Moving is tough on your nerves and your budget, but the process becomes more complicated when you add kids into the mix. Your children may grieve for the memories of the old house and neighborhood and may not know how to handle relocation. Don’t let your kids feel left out. Make moving with kids a fun adventure for all with these 10 creative ways to simplify the process.
1. Make a Song and Dance
Kids love to sing and dance, so host the most fun packing party with your kids. Order pizza and make your own show happen. Recreate the lyrics to “Let It Go” or another favorite song.
2. Riddle Them
Don’t leave out your littlest ones, and hide surprises for your munchkins to find while they help with the move. Create riddles to solve or make a maze.
3. Box Decoration Duty
Once boxes get sealed, task older kids with appropriate labeling and box decorating duty. Give them colorful markers and stickers. Your little ones can help with the stickers.
Ask the in-home estimator for a quote on coloring book moving boxes to keep things structured and fun if you’re afraid the doodles may get out of hand. It makes the packing process more exciting with storytelling and a pop of color.
4. Cardboard Imaginative Play
Many people overdo it with the box foraging, so save some for your kids to play in for breaks and distractions. They can build a fort and have something to play with while you pack away their toys.
5. Moving Playlist Music
Let your kids create the ultimate moving road trip playlist. Keep up the family morale with feel-good tunes. Teens will love being in charge of this idea, but it may help your resolve to remind your teen that all family members get at least two of their own picks on the list.
6. Games for the Road
Playing Monopoly on the road could prove dangerous. Instead, make a list of simple games you and your family can play on the road together to pass the time, such as 20 Questions or I Spy, which is great for kids ages 2 and older. You only need two people. With a notebook, you can also play Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe.
7. Camp Indoors
You’ve arrived, but don’t rush to set up bedrooms yet. Camping indoors lets your family have extra bonding time and dream about the potential for your new space. You may have ideas you never expected come up overnight. Pitch a tent indoors and start dreaming.
8. Trust Kids to Set up Their Rooms
While you don’t want your toddler setting up their room, trust older kids to organize their space. When kids place their toys in the areas they prefer, they may take more pride in keeping things in order,
Letting your 11-year-old decorate their own room develops their autonomy and expression because eventually, they move out into the world on their own. Let your kids have a say in their space and also the ones you share.
9. Make Decorating Collaborative
You all have to stare at the same four walls, so get the whole family involved in the decorating process. Make a sign with the family name to hang on the door, or paint it on the mailbox. Why not make signs for each other’s rooms?
10. Repurposed Cardboard Crafts
You want to teach your kids the value of recycling and repurposing, so don’t let that cardboard go to waste. Flatten and cut out cardboard squares for the kids to release their inner artist, or make two forts to play a game of sock war.
Moving gets tough quickly for the whole family as you deal with multiple feelings about the process, from sadness and excitement to not busting your budget. Your kids need your support in the form of a big hug and things to do, but these ideas prove that moving doesn’t have to happen without fun or creativity.
Adjustments during and after the move will take time. Show your kids photos of the new location, and involve them collaboratively in the moving process to get them excited about their new home.
Jennifer Landis is a 29-year-old healthy living blogger who loves yoga, running, and dancing it out with her toddler! You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or by following her on Twitter: @jenniferelandis.