Moving with Kids
Making a move easier for kids
There are lots of things to coordinate and plan for as you prepare to move — the packing, the moving company, transferring utilities and more. But if you’re moving with children, making sure they’re ready for the transition is likely a top priority. If you’re looking for ways to help calm their fears and make the move a positive experience, we have some tips for making the change easier for kids, throughout your move.
Family moving prep
Adjusting to a new home, school and friends can be tough. But there are a few things you can do before, during and after you move to help children with the transition:
Before the move
- Include them in the house hunt. After narrowing down your options, include the kids in the process. When you tour a potential house, show them their potential rooms, and let them run around the backyard. Seeing the possibilities can help your kids get excited about the new house.
- Help them sort through their belongings. Before you start packing, spend some time decluttering. Don’t move anything that’s broken or no longer needed. Depending on the age of your child, you can have them go through their toys and closet and decide what to keep, donate, or sell.
- Let them help with a garage sale. After decluttering, you may want to host a garage sale. Let the kids help — smaller kids can help color posters advertising the sale, while older kids can help attach price tags and those who can handle money can sit at the cash register during a sale.
- Let them help with packing. There are age appropriate tasks for just about every child. Whether they can help by packing items like books, toys or towels, or just decorate the boxes, involving them can help them with the change.
- Give kids a moving day job. While it may be best to keep younger children out of the moving chaos by hiring a baby sitter, older kids can assist by cleaning, taking care of the family pet or even carrying lighter boxes.
- Create a contact book. One big worry for kids is losing track of their friends. Help them stay in touch by collecting information like phone numbers, email addresses and mailing addresses to stay in touch after a move.
- Read books about moving. Books can help children of all ages process the moving experience. Check with your library or local book store to find these books, or click through to our Amazon list to see lots of books about moving.
- Say goodbye to your home. Walk through and let kids take pictures about their favorite places in the home. Say goodbye to each room, allowing them to talk about their favorite memories. Take something meaningful with you — whether it’s a leaf from the tree in the backyard, a doorknob, or the doorframe where you’ve kept the kids’ height marks.
During the move
- Have a family night. Take a break during the moving process to have a family night. Whether you decide to go out for pizza or have a picnic in the empty living room, laughing together will be good for everyone.
- Pack some surprises. Make unpacking really exciting by sneaking a few surprises into your kid’s boxes. Add a new shirt to the clothing box for the first day of school or add a new toy to the toy box.
- Make the road trip fun. Along with packing their favorite snacks, prepare some road trip games to make the drive go by faster. And don’t forget to set aside their pillow, blanket and a favorite toy to make the drive more comfortable.
After the move
- Ease the transition to a new school. Once you find a great school, prepare your child by talking through what to expect. Ask them “What are you excited about at your new school?” “What are you sad to leave?” “What would you like to do to celebrate after your first day at the new school?” Before the first day, learn about the new school together. Visit the school website and let them browse. If they can’t read, show them pictures on the website of students and activities. Talk to your child’s new teacher to find out about any required clothing (such as closed toe shoes for gym, aprons for art, etc.), and where the students are in terms of the curriculum. There may be a book your child needs to start reading so they can jump in during literature time, or your child may need a little extra tutoring to get them caught up with their new class.
- Work on making new friends. There may be new neighborhood kids to meet while playing outside or at the park, along with lots of new people at school. Remind your child how to make friends and practice any new skills they might need to introduce themself, ask their new friend’s name, ask other questions, play together, etc.).
- Have fun with your moving boxes. We have some great ideas to reuse boxes — use them to build a playhouse, a stair slide, or create really cool artwork. One of our favorite ways to use up your boxes is to save them for Halloween (or make fun costumes for playtime). We have some awesome homemade Halloween costumes using boxes- from a shiny robot to a pair of dice, and even a LEGO®!
If you have any questions about moving with kids or ways to help them adjust,, just leave a comment below. We’re happy to help!