Oldest son is now deployed again. That means we are like many, are getting out the flat rate boxes and filling them to the brim.
This time I have worked on getting the kids involved in a Valentine Box, even though we know that Valentines Day will be awhile behind us by the time it arrives in Afghanistan. These crafts do not have to be necessarily for Valentines Day, since love is what we really want to send every day!
So here are some ideas, if you are also filling boxes:
This is so easy and inexpensive. The plain wooden frames I picked up at Micheal’s http://www.michaels.com/ for 1.00 each. Then we used acrylic and painted those cute fingers and lay down the handprint. I had both kids write their name with sharpie, and covered it with decoupage glue for a shiny finish. You could get fancier if you want to let the kids decorate with glitter, etc… but I liked the plain print which shows how they are growing, and the way they are now writing their names.
This little bird says “flying my love to you”, and sports some real feathers. Just paper, scissors and glue for this one. Imaginations could come up with many kinds of birds, happy to fly love wherever needed!
This one is a little more complicated, but makes a nice handkerchief. What our soldier will do with a silk hanky in Afghanistan is anyone’s guess, but the sentiment is real and sweet, and the kids had fun making them.
You will need some “gutta” which is really a gluey sort of stuff, and silk handkerchief and some silk paint. The best place I have found to get these things is Dharma Trading http://www.dharmatrading.com/
Just look for beginner silk kits and they are worth a try, really fun and kids love the way the silk spreads, hemmed in by the gutta in their design. They then will let it all dry, wash the gutta out .(everything the gutta covered will turn out white) You can achieve a similar effect on paper if you are not into crafts by using white crayon and then washing over it with watercolors. Kids love that too.
Along with these the standard beef jerky, hand warmers, and tootsie roll pops, we also added a recordable book. I am sending this in a pre-paid envelope so all our soldier has to do is read and record and shove it back in the envelope and send it home. We will have him “read ” the bedtime story, his voice there, even while we are wishing he was sitting on the edge of the bed. The book http://www.hallmark.com/online/in-stores/storybooks/recordable-storybooks/was somewhat pricey at $29.00, but I think well worth it. We got the story “Guess how Much I Love You”, which is a sweet story with cute illustrations.
AHHHH…as I was searching for a link for you, I found much cheaper recordable books here: http://astore.amazon.com/recordable-books-20 …well, that’s good! (for you).
The idea is to give you some simple ideas, that do not require lots of time or money. Just some fun things to get the kids interested in making things that a deployed parent will love as keepsakes and reminders that they are well loved , even though they are far away.