Military families face many challenges. While they are supporting their family members in uniform, they’re often also dealing with the strain from frequent moves on top of the normal challenges of having a family. This makes it incredibly important for military families to become active in their communities, have healthy and fun games to relieve stress and find ways to keep family members connected with each other.
If you’re in the military, we’ve put together a list of ways to help you do just that!
Studies show that almost any kind of physical activity can reduce stress. If your family is feeling the strain from a deployment or other military family challenges, find an active hobby that you all can do together.
• Start a family garden and let each family member plan what they want to plant in their corner of the garden or yard.
• Find an upcoming local race and train for it as a family.
• Visit the recreation center or gym and take classes together.
• Search for physical fitness opportunities like joining a local swim team, training in martial arts or even creating an obstacle course in your backyard.
• Choose a Glow Battle kit to play a number of active family battle games. Just find an open space, identify your teams with the different colored glowing bracelets, and break out the swords of light. Then, use the harmless, glowing batons to attack your opponent and send them running back to their base to “recharge” before they get hit again. Glow battles are a great way to keep your family active, teach your kids strategy and encourage social interaction.
Frequently relocating as a military family to new places can be scary for both kids and adults alike. Conquer your fear of the unknown by going out as a family and exploring together.
• Adapt to your new environment by trying new restaurants and exploring local shops and farmer’s markets.
• Visit a museum and soak up some history, science or culture. Be sure to ask about discounted tickets for military families!
• Learn a new language. Frequently moving may mean that you encounter diverse cultures and languages. Inquire at your local college or cultural centers and see if they have opportunities to learn a foreign language. You can also search for online courses or phone apps like Duolingo to easily learn a few new words a day.
• Check out the local parks to give your family a chance to meet new friends, and also get outside and get moving.
• Take family cooking classes. Trying new foods and recipes is an ideal way to embrace your new community and the local flavors and traditions.
One of the realities of military family life is that you are often separated for long periods of time. When you do have time together as a family, make it count. Choose some fun rewarding activities that you can do together as a family.
• Create traditions with family friendly competitions of some kind. Consider a family corn hole tournament, scavenger hunt, talent show, or sports championship like backyard volleyball, wiffle ball or flag football. You can even make a funny trophy for the winners to keep and flaunt their victory.
• Compile a collection of your family’s favorite board games for a weekly game night. Classics such as Scrabble, Monopoly, Uno or Life are good games to get you started.
• Volunteer together as a family. It will help you connect to your community while you connect as a family. Inquire at local animal shelters, parks, soup kitchens, churches or community centers for volunteer opportunities.
• Play a neighborhood favorite with Capture the Flag REDUX. It’s the classic Capture the Flag game revolutionized with futuristic glow-in-the-dark lights. What better way to spend time as a family or meet some new friends? Each game box includes two glowing orbs to use as the “flags,” color-coded LED bracelets to differentiate team members, glowing jail markers, and a rulebook. Available here.
Capture the Flag REDUX
Experience this classic game with a modern glow-in-the-dark twist
Gather your team, grab your sword and prepare for fast-paced running and dueling
Wizards & Werewolves
Transform your backyard into an imagination-fueled competition of mythic proportions
Starlight Swimming Games
Throw the ultimate pool party: with glow-in-the-dark lights!