Stuff to do — and a lot of it — is what is all about. All of our online activities, projects and games are designed to help kids (young children to teenagers) cope with their parent being away on deployment. The following is a description of all the activities and resources you will find on our site — or feel free to visit the Welcome Page and navigate through the 3 kids tracks to see for yourself the resources that are available to military youth.

Where Are You Going?

An interactive map provides children of all ages the opportunity to learn about the daily life of a country where their parent is deployed. With this activity children can explore the country of their choice and learn about the local way of life: typical foods, traditional clothing, and even the language. Information is now available on Afghanistan and Iraq. Additional countries will be added in the future.

The interactive map is a signature activity allowing kids to answer many of their own questions about a parent's deployment. In addition, Where Are You Going? can serve as a tool for parents as they discuss the changes that may occur during the deployment with their children. As the military parent, you can navigate the website together and talk about where you will be going and what you will be doing while in another country. It's important to note that talking about the deployment with your child or teenager ahead of time has been shown to ease kids' adjustment to this life change. As the at-home caregiver, you can use the country information to talk about what the parent might be experiencing while they are away. This activity might also spark topics for discussion during phone calls and emails with the deployed parent. Finally, when the deployment ends the entire family can use the cultural, geographical or even weather information to talk together about the parent's experiences while deployed in a foreign country.

  • Projects: As kids go through the various countries they have several opportunities to learn interesting things. We've included activities that local children in foreign countries enjoy and those that American kids would be interested in trying out. They can hear and practice saying common words in various languages and play a matching game with the words they've learned. Arts and crafts with directions for children to create masterpieces from around the world are available. Tasty recipes from different countries can be printed out and prepared right at home. All of these projects serve multiple purposes — they increase a child's understanding of the country where mom or dad is deployed, offer kids topics to converse about with their deployed parent, and help kids build resiliency by staying busy while their parent is deployed.

The Challenge

All military families with a deployed parent have experienced the challenge of adjusting to life without mom or dad around for months at a time. Many families have the added challenge of moving long distances to be closer to support systems. Kids in single parent families often have a 'double whammy' of moving and coping with their primary parent's absence. Research tells us that maintaining family routines, values and stability is connected to better youth adjustment to deployment. Our activities in "The Challenge" help kids of all ages think about these changes in their family and the things over which they still have control.

  • Storybook: For our younger users, kids can listen to "My Story by Elena" (and even turn the pages themselves!). They can read and hear about Elena as she deals with her military father being deployed far away. Elena struggles with understanding how things are different now, and what she can do to help make things better until her dad gets home.
  • Crossroads: Choices, choices, choices — in these enacted videos we see kids facing various real life dilemmas that children are faced with while their parent is deployed. However, instead of grown-ups telling kids what they should do, tweens and teens get to try out different video endings and see for themselves what the consequences are for the different choices they might make.

Getting Connected

In this section of, kids find activities that will help them re-connect with their returning parent. Kids have told us the most challenging time for them is readjusting to life when the deployed parent comes home. Everyone has changed in some way during the deployment, and negotiating this stage of deployment takes much patience and some time. In fact, some research shows that families who talk about the changes in roles and routines that occurred during deployment readjust better. The Getting Connected activities can help families find a common language to think about homecoming.

  • Scrapbook: Kids of all ages are able to keep a scrapbook or journal of their experiences while their parent has been away. Here they have the opportunity to write about their ideas, changing interests and emotions as they've grown and matured during this time. Not only does the scrapbook help "catch up" the returning parent, it gives the parent a better understanding of how their child has changed and how best the parent might re-integrate into the child's life upon returning home. For our older kids and teens, a "digital scrapbook" encourages kids to try out all sorts of cool ideas to create a multi-media version of a scrapbook.


Supplementing the activities throughout the website are videos of real kids talking about real problems faced by children with a deployed parent. Whether making meaning of the deployment, hearing kids' ideas on coping, thinking about ways of balancing responsibilities or hearing differing perspectives on "coming home," kids can watch and listen to other kids who have dealt with their parent being deployed. In addition, we have videos that are acted out by professional actors around certain topics and situations. To view the videos, first go to our Welcome Page and select a kid's track. Then select "Videos" in the menu bar. You'll be able to see all the videos that a child in that age track will have access to view. Parents tell us that they worry about the content of videos their kids might see, so our current videos are about kids coping in general and not about the very serious issues of war related injuries or death. Here is also a description of the video content:

  • 4Real Videos: Kids of all ages with parents in various branches of the military talk about their experiences with the deployment of a parent. Real-life stories and "words of wisdom" are offered by these kids as they share the ideas and activities that helped them deal with mom or dad being away.
  • Crossroads Videos: For our tweens and teenagers we have enacted videos presenting different "scenarios" that kids tell us they commonly face with a parent being deployed. Problems might include balancing school and home responsibilities or having to babysit more for little brothers or sisters. In each video, the scene is set, the problem develops, and then... the video stops! Kids get to chose from 3 different endings for the problem and explore the pros and cons of making each choice.


All of the games are related in one way or another to our different activities. In all of the games, our developers tried to focus on fun, yet challenging, things that kids can do. These games try to aid in some way with the challenges and changes that go along with deployment.

  • The Amazing Wardrobe Game: Kids get to "try on" clothing from around the world and earn passport stamps as they go. While kids will be learning about the different clothing people wear world-wide, they also will just be having fun!
  • What's Different Game: Observational skills are critical in this game of "find the missing piece" in photos from different countries. Kids search two photos in order to identify differences while they learn interesting things about the country where their parent is stationed.
  • My House Game: Kids have a chance to help clean and organize one crazy mixed up house. Old and young kids tell us that the changes in family responsibilities is one of the "biggies" for them with mom or dad being deployed — so we came up with a light-hearted way for kids to "help out" around the house.
  • Funny Phrases Game and Silly Stories Game: Kids can get themselves all mixed up with these "mad-lib"-style limericks, stories and letters about changes and challenges in families during deployment. They can even print them up and send them to mom or dad if they want!

Deployment Daily

Kids love to know what other kids think. In the Deployment Daily, users will have the chance to read what other kids "like them" are thinking about various deployment topics and learn some helpful coping "tips."

My Stuff

Kids have a wide range of options to personalize their webpage, and make this site their "own." For instance, they can choose to have the weather and time of the country of deployment appear on their home page. Kids also have a "passport" that can be personalized as they create their own ID picture or avatar. Then they can earn lots of different stamps for their passport as they travel through the website.