tweens

As temperatures continue to cool, we find ourselves closer and closer to Christmas Day!
While we all know the true reason for the season, it sure is fun to shower the ones we love with presents. Here are some gift ideas for the Faithgirlz on your list!

Find inspiration from the leading ladies of our fiction series. For the dramatic girl in your life, be sure to look at Sophie’s shopping list. Have an adventurous tween? Check out Riley Mae’s guide.  If you know an aspiring journalist, scroll to Samantha’s wish list. For an artistic soul, find fun ideas from Sadie.

Below each image you’ll also find a few Faithgirlz book suggestions. Merry Christmas!


Encourage star-powered performances with these gifts inspired by Sophie!

1. Selfie Booth ($59)
2. Guesstures ($14)
3. It’s a Drama Thing… Bag ($14)
4. Gold Glitter Nail Polish ($4)
5. Shine Necklace – Glimmer Girls Exclusive Pre-Order Gift (FREE with purchase of Glimmer Girls Books)
6. Sophie Series from Faithgirlz ($6)

FF-Gift-Guide-RileyMaeFuel an adventurous spirit with some of Riley Mae’s must-haves!

1. GoPro Accessories ($23)
2. Globe with Light Up Constellations ($69)
3. Handmade Wool Socks ($19)
4. Patterned Hiking Backpack ($34)
5. Selfie Stick ($11)
6. Riley Mae and the Good News Shoes Series from Faithgirlz ($7)


Capture the story and stay sharp with these gifts inspired by Samantha Sanderson.

1. Tablet/Computer ($49)
2. iPhone Add-On Camera Lenses ($39)
3. Banana Grams ($11)
4. Fingerless, Texting Gloves ($14)
5. Faithgirlz Messenger Bag ($17)
6. Samantha Sanderson Series from Faithgirlz ($8)

FF-Gift-Guide-SadiesSpark her creativity with artistic gifts Sadie would love!

1. 3-D Printing Pen ($99)
2. Water Color iPhone Case ($15)
3. Yarn Tree ($29)
4. Fine Line Pens in Roll-Up Case ($29)
5. From Sadie’s Sketchbook Series from Faithgirlz ($7)
6. Faithgirlz Journal {For Doodles, Dreams & Devotions} ($9)



Last! Be sure to include one of our new Faithgirlz Bibles with special features just for the great girl in your life!

*Note: These are merely inspirations to get your thoughts flowing! We do not endorse outside brands or products. Prices listed are approximate figures taken at the time this blog was posted.


Three Things Your Tween Girl Needs


The word “tween” begs for grace.

Life between childhood and young adulthood. 

Life lived with newness, uncertainties, and sometimes awkwardness.

It’s a season that only makes sense to those who have long ago passed through it.

What can you do for your tween as she wades through the delightful yet murky years between?

First of all… Remember.

Think back to the days you too struggled. Remember the emotions? The obsessions? The embarrassment that you still enjoyed childish activities, yet also longed to be taken seriously?

Secondly… Pray.

There are times when our tweens excel at revealing human depravity and self-centeredness! Even when they’re being raised in the nurture and instruction of the Lord, they struggle with deep spiritual questions and doubts, defensiveness, and self-righteousness. They have a hard time seeing themselves as they really are. (As we all do!)

Being grounded in God’s Word is crucial. As is prayer. Our “faithgirlz” are growing out of spoon-fed spirituality.

Pray that they will hunger and thirst for the Lord and His Word. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts and change their perspective.

While we can draw boundaries, He is the only one can transform from the inside out.

Thirdly… Take the time to really see them.

Because our tweens are in-between, our attention often gets sucked up by little ones or teenagers with the “big life issues.”

Our tweens might fight off our affection and attention one moment, yet desperately crave it the next. They need lots of grace.

And they need for us to look them straight in the eyes, listen to their concerns, and see them. Not only for who they are, but for who God is developing them into.

As you remember your own tween years, pray for your daughter, and take the time to really see her, keep in mind how gracious our Heavenly Father is with us. We’re “tween” too. Between saved and sanctified.

When we stop and think it through, we’ve got a lot in common with our girls!


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