When the kids are out of school for the summer, it’s a great time for parents to spend quality time with their children without worrying about homework, band practice, and other school-related activities. However, for parents who have a spouse who is deployed during the summer, it can be a challenge to find activities that their kids will love, while keeping their minds off the fact that mom or dad isn’t home yet. To help keep the kids busy and ensure that they have an exciting and memorable summer, try some of these activities.
Whether that’s to a water park, an amusement park, or even the zoo, treat your kids to a summer of fun doing what they love! If other parents in your friend group do the same, summer downtime will be fun with your friends and your kids’ friends. Not only is it a day-long adventure, but you can go again and again throughout the season.
Kids love camps. Why not send them to one that’s specifically for military kids? Military.com has a great list of discounted and free camps for young children and teens. These types of camps allow kids to connect with other kids in a similar situation, while enjoying outdoor activities and even leadership development.
Take a look at local meetup groups to see if there’s one for military families, spouses, or kids in your area. This can help you and your kids find new friends who are in a similar situation. It’s a support group and hang-out group rolled into one. Each city has different, self-made groups, so take a look at your local groups. If there isn’t already a group, consider starting one!
Arts and Crafts
Art is a fantastic way for kids and adults to express themselves. NICoE has an art therapy program for service members that has been covered by National Geographic. You can get together with your kids and create drawings or crafts for fun bonding time, but also to talk through how they’re feeling about a parent being deployed. Some art pieces can even be sent to your spouse in a care package!
Go on an Adventure
Get out and play! Whether that’s going for a hike and exploring nature, camping in the backyard, or heading to the beach, create new memories for you to share with your kids. Then, similar to the art projects, you can encourage your kids to write about their adventures and include pictures from the outing to send to a loved one who is overseas. That way, your partner can keep up with the family, even when he or she is away.
We want to hear from you! What are some of your favorite summer activities to do with your military kids? Let us know by tweeting us.