Moving can be a real drag for everyone, but the kids seem to get the most antsy! Between the stress of relocating and changing schools, worrying about their favorite items, and anxiety over losing and finding new friends, kids really do have it rough. Here are some tips to keep them happy and entertained during the big move!
Don’t Pack All The Electronics
I know, I know. There’s so much to do and never enough time. Think about it, though – for most kids these days, their electronics are second nature to them. (Think about how close you are with your cell phone!)
Keep at least one of their favorites unpacked and available. Don’t forget to keep the charger unpacked, too! For some kids, this will mean having access to a laptop, a tablet, or a portable DVD players. For others, this will be their cell phone, a handheld video gaming device, or an mp3 player. Whatever it is, let them have a little time with their old buddy because it will help ease them through the transition.
Keep One Hamper or Open Tub Filled With “Must Have” Items On Top and Easily Accessible
Having a few “must have” items available for your child to easily unpack upon arrival is crucial. Some kids will need to have a very specific set of toys, while for others it might be their extra special room decor. Whatever it is that your child treasures and makes them feel at home the most, be sure to have it available and easy to get to right away. When your child feels comfortable in their new surroundings, they’ll be much more likely to help you out and keep a good attitude!
If You Have a Baby or Toddler, Keep Their Routine As Unchanged As Possible
Truly, this could go for a child of any age. Babies and toddlers, especially, need that extra bit of care put into their daily routines. If your child is used to going to bed at a certain time using a certain routine, try and stick to it as much as humanly possible. They’ll sense if you are feeling apprehensive or stressed. If you act like the new home and the new rooms are safe and inviting, and you don’t change their routine, they’re much more likely to adapt without a huge fight. During a move is really not the time to get rid of things they felt were safe and comforting. For example, if your child has been going to sleep with a swing for naps, try and have that swing available to them during naps throughout the move and in the new home as well. It’s comforting!
Have Fun Activities Planned or Available
Nothing is worse than trying to get a child to stay out of the way during a move. You try to pack or unpack and they just get in the way or cause mischief! The best thing you can do is to make sure that your kids have something fun and entertaining to do that won’t hinder your progress! For my kids, I brought over a huge tub of giant blocks for them to build with while we were moving into our new home. It wasn’t overwhelming because it was just a single type of toy, but it was fun because I gave them a LOT of them.
Another option would be to have movies available, or coloring books with crayons, books to read, or play dates scheduled with friends or family. Making sure that kids receive special attention and have a creative outlet is so important. It prevents them from bugging you every second of the move!
Talk to Them!!
Be sure to check in with your kids often during a move. How are they feeling? Do they have any fears or anxieties? What are they most excited about? Do they have questions about their new home or what will happen at their former residence? Keep the line of communication open so that they know they can come to you before their emotions spill over into funky behavior.
If you’re in the middle of a move, good luck! I hope that you’ll be able to use some of these tips to keep your sanity while helping your kids adjust and thrive.