Since the mid-1980s, the month of April has been set aside as Month of the Military Child (MOMC), recognizing the children of military members. Military children face challenges that many of their civilian peers do not including changing schools multiple times, moving to foreign countries, being separated from family and friends, and going through deployments. These challenges build resiliency and strength in military kids.

The past year, COVID-19 presented new challenges to both military members and their families. Despite these challenges, military children have continued to show their ability to rise to any occasion. Their ability to adapt and overcome frequent “change of plans” helped them handle the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape. They taught their parents how to use virtual platforms like Zoom, submitted assignments through online learning portals, older kids assisted younger siblings with schoolwork, and they learned new ways to interact with teachers and classmates. They also endured extended wait times for the ability to move to their next permanent change of station (PCS), and then had to endure restriction of movement (ROM) to meet mandatory isolation requirements.

Military kids bring to life the Marine Corps values of honor, courage, and commitment through their ability to adapt and overcome any circumstance. This month, we honor their contributions to the military family. We encourage everyone to participate in the Month of the Military Child. “Purple Up” for military kids on April 22 because when all of the branches’ colors combine, they make a single color – purple. Throughout the month, do any of the activities below to show your appreciation for military children.

Activites for Every Day in April:

April 1: Add a MOMC frame on social media

April 2: Military Kid Appreciation Breakfast

April 3: Family Fun Night – kids choose the activity

April 4: Tie a purple ribbon on a tree (one for each military child in your family)

April 5: Show & Tell - choose 1 item that represents you as a military kid

April 6: Check out College Board for free, live courses for your teen’s AP exams or ACT.org for virtual college prep for teens

April 7: Watch evening colors

April 8: Write a letter to a new kid and give it to him/her

April 9: “P” Dinner Night – eat only foods that start with the letter P (pasta, pizza, pineapple, pork, pink lemonade, etc.)

April 10: Grow something: plant purple flowers and watch them grow

April 11: Boot Camp – hold races and other physical challenges between parents and kids

April 12: Read a book/article about military life for Drop Everything and Read Day

April 13: Play a game on your computer with your Free World Book Online or on NASA Kid’s Club

April 14: Learn something new about the military

April 15: Sing the National Anthem

April 16: Ice Cream Social – treat yourself to ice cream and talk about plans for the future (upcoming moves, forever homes, retirement, college, etc.)

April 17: Host a fancy dinner - dress up and serve each other

April 18: Explore your local military installation

April 19: Discover someone famous that grew up a military kid

April 20: Set up your Free Kanopy Kids streaming account and watch a show

April 21: Sidewalk Chalk Decorating – draw flags, stars & stripes, kids; use purple chalk

April 22: Wear Purple for “Purple Up Day”

April 23: Movie Night – kids choose

April 24: Time Travel – look at the time difference between current duty station, previous locations, and where family/loved ones are located

April 25: Explain what it means to be a military kid to someone that is not military

April 26: Draw a picture of what your forever home will look like

April 27: Take a walk and look for dandelions (the official flower of the military child)

April 28: Use a free military resource (Tutor.com; Kahn Academy Marine & Family Programs)

April 29: Write a poem about being a military kid for Poem in Your Pocket Day

April 30: Present an appreciation certificate to each military kid (sample certificate available for parents to download)

For more information on this observance or other child and youth-related information, contact your local Child and Youth Program, Library, School Liaison Program, or Voluntary Education offices.