Moving can be stressful, especially if you have kids—balancing parenting with a moving checklist is certainly no easy task! However, moving homes is a great opportunity to work with your children and teach them valuable lessons. By making your move more family-oriented and child-friendly, you can reduce both you and your kids’ move-related stress.
Show Them Their New Home
Fear of the unknown plays a major part in move anxiety—especially for children— so getting them familiar with their new home before the move goes a long way.
Moving close? Take a day trip to see what your new neighborhood offers and explore some fun local hotspots. Bowling alleys, libraries, ice cream shops, community centers, or local parks can all make for an exciting day that helps ease stress.
Moving far? If your new home is too far to visit before the move, be sure to show your kids lots of pictures of their new home, neighborhood, and school. Get older children to research fun places or extra-curricular activities that their new hometown offers.
Plan A Fun Activity
Put your kid’s research to good use—or do a bit of your own if they’re too young—and let everyone pick a fun outing to do as a family once you are settled into your new home. This will help give your children something to look forward to and get them better acquainted with their new environment. Plus, it will be a good family bonding experience.
Get Their Opinion
You may have already picked the perfect new home, but that doesn’t mean your kids can’t still have a say. Moving can make things feel out of their control, so ask for their opinion on things you will follow through on. What color should the new door be painted? Where should the swing set go in the yard? What should be planted in the garden?
This will not only make them feel involved, but it can also help them start visualizing themselves in their new home.
Younger kids may have a hard time understanding what is happening. Of course, you will want to answer any questions they have, but there are also many kids’ books on the subject of moving that can help.
Some of our favorites include:
- I Like Where I Am
- A Kiss Goodbye
- The Berenstain Bears Moving Day
- Bella and Stella Come Home
- Moving House
Go Supply Shopping
You need packing supplies anyway, so why not make it into a family outing? Encourage your kids to pick out a special tape or stickers to decorate their moving boxes. You may even want to consider topping off your shopping trip with a treat or fun stop to make it extra special!
Get your kids to pack their own bedrooms. It will give them a sense of accomplishment—and take something off your to-do list.
Have kids that are too young to pack or can’t be bothered? Ask them to help by “labeling” boxes with pictures of the room that the box’s contents belong to. This can not only lead to funny pictures but some great moving momentos as well. Kids don’t want to draw? A box fort never fails to entertain!
Hold A Yard Sale
While your kids are packing, get them to put aside anything that they don’t want anymore. Lump this with the clutter you’re getting rid of, and you should have enough for a small yard sale. Older children may be able to tackle the task of hosting a yard sale on their own, while younger kids will be happy to help.
Want to sweeten the pot? Let them keep any money the yardsale makes.
Throw a Bon Voyage Party
Saying goodbye to a home is often hard, but keep in mind it can be especially difficult for children. Home is considered their safe space and chances are it may be one of the few places they’ve lived—if not the only.
Dedicate one night before the move to say goodbye to your home. You might want to have a small party that includes a goodbye cake and some pizza, talking about your favorite memories in your home, and even taking a tour around the rooms to say goodbye. It’s a great way to help your kids get closure and it’s a moving activity that encourages family bonding.
Make It A Road Trip
If your new home is far, make the ride there feel like a family road trip by planning travel games like Road Trip Bingo, Road Sign Scavenger Hunt, I Spy, and The License Plate Game. You may also want to consider an audiobook if the car ride is extra long. And no matter the length of the journey, don’t forget the car snacks!
Pick New Decor
Allowing your kids to pick some new decor for their new bedroom, or even just one new item, can get them looking forward to the move. Younger children may also enjoy drawing pictures of how they want their new room to look. Chances are they will be a little wild and unrealistic, but you can probably find at least one element to replicate.
Settle into Routine
Try to settle into your normal routine as quickly as possible once you move into the new home. The change of environment can feel rather unsettling for kids, so some familiarity is important.
And last but not least, don’t forget that fun family activity that your children picked earlier to do in their new neighborhood. Plan a day to do it and explore your new surrounds! It can offer a much-needed break from unpacking.
Your move will be over before you know it and your kids will adjust to their new home in no time. So breathe, have some fun, and maybe build another box fort—because let’s be honest, everyone loves a good box fort!