In which Brianna selects a few toys to help kids celebrate their family's military service. This article contains affiliate links. By shopping with these links, you're helping to support Busy Nest News. Thanks!
As we’ve mentioned before (and will again in the coming weeks), April is the Month of the Military Child. Military kids sometimes have a pretty tough gig. We’ll talk more about those specific challenges in other articles, but today we’re looking at something fun: toys! Military kids are still kids, and so most of the toys they want will be the same toys every other kid in America wants. However, I believe there are some toys that will particularly resonate with their situation. I’ve rounded up a few fun toys to help military kids understand and celebrate their family’s service. Let’s get started!
It’s no secret that we love Uncle Goose products. They’re so beautiful and well made, and they're 100% made in the United States, specifically Michigan. They’re stimulating enough to engage kids without clashing garishly with your decor. Uncle Goose blocks mostly come in sets that are packed with educational quality on every surface, and this set is no different. The nautical blocks feature pictures of knots and their names, as well as the maritime signal flags, and the alphabet four different ways! Four alphabets? Yes. Each block has one letter on it, and that same letter is repeated in Morse code, semaphore, and (my favorite) NATO phonetics. Even if the child’s military affiliation is not Navy or Marine Corps, they can still reap the benefits of learning common codes from these blocks. The NATO phonetics is the most helpful of these in day-to-day military life, as they are used everywhere on base and in speech and print. You can get your own set of Uncle Goose blocks here.
If you read our Links We Learned From articles, you’ve already been introduced to Yoga Joes. We cannot get these little guys out of our heads! The same dimensions as traditional G.I. Joes, Yoga Joes feature tiny soldiers performing a variety of yoga poses. Invented by a man who wanted to get more men- especially veterans- to try yoga, they come in green, pink, or purple. They’re even packaged in a tiny yoga studio, some with their own mats! We were particularly thrilled to see that the latest set includes a female soldier (complete with sock bun) and a dog. Yoga is great for...pretty much everyone. Military kids can build resilience (and every military parent should want their kids to be resilient) by practicing yoga or other forms of meditation. Gifting a military kid with Yoga Joes will contribute an extra cool-factor to a very beneficial exercise. To get your own Yoga Joe set, click here.
Mark Twain wrote “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” We know that not all military families travel a lot, but most do. Scratch-off maps- which can feature a country, region, or the world- are a fun, visual way to track where you’ve been. This could be a fun gift for an older military child at any time, but especially right after a move. Helping them celebrate their world traveler status can soften the disappointment of frequent moves, and even encourage them to keep traveling after they’ve left the nest. There are an assortment of scratch-off maps here on Amazon.
Of course any child could enjoy all of these toys. I know I would have as a kid. To military kids, though, these objects would be especially significant and appreciated. A real perk to them all is that they would travel well. The blocks come with a sturdy, matching canvas bag. The Yoga Joes can be put back in their studio or another small container. And the map can be rolled up and placed back in its document tube. There is nothing to get broken or ruined by poorly climate-controlled storage facilities.
Readers: are you a military family? Are there any toys or games that your kids love (or that you appreciated when you were a military kid) specifically because of their military kid lifestyle?
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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