When a military parent deploys, it can be a very sad and confusing time for kids. As much as you try to explain it to them, they’re… well… just kids. Heck, I’m an adult, and I sometimes throw a fit when my husband is deployed. Sometime you have to speak their language, and by language, I mean toys. While there’s no one perfect way to help kids deal with a missing military parent, here are 5 toys that might be able to help children cope with deployment.

Recordable Storybooks

You can record mommy/daddy’s voice onto a bear, but did you know you can record into a storybook? Recorded storybooks are the perfect way for deployed parents to still remain a part of the bedtime routine. It’s also great for reminding children of what their parent’s voice sounds like. Recorded storybooks are great for engaging sight, touch, and sound and help kids cope with the anxiety of a deployed parent.



This’s one is not-so-much a toy but it is awesome. Create a Die Cut Wall Graphic of Mom/Dad who’s deployed and place it in your child’s bedroom. It’s as simple as uploading your image, ordering, and waiting for your order to come in. It’s perfect for story time when the “whole family” will be there. I’ve caught kids talking to wall graphics as well and it is the cutest thing.


Daddy Dolls

An oldie but a goodie, daddy dolls places a picture of your deployed ones right in your child’s arms. You can get them one-sided, two-sided, and even Mega-Size! All you do is upload your head-to-toe photo. They’ll do the editing, and then you’ll have a custom-created doll that’s soft and huggable. Watch out for coupon codes and deals, and you’ll be able to save some money as well.



This toy is great if you have some spare cash, or can be a holiday gift. GoPros video cameras encourage your kids to be active, and record the adventures they go on. Tell them to record everything they do, so they can send the footage in a video to the deployed parent. The camera is versatile and lightweight and meant to be durable (which is great for kids!). Look into getting the “Junior Chesty”, the perfect camera mount for active kids.


Custom puzzles

Puzzles are great way of keeping kids occupied but once you customized it with a family picture, you have a great toy for helping children cope with deployment. Upload your photo, choose the size of the puzzle, and how many pieces, hit order, and wait until your puzzle comes in. It also sends a subliminal message, that while the family is “apart”, it can always be put back together again.


About the Author

JD Collins is a writer and a new mom. She has been published on Hawaii Army Weekly, Hawaii Military Wives, Military OneClick, and Mamá Y Familia.  She writes about the daily challenges of being a working mom and a military spouse in her blog “A Semi-Delicate Balance”.  Writing and creating content has always been her passion. She receives inspiration from her family, friends, and the amazing adventures she’s able to go on.

When not writing, she enjoys chasing around her son and her beagle named Charlie-girl.

You can follow JD at her blog www.semidelicatebalance.com , on Google+  https://plus.google.com/u/0/JDCollins123, on Twitter @SemiDelicateBal or on Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/semidelicate/ or on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/SemiDelicateBalance

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