Some memories are made from routine, and some memories are made during adventure. For our military children, routine is often disrupted, either through a PCS, TDY, or even deployment. And as far as adventure? Sometimes during times apart, we just want to hunker down, not seek out a quest. So how can we gift our military children beautiful memories during family separation, especially during a deployment? How can we shine the mundane into something sparkling, leaving a lifelong impression?
For a routine that doesn’t change regardless of orders, United Through Reading has military families covered. Founded in 1989, UTR has helped over two and a half million families stay connected by the most beloved nighttime routine: storytime. UTR’s mission is to provide storytime as a constant for the whole family, across all distances. UTR has multiple tools for parents to record readings, either by app, UTR recording site, or even a recording studio on wheels, the Mobile Story Station! With UTR’s support, parents can continue to foster their child’s reading literacy, no matter where they are in the world.
If you are looking for ways to regale your child during a deployment, here are five ways to link the comfort of routine and the thrill of adventure. Read on for tips combining UTR’s recorded readings with exciting new ideas to turn storytime into memories.
- Before watching the video-recorded story, get popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Turn your child’s bedroom into a movie theater, and gather around for the show!
- After listening to the story, act out the book! Choose who will play which role(s), and take turns displaying theatrical prowess. Don’t forget to change voices for each character!
- Take reading outside, and make a storytime camp! Break out the fire pit and sleeping bags, and enjoy the recorded story under the stars. Stock up on marshmallows beforehand for roasting!
- Is stormy weather raining out plans for storytime camp? Don’t worry — camp inside with a blanket fort. If you’re having trouble making the tent, just throw some large blankets over a table, and crawl underneath. Make sure to have a lantern in case it’s too spooky!
- Grab the art supplies, and draw illustrations for the recorded story. Encourage imagination and silliness, and see what is created! Keep the priceless pictures on the fridge until the deployment is over. Then read the story and enjoy the artwork — together.