**One thing I make sure I do is take lots of pictures BEFORE my husband deploys. This is good for a few things.
1. For infants/toddlers, you can make a small a photo album for them to play with. Put pictures of them with their parent who is deployed in it so they recognize their face when they come home.
2. For older kids, they can make themselves their own scrapbook with the pictures and write their own captions for them.
3. You can have bear made with a shirt on it that has a picture of the child and deployed spouse.
**You can get a poster board and make a map for your child to hang in their room, or anywhere in the house. Circle where you live and where the deployed parent is. Maybe use a thumb tack to track the parent getting closer to home with each day that passes by. Use a calendar with this for the child to count down.
**You can also have the deployed parent make a voice recording for their child. Just a regular recording, or one that can be put in a stuffed animal, or make a video of the parent reading a book to the child before they leave.
**Let the kids communicate with their deployed parent. Little ones can draw pictures and send them. Older ones can write letters, or like my kids, they have emails for this purpose.
**Keep a routine!! Kids with a routine will feel less stressed because they know what to expect just about every day.
**We love using the web cam too! Even if they only get to see him for a minute or two because of a bad connection, they still love it. Getting to see him and knowing he is okay is a major boost for them.
**Journals or video diaries may help too. Your child can keep a journal of things they want to share with their deployed parent when they come home so they don't forget anything. Video diaries would serve the same purpose.
These are just a few ideas I think are good. You can "google" to look for more good ideas! =)