Relocating is a busy and challenging time for the whole family. It can be a stressful time for children, who might be worried about settling in and finding new friends in a strange place. The Hero in Training Activity Book, designed for children ages 6 to 8, is a great way for them to stay occupied and have fun while their military parents are packing and readying for the move – and can build their confidence and prepare them for their new location so that they can thrive there.
Each of the many activities in the booklet help kids on their hero journey with the guidance of superheroes Bobbi and Peri. All that children need are a pen or pencil and colouring crayons, as well as a tablet, smartphone or other device to access online resources.
Throughout the activities, a handy visual guide shows how each activity helps to build relevant life skills such as independence, problem solving and multi-step planning. Icons also show whether the activity is indoors or outdoors and whether a connected device or help from a parent might be needed. Benefits of the activities are that they are educational as well as fun, improving reading and comprehension, self-expression and more.
All 15 of the ‘missions’ in the activity have categories that cover preparing for the move, travelling to the new location, checking in with thoughts and feelings, preparing to share and make new friends, and actually arriving at and settling into their new home.
For instance, a crossword puzzle and maze help children plan for packing their toys and belongings, deciding upon which to take to their new home or donate. A word search puzzle focuses on favourite bedroom items to promote healthy sleep and a toothbrush dance party with Peri and Bobbi help make oral hygiene fun. Children can also learn about doing for others, such as by making oat and pumpkin balls and gift-wrapping these healthy snacks for special friends or teachers. There are roadside activities to exercise young bodies and things to spot on the road to ward off boredom, such as police cars, fields of corn or cows in a field.
Other ‘missions’ help prepare children for leaving their familiar surroundings behind and looking forward to new adventures. A map of Canada has kids learn about geography and ‘hidden gems’ in various locations they might be headed to, such as butterfly gardens near CFB Esquimalt in B.C. or Storybook Gardens in London, Ont. Sharing exercises help children start conversations and make connections with new friends.
When each ‘mission’ is finished, answers can be found by scanning the QR Code on Page 3 of the booklet – and children can learn their Hero Skills Score. Once your child has completed the book, check in with them to see what they’ve learned and bring the book to the PSP Recreation building at your new location. By sharing the booklets, military families can help PSP continue to adapt and improve this activity book.
Parents are encouraged to register their children’s activity book to receive helpful tools and resources, alongside getting the chance to win prizes.