Ideas to Keep Kids Busy During the Long Days of a Summer Deployment
We have another summer with a deployed daddy on the horizon, and I am already searching for more ways to keep us occupied. Military kids who aren’t moving this summer tend to get infected with cases of “I’m booorrreeed” quickly. My family tends to travel to occupy our time because the TV at home is too tempting for binge-watching!
Because military parents are all in the same boat trying to survive boredom and sibling fighting over summer vacation, I’ll share my collection of activities that we have done successfully. I’ll also list the ideas we plan to try this summer.
Photo by Shutterstock
What's Worked for Us
Classic summer fun sticks around because of its broad appeal. You can’t go wrong with a steamy afternoon at a splash pad or enjoying the cool AC in a dark theater. We’ve found lots of excitement in doing quintessential summertime activities.
- Pricey horseback riding camp
- Inexpensive vacation Bible school
- Affordable rec center day camps like ice skating
- Day trips to amusement parks
- Visit Amish country
- Tour local historic sites
- Spend hotel free point programs to explore cities 3 to 5 hours’ drive away
- Ride the Amtrak train
- For old time's sake, visit the house my daughter was born in
Historical sites and summer vacations go hand in hand. Have you checked out locales near you?
- Must-See Historical Sites and Landmarks in Hampton Roads
- Take a Tour of 6 Civil War Sites in Virginia
- 10 of the Best Scenic Railways Across the U.S.
- Offbeat museums
- Concerts and movies in the park
- Re-decorate/organize bedrooms and playrooms
- Collect donations for charities like pet shelters
- $10 shopping spree at the dollar store
- Local library reading programs
- Matinee $1 movies
- Meet and greet school events over the summer
- Send daughter to visit grandparents for two weeks
- Plan a cousin reunion
- Write letters to far-away relatives
- Meet for a local or professional baseball game
Photo from Canva
We Want to Try
With kids, you never know what will land when it comes to fun! Some days swimming is in, and the next day, it's out, so we’ll have plenty of backup plans to squeeze every bit of fun out of this summer.
- Meet old friends from states away at the halfway mark
- Let my daughter pick a reasonable destination to visit
- Plan our annual winter trip
One of the best parts of military life is the chance to explore. Check out some of our favorite travel resources.
- 10 OCONUS Military Resorts and Recreation Centers You Should Try
- Military Discounts and Tips for Your Trip to Disney World or Disneyland
- 4 Reasons to Use Military Campgrounds and Lodging for PCS and Leisure Travel
- Check out audiobooks from the library
- Go to more live productions
- Teach my 5th grader cursive (our school system nixed the skill)
- Visit brick-and-mortar bookstores
- Enroll in a dog obedience glass designed for kids
- Shop in an ethnic market
- Eat at a restaurant with unfamiliar cuisine
- Pool hop on nearby military facilities
- Use the research databases online through the local library system
- Send care packages to Dad and his friends
- Collect back-to-school supplies and new school clothes catalogs
- Write out hopes and thoughts for the next grade level
- Consider Anescerty.com to dig up long-lost family members
- Create a family tree
- Ask family to send notes and packages to soldiers
- Visit DIY dog wash salons
- Make homemade frozen dog treats
- Plan a neighborhood dog party
- Set up a dog portrait session with costumes and props
- Create an agility course
- Teach your dog to find treats in a puzzle
If you're also trying to keep the family busy during summer during deployment, we'd love to hear from you. Would you add anything new? What boredom-buster ideas have worked for your family?
Main photo from via Flickr user Nori.
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