Military kids are some of the most flexible and resilient people around and frankly they deserve way more appreciation than they get. Thanks to April being the Month of the Military Child, they’ll get a little extra love here on Countdowns and Cupcakes over the next few weeks, including today’s post about kids and care packages.
Kids and care packages are a natural fit and a great way for little ones to stay connected with a deployed parent.
Kids and Care Packages
For this past deployment, I sent A a letter to open each day he was overseas. Lots of folks send “open when” care packages with notes in them. Imagine how happy a parent would be to receive some letters from their kids.
Older kids can write much longer letters or help little ones with their notes. Topics could include a list of things they want to do with mom/dad when they get home, a recap of what’s happening around the house or even a list of reasons why they love their parent. If your kids are really creative, you could even get them to write and illustrate a monthly newsletter that gets sent in each care package.
Draw or color pictures.
Not all kids are writers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help with care packages! Drawing, painting or even coloring pictures is a great way to get even the smallest hands involved. The results will help add cheer to even the dreariest room. Check out some of these super cute craft ideas for your kiddos.
Decorate the flaps.
I’ve often told A that I look forward to having kiddos help me decorate care packages because it means there’s way less work for me to do! Construction paper, some crayons and an afternoon later and I have a care package done that A will likely appreciate way more than anything I came up with.
Kids can decorate flaps with stickers, paint, markers/crayons, puffy paint or my husband’s arch nemesis, glitter. Pre-cut the paper to fit your flaps and then let them go to town (maybe outside if paint/glitter is involved).
Collect things to include.
Kids can send a little taste of home or whatever adventure you’ve gone on recently. For example, are you going to the beach? Have them pick the 3 prettiest shells they can find to send overseas. Or have them go on a hunt for the perfect fall leaf from the park to send along. That tangible reminder of home will do wonders for their parent’s spirits.
Give them the camera for the day.
This one may be most suitable for older kids, but I think it would be so fun! I always try and include some photos in my care packages, but how cool would it be if the photos were taken by the kids?! You could compile them into a “day in the life” photo book or even use them to decorate the box.
Let them pick out what goes in the care package.
Kids’ interests and passions change so frequently that it’s hard to keep up if you’re there with them, let alone if you’re halfway around the world. Having them pick out what goes into a care package will give the deployed parent a taste of what they’re into at that moment. This could be an awesome theme: “my favorite things”! You may want to intervene though and make sure some stuff gets in there that your spouse will like!
Many military spouses use care packages as a way to show our love when our loved one is far away. Kids are able to do that exact same thing by participating in the decorating and filling of care packages. What are ways you’ve gotten your kids involved with care packages? What’s your best tip for kids and care packages?