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How to Get Kids to Write to Their Deployed Parent More Often

image of a boy writing deployment newsletter

Have a reluctant writer? Want to get your child to write to their deployed parent often? With today’s technology, it is much easier for families in the military to stay in touch through email, cell phone, and even better, with FaceTime and Skype. I won’t complain having had no cell phone or email technology when my husband first deployed many moons ago.

Deployment Newsletter Pinterest Pic

Last year, my husband deployed again. As a homeschool mom of two very reluctant writers, I saw this deployment as an opportunity for them to practice their writing skills. I wanted them to stay connected with their dad between long stretches of time when communications are down. This can last weeks sometimes.

So, I came up with a deployment newsletter in an effort to make it fun and engaging for the boys. I created a template where they could fill in information (some requiring full sentences and others not) for different sections like ones you find in a newspaper. This worked so well for us that I thought I’d share it with my freebie subscribers.

pin deployment newsletter activity

What’s in the Deployment Newsletter?

The newsletter has several boxes that I assigned certain topics. The first box is for “news from home”. This is where my boys wrote about things such as losing a tooth, watching a movie, or visiting family. I placed an oval section so that one can cut and paste a ‘best’ picture of the week.  This is where the boys would place a picture of themselves or the dog. No good pictures? My boys would also cut out interesting pictures from a newspaper to put there.

image of boy writing in deployment newsletter
Jack writing to his dad using the deployment newsletter template

The next set of boxes is a comic strip panel. My boys love telling stories so this part allowed them to do that with pictures. A few times, they cut a very funny panel from the comics section of the newspaper and pasted it there. The Stats box is for scores and updates on favorite teams. My boys kept my husband updated on his favorite hockey team. Don’t follow sports? One can fill the box with the days until homecoming.

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The school news box is just that, a recount of things they learned and did in school or in our case, homeschool. The boys would share book titles they were reading or science experiments that they put together. The next box has dashes like a coupon where one can write things like 20% more hugs when he/she returns. Finally, the last box is for a personal message.

Choosing your Deployment Newsletter

I made three types of newsletters. The first one is completely blank allowing you to name your newsletter and each section of the layout items provided. The second one has some of the sections named and the third one has all the sections named. Click the pink box below to get your free templates.

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I really hope you enjoy doing this activity with your children. Check out my posts: Coping with Another Deployment and How to Create a Deployment Wall for more activities that kids can do during a deployment.

Let me know how this activity worked for your family. Ideas that I can add to the template? Let me know below in the comments section. Lastly, for military families enduring a deployment now, I wish for a quick and safe return of your loved ones.

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