While April has been designated as Month of the Military Child since the mid-1980s, it seems like in recent years, there’s really been a surge in excitement and support for this observance. And there are a lot of really cool things happening locally and nationwide for military kids. From purple buildings to free food to contests for all ages, there’s something for every military kid to take part in and feel a little special during their month.
Check it out–
1. Free food for milkids
On April 13, AAFES is celebrating military kids with free food at a variety of restaurants and kiosks. Kids, 18 and under, can cash in on treats like cake pops, ice cream, doughnuts, and free sodas at restaurants on Army and Air Force bases. According to SpouseBuzz, these restaurants will have treats (while supplies last):
- Arby’s — chocolate chip cookie
- Baskin-Robbins — kid’s cone
- Burger King — vanilla soft serve
- Charley’s Philly Steaks — small lemonade
- Dunkin’ Donuts — doughnut
- Manchu Wok — egg roll
- Pizza Hut — five-piece cinnamon sticks
- Popeyes — cinnamon apple pie
- Starbucks — cake pop
- Subway — two cookies
- Taco Bell — cinnamon twists
- All other restaurants — small or kid’s-size soft drink
Learn more here.
2. See the skyline go purple
In honor of Purple Up Day (April 12), USAA will be lighting up their buildings across the country, and encouraging other businesses and organizations to do the same. By turning their buildings purple for the night, they hope to send a strong message of support to military kids. On April 12, check out these buildings:
- USAA Bank at 10750 McDermott Fwy, San Antonio, TX
- USAA Bank at 13805 W IH 10), San Antonio, TX
- USAA Bank at 300 Convent St, San Antonio, TX
- USAA Campus at Colorado Springs, CO
- USAA Campus at Pheonix, AZ
- USAA Campus at Tampa, FL
- USAA Campus at Plano, TX
3. Enter the Army MWR’s contest
Army kids (ages preschool through senior high) can participate in a creative contest to share what life is like for them through MWR’s Young Lives, BIG Stories contest. Kids ages 3 through grade 3 are invited to submit drawings; grades 4-12 have a written prompt. With six age groups, there’s a lot of opportunities for recognition. The contest runs from April 1 to April 30. You can find out more and submit your child’s work here.
4. Enter DeCA’s coloring contest
Military kids (ages 11 and younger) are invited to participate in a coloring contest celebrating the Month of the Military Child. An overall grand prize winner will have their design replicated on DeCA reusable grocery bags; there are other opportunities for winners and honorable mentions as well. The coloring page is downloadable here and can be submitted in person at your Commissary or via mail.
5. Win a gift card for your school
Stars and Stripes is sponsoring a writing contest open to military kids attending a mainland Japan, Okinawa, Guam, or Korea DoDEA school. Students who submit their original work can win a $250 gift card for their school’s PTO and can have their work printed in a Stars and Stripes publication. The contest runs until April 30 and more information, including how to enter, can be found here.
6. Local activities and events
Check with your local MWR, Legion, YMCA, and other organizations. Many community groups–both civilian and military– are sponsoring a celebration for military kids in their area. Keep your eyes peeled at in-person and online community boards– you never know what gems you might find!
Looking for more on military kids?
Although April is Month of the Military Child, for military families, every month is! These articles about military kids and parenting are popular with Jo, My Gosh! readers. Take a look and save them for later (or read them now… your choice!):
- 18 Free Parenting and Support Programs for Military Families
- 16 Baby-Friendly Activities and Places for Military Families
- 19 Parenting Blogs for Military Spouses, By Military Spouses
- Is Your Spouse Deployed? Grab This Freebie for Your Kids