The problem: How can military kids read and stay connected with parents during deployment? Keep reading because: these freebies will help your military kids keep in touch with family members!
My kids love reading. Since they were very young, I have always enjoyed sitting down and reading with them before bedtime or naptime. Not only has it been useful in teaching them to read, but it is also valuable bonding time for us.
My husband, unfortunately, has not had many opportunities for reading. Between all his deployments, late nights at work, and time away from home, he rarely gets a chance to read with the kids.
Luckily, technology is changing that. Here are some special ways that technology is helping military families to read together despite the distance.
“New technology helps military kids read with distant family members, despite the distance.” ~The Seasoned Spouse
The Caribu app lets military kids read with distant family in real time
Caribu is a combination of Skype and an eBook. It allows kids to see and read with another adult in real time, so they can read a book together. This is great for bedtime during deployment, or for staying connected with grandparents and other family members back home. My kids have lived far from grandparents most of their lives, so this is a great way to let them read a book together.
You must have a Caribu account to use the app. Only one user needs to pay for it, but there is typically a monthly fee. During the month of November, to honor the military, Caribu is giving service members and military families six months of free access to the app. Visit the Caribu military discount page to learn more about the program and offer.
Through November, military families can get the Caribu reading app FREE for 6 months! #militarykids Click To Tweet
United Through Reading keeps deployed parents connected
This is a great program I have written about before. The non-profit organization allows service members to record a video of them reading a book to their kids. United Through Reading sends the book and the video to the military family back home.
United Through Reading is a wonderful way to let military kids read a book with their deployed parent. They can play the video anytime, which is great for deployments when there is limited communication. Hearing the sound of their parent reading, while seeing their image on the screen, is wonderful way to make the deployed parent more present for their kids.
If you are worried about keeping a baby born during deployment connected to the service member, the United Through Reading program can be a wonderful way to introduce a baby to their deployed parent, too.
The program is free to use and available through most military units. Contact your chaplain office or Family Readiness Group for more information.
Chameleon Reader records your voice
Another new tool that helps military kids read is the Chameleon reader. This is an electronic pen that uses a simple sticker set to help you record yourself reading a book. Your child can then play it back any time by touching the electronic pen to the stickers on the book.
This is a perfect project for a service member to do before deployment, or any time they are away from home. The stickers can be used on any of your child’s favorite books, so the possibilities are endless. I found that even my 2-year-old toddler was able to hold the pen in her chunky hand and touch it to the stickers on the pages. She loves hearing her favorite people read to her!
Do you have a favorite resource to help military kids read? Tell me all about it in the comments!