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. Today I’ll tell you about some free programs, and host a Christmas giveaway for military families.
“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.
United Through Reading
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. They can play the video anytime, which is great for deployments when there is limited communication. This 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.
Special Christmas Giveaway
The holidays can be a tough time for military kids. There are many great books that focus on military families and deployment. But to be honest, I have trouble reading them to my kids without breaking into tears.
The Magic Gingerbread House book is refreshing, because it has a military kid character, but it isn’t entirely about her or her parents’ deployment. It’s more about the magic of Christmas and the importance of giving to others during the holidays. The author, Pam Franks, has spent 30 years making gingerbread houses with her four children and grandchildren. The book is suitable for a military or non-military family, which can make it a great gift for military kids’ friends.
My kids loved the story and the full-page illustrations of the elves and their crazy antics! I’m giving away a hard-cover copy of The Magic Gingerbread House book, along with a Magic Gingerbread House coloring book.
Click here to enter the giveaway. You can gain an entry when you leave a comment on the FB video or share it on your Facebook page. The winner will be drawn using the Rafflecopter random selection system on Friday, November 17. I will then mail you the book, which should arrive around Thanksgiving!
See the Magic Gingerbread House book in my Facebook Live video here: