11 Easy Tips For Moving House With Kids
Moving day can be tough on kids, lots of hanging around, being stuck in the car, spending so long away from a TV, saying goodbye to their bedroom. But you can make the day so much better for them with a few handy ideas and fun activities.
1. Get them involved in the move.
Packing boxes, helping declutter, clearing loft space, packing their own toys/books, keeping the work force fed and watered, if you can keep children involved throughout the whole process, particularly in the build up, then they’ll feel more invested and it can make the process seem less frightening.
2. Visit the new house with them.
Let them see the new house, look around their new room. Help them see it’s a positive exciting new start, as they’re sure to feel a degree of sadness about leaving their old house.
3. Give each child their own special box.
During the packing process, let each child help by packing their own special box. Let them load their own things inside, help to close, seal and label it. Then during moving day tell them it’s their job to make sure their box gets to the other end. Arrange for their boxes to be among the last loaded so they witness it. Or if you use smaller boxes, they can load their own box themselves. Then at the new house the kids can help unload their boxes and place their own box in their new bedroom. Make sure the box contains toys and books they can play with straight away.
4. Get them to decorate their box.
If they are having their own special box, you could also get them to decorate it for extra fun.
5. The ‘Funny Faced Box’ Game.
Daft but wonderfully harmless. Take one random box and draw a funny face on it, remember to draw it on all side as you never know how it will be stacked. The game is then for the kids to find the Funny Faced Box. Every time they spot it during the move (as it’s going in the van, coming out, placed in its final destination, etc) they win a little small prize/treat.
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6. Let them ‘guard’ a box for the whole trip.
Give each child a small, secured box and make it their job to guard it for the whole move. It should be small enough to be able to sit comfortably in the car with them without taking up much room (roughly the size of a box of tissues, you can buy boxes in stationary/craft shops). Tell them there’s a very special item that they’re responsible for getting to their new room. Once you’ve arrived at the new house and they’ve completed their ‘mission’, let them open their box which can contain a small toy or bag of sweets as a reward for doing so well during the move.
You can add more elements to their mission (“Look out for enemy agents posing as removals men!”) as you go to keep them engaged and boredom at bay.
7. Make sure they see their things being packed.
It’s natural children will be worried about things being left behind. Dispel their fears by letting them see (and help) pack their more precious belongings and on moving day make sure they witness their boxes/possessions being loaded in the van so they know their things are safe. It can be a (VERY) long journey with a distraught child, convinced a favourite teddy/toy has been left behind.
8. Keep familiar things handy.
The most important things to take care of when arriving at your new home are;
In the case of children, setting up their old bed, usual linen, bedside lighting, will give them familiarity and security in an otherwise new and unfamiliar room. Also make sure their windows are covered, if their old curtains will fit (even if it’s just a temporary measure), it’ll add another familiar element.
9. Add/invent games and tasks.
Along with painting and guarding boxes, you can make up all kinds of moving day games, such ‘old school’ driving games; “First one to spot a…”, who can make a Malteser last the longest, etc. The more you can keep the kids engaged and entertained, the happier everyone will be and the calmer your move will be in general.
10. Use digital distractions when needed.
Keep their digital devices charged and handy. There is nothing wrong with kids using tablets and devices for controlled periods (research shows it can improve coordination, problem solving and other cognitive skills), so don’t be afraid to keep them entertained with a bit of ‘tablet time’. If it helps kill boredom during what will be a long day, then it’s a definite win!
11. Stock up on snacks.
You certainly don’t want a car full of hangry children. Make sure you have plenty of snacks. There could be extra delays so make sure you’re well stocked for every eventuality and include some treats for prizes in games or rewards for helping. You could even give the driver a treat if he’s been a good boy (“Does Daddy deserve a biscuit?”). Or not.