Yes, you can count on moving as being a stressful experience, especially if you’re moving the family to a different city or across state borders. From finding the right new home to packing up all your belongings, moving is a big process that can put your life on pause.
Yet, before you unleash your stress and fury, remember the effects of moving on the little ones. Kids are sensitive to change, and leaving behind their home can create fear and anxiety of the unknown. Keep these ideas in mind to help make moving a happy and fun family experience.
Virtual Pen Pals
If your kids are attached to their iPads, ask them to break away from Minecraft to create an address book filled with friends and classmates with whom they want to keep in touch. Help them gather phone numbers, emails and home addresses for where they can send letters and homemade cards. Your kids can also use FaceTime to give friends a tour of the new place and hang out. With technology, your kids can turn friends into special long-distance pen pals.
Lesson of Giving
Downsizing to move into an apartment? You probably need to get rid household items, including some of your children’s belongings, which can become traumatic for little ones. Open up the idea by talking about the power of giving back to foster a generous spirit. Teach the lesson that it’s not about losing a toy, but rather giving to a child who may be less fortunate. Once your child shows signs of excitement over donating and generosity, you can talk about ways to get involved in your new community as a family after the move.
For families embarking on a big move, help your kids overcome feelings of uncertainty by creating an “explore board” together. Find photos in magazines and print online pictures of fun activities and places to explore. If you’re just moving to a different neighborhood, even a new dog park can be exciting to look forward to. Younger kids can color things to do and draw places to see onto construction paper, like dogs to represent a dog park. Pin these cutouts onto a bulletin board and create a photo collage to use as visual inspiration for a new adventures.
Celebrate new beginnings and awaiting adventures with a going-away party. Leaving good friends behind is one of the hardest parts of moving, reminds ApartmentGuide.com. Plan a party and invite your kids’ friends and neighbors over for fun times before leaving. A party at the new apartment can also show your kids that moving is an opportunity to meet new friends. For the last night before the move, end the era with a family all-nighter slumber party. Camping out in the living room, watching movies and snacking on sweet treats will become an unforgettable memory.
A New Look
Replace daunting thoughts of unpacking and organizing with exciting decorating ideas. Ask your kids to envision what type of space they’d love to have. Make over the bedroom into a Star Wars theme. Design a reading nook. Put together an art workstation. Your family can also focus on smaller projects like finger painting on a canvas board to hang as wall art, creating butterfly window garden for whimsical flair or decorating a mason jar flower vase with twine and lace to use as a kitchen table centerpiece.
While teens may be a great help during a move, younger children may require distractions to stay safe and occupied. Plan ahead to make sure your largest boxes arrive at the new apartment first and designate an adult to quickly unpack those. Then let your kids transform those boxes into forts to play. Cut windows with a box cutter and let the kids decorate them with markers and their imaginations.
Approaching the move with these fun ideas can help eliminate stress and even create positive effects on parents as well. As you strive to make moving a fun and exciting experience for your family, you may find that you are enjoying the process too.