Our family has always loved nature walks. My little ones are always looking for God’s creatures to take pictures of for their nature journals. My son also loves to go outside and draw. This is why I was really excited when I learned I would be receiving the August and September issues of Nature Friend Magazine. These were sent to me free so that I could review them for the TOS crew.
This is a monthly publication that is “Helping families explore the Wonders of God’s creation. Their website states that Nature Friend magazine, begun in 1983, was first published by the Stanley Brubaker family of Goshen, Indiana. It was born out of Mr. Brubaker's desire to encourage children to believe in God as their Creator and to seek out, recognize, and appreciate His handiwork. It is now owned by Kevin and Bethany Shank from Dayton, Virginia.
I love when we see a sunset and my kids say “ Look how pretty God made the sky.” I want my children to know that God is the creator of all things and appreciate what they have been given.
This magazine gives just a glimpse into that beauty. We knew when we saw the cover of the August issue that this was not like any other magazine we had seen. The pictures are amazing. We sat down with each issue and looked at the pictures first and then did a few of the other activities included.
This magazine reminded me of Highlights magazine but on a more mature level (and better quality). In every issue or every other issue you will find Invisibles, Pictures and Poems, the mailbox, You can Draw, The story behind the photo and Caption this. In addition to all of these things there are stories and a scavenger hunt. What I loved most about the magazine was that on almost every page it is obvious that this is published by a family that believes God should be forefront in your life. There are many Bible verses throughout the magazine and we used these for copywork during the month.
We had a lot of fun with the Invisibles pages. My 6 year old daughter loves finding hidden objects in pictures so she really enjoyed this. It was cute because she kept asking if it was okay to write in the magazine. I gave my son a crossword puzzle to do and when I went to check it there was nothing written down. I asked him why he didn’t do it and he stated “I did it in my head because I didn’t want to ruin the magazine”. Still wondering about that one?
You can draw was another favorite for our family. Each issue has a drawing lesson using some aspect of nature as well as children's drawings from a previous lesson. They also include Creation Close Up which are pictures that readers send in of things they have seen in nature. There is an issue once a year that is almost entirely reader contributed.
You can purchase the magazine for one year (which is 12 issues) for $36.00. You can also add the study guide for $2.00 per issue (or $24.00 a year) to enhance your experience with Nature Friend magazine. I liked the fact the guide is included in the center of the magazine and was not a separate item. No way to lose it which is great for our family. There are fill-in-the-blanks, crossword puzzles and more for you to reinforce what you have learned from the magazine in the guide.
Nature Friend Magazine is offering $3.00 off subscriptions by referencing coupon code “blog93”This is available until November 30, 2009.
Sample Issues are available for $5.00 at www.naturefriendmagazine.com if you would like them in print. They also offer a couple of free sample issues that you can download onto your computer. This is a great way to see if this is something that your family would enjoy. You can order yours at 877-434-0765 or visit their website.
The magazine has a Cheer the Children program where magazines are provided to children in hospitals who are facing challenging times. For every four subscriptions that are purchased for Cheer the Children, Nature Friend gives one free.
While we really liked the magazine and would love to have a subscription, we feel the price is not within our budget right now. Because of the great science lessons that can be created from this magazine, I will probably add this to my curriculum wishlist for next school year, though. I feel like this is a great way to incorporate something fun into the curriculum that will still teach them about the wonderful world God has given us.
You can read what my fellow crew members have to say about this here.