A soldier serving in a faraway land is not something that children (or even adults) often think about. This activity will help your child gain a better understanding of what it means to serve our country by becoming pen pals with a soldier that is stationed away from home. In addition, your family will be providing moral support to a soldier. This is a great project for all ages to start on the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day, or any day of the year!
What You Need:
- Paper and pen, or Internet access
- Address of the soldier, or email
What You Do:
- Ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they know a soldier who is currently stationed away from home. If they know of any, ask if the soldier would like a pen pal and get a mailing address.
- If you are unable to find a person currently deployed, contact your local USO. There are also a number of websites that list military personnel looking for pen pals, such as Any Soldier or Forgotten Soldiers Outreach.
- Talk with your child about the sacrifices that the soldier is making, such as being away from family and friends.
- Then, have your child write a letter or email to the soldier. Encourage her to include details about herself, like her favorite subject in school, if she has any siblings or pets, and her favorite place to go on vacation.
- If you are doing traditional "snail mail," show your child how to address the letter.
- When you receive a letter back from the soldier, read it together and talk about the letter. If it's a person you don't know personally, you might want to pre-read the letter before sharing it with your child.
- After you've read the letter, encourage her to write back to the soldier throughout his or her deployment.
- If the soldier is deployed over a holiday, you may want to send a care package. Be sure to ask the soldier what he or she likes and needs!