KidSpirit Online

Website review by
Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media
KidSpirit Online Website Poster Image
Cool platform lets kids ask life's deeper questions.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn philosophy through peer musings and quotes from great thinkers like Thoreau, Angelou, and the Dalai Lama. They'll explore various thematic issues of gender, faith, truth, heroism, and more. If kids respond to themes and publish their thoughts or start a conversation, they can grow and explore their own inner landscapes. KidSpirit Online is a uniquely thoughtful, mature resource for teens to make sense of the world and the desire for meaningful life experiences. 

Positive Messages

Empowers kids to write and edit content with clear adult guidance and give serious thought to big issues and questions. 

Violence

Occasional human violence discussed in philosophical terms.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Back issues and a few souvenirs for sale at the store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that KidSpirit Online creates space for kids to engage in philosophical thinking outside the traditional commercial box. Kids are asked to submit writing via email with name, age, and postal address. Work also can be mailed in. Name, grade, and usually city or town are displayed in "by" lines, though some show only the name. The overall feeling of the site is that it's extremely safe, and kids under 13 are asked to use a parent's email for access. The only thing for sale here is back issues, best-of compilations, and a few souvenirs such as hoodies and an iPhone cover.

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What's it about?

KIDSPIRIT ONLINE is the free online version of a quarterly print magazine, by and for kids that addresses spiritual and philosophical questions from a teen perspective. Articles selected by kid-driven editorial boards in the U.S. and India revolve around thematic titles such as "The Psyche," "Spirit and Materialism," and "The Soul of Gender" and columns titled "Interfaith Connections" and "Awesome Moments." Accompanying group guides ask questions and pose challenges as extensions of writings.

Is it any good?

KidSpirit Online presents a selection of candid and forthright ideas, personal stories, observations, and quotes from deep thinking teens. Kids from Hindi, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Mormon, and Baha'i traditions respond to questions on topics of faith, gender, and all manner of thought, opening up a world of perspectives for both adult and youthful readers. Kid authors exhibit evolving wisdom and confidence as part of the writing and publishing process -- the writing is heartfelt, relevant, and mature. 

For kids looking to get involved online, submission guidelines can be tricky to locate, but once found, the Contribute page details everything from file format to best column to begin with (Global Beat). While the site's forums aren't that active, KidSpirit Online has active Facebook and Twitter communities. Overall, it's a thoughtful, non-judgemental place for teens to explore big ideas. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about those deeper questions: What makes you happy? How can we all love each other more? What would life be like if we had fewer possessions?

  • Families can talk about different spiritual beliefs. How does your family communicate about your world views?

Website details

For kids who love helping

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