Moving into a new home is always exciting. On the other hand, getting ready for the relocation is rarely anyone’s favorite way to spend time. There is always much more work to do than anticipated and many problems can occur. No wonder many people say that moving is one of the most stressful life events. Be that as it may, the moving preparations without kids are nothing compared to all the activities you have to do before the move when your little ones are around. That is why we are here to give you advice on keeping your kids busy on a moving day.
Let them help you, you might be surprised by the results
Children can be restless and sometimes we feel that they consume all of our energy. But, they can be very helpful when you give them a chance. We are not talking about babies here, but toddlers can already perform some simple tasks like packing their toys or sticking some labels onto moving boxes. But, let’s start from the beginning.
There are many activities that need to be done before the moving day comes. Once you set the moving date you can start preparing. The first step should be decluttering. We all tend to accumulate too many items over the years and families with kids know this far too well. The weeks before the actual relocation are the perfect time to get rid of such stuff. Ideally, you should get rid of all the things that deep down you know you will never use again. Throw away the useless and damaged stuff (toys included), donate or sell the items that somebody else might need. Getting rid of some toys can be tough for your children, so try to make up a story that will help them part with them, or simply do that while they are asleep. It sounds a little bit cruel, but moving with too many unnecessary stuff is not practical at all.
Let them make the selection
Your kids can help you select the toys that they would like to donate to the less fortunate ones, or to their younger friends, neighbors, and relatives. Explain to them that their old toys will get their new homes just like your family will.
After decluttering, it is time for packing. Children love playing with boxes and imitating adults, so you might easily convince them to take part in packing their toys for a move. The rule of thumb is to pack the items that are rarely used first. Leave your children’s favorites for the last box or better yet – for the box of essentials. That is the box you should always have at hand on a moving day. Here are some ideas about how you can make the packing process more interesting to your children:
- Let them decorate the boxes with their possessions the way they want to.
- Give them appointments that they simply can’t do wrong – sticking labels is one such activity, plus – kids love stickers!
- Let them choose the clothes they will wear that day and pajamas they will have on the first night in your new family home.
- Similarly, they can choose a book for you to read to them when it’s their first bedtime at the new address.
Ask your friends and relatives to help
There is nothing wrong with asking for some help. Especially not if you are preparing your children for a big move. If you have some friends or family members who volunteered to help you on a moving day, maybe you should consider asking them to babysit. That is if you are comfortable with them taking care of your kids. Having someone reliable to babysit will help you focus on final packing and overseeing the movers. All of the tasks will be easier for you when you know that your children are safe and entertained.
If getting them out of your way completely is an option, you should do that. Your friend, or whoever is babysitting, can take them to the cinema, park, pizza place or wherever you think they should be going.
Do your kids have friends in the neighborhood? If so, maybe they can go and spend some time with them while you are moving. That can be a nice way to part with their friends before going away to a new neighborhood.
Making a scrapbook can keep your older children busy on a moving day
Older children can decide for themselves what they would like to do on a moving day. Just make sure that they choose their activities and prepare the materials in advance. That way, they will not go through already packed boxes searching for a certain thing that they need right away. Making a scrapbook can keep them occupied for a long period of time, and it can be a nice way to part with their old home and old friends. This is especially important if you are moving long-distance.
Prepare some activities for the young ones
There are many games that can be played even when the toys are packed in moving boxes. This might not be the best time for family bonding games since you will probably be needed elsewhere, but you can try to entertain your offspring by playing a guessing game. Drawing is also an option, especially if your kids are fond of it. Also, you can offer them some coloring books or playdough – who doesn’t like that?
Old packing materials can provide loads of fun
Once your family reaches your new home, you can start unpacking. Begin from your children’s room. You can play a game when your child is trying to guess the box where a certain toy is. Or you can simply let them open up all of their boxes and take out whatever they need. The cardboard boxes can provide a lot of fun too. If you haven’t done that already while you were packing, now you can give them markers or color pencils and encourage them to be creative. Boxes can be converted in animal-themed costumes in no time. You can find a lot of ideas online.
Caption: Moving boxes can be used in so many ways
Alt. tag: Two robots made of moving boxes – that can be a great idea for keeping your kids busy on a moving day
If nothing else works…
Moving day can be very stressful for your kids. Everything is changing, everybody’s busy, there is no daily routine – those are some of the reasons that can make them anxious. Let them indulge in the activities that they like. Almost every child likes cartoons. If any, this is the day when you should let them watch as many as they like. If your TV is already packed and ready for moving, they can use a laptop or a tablet. Just don’t pack their chargers in advance, or at least put them in the essentials bag so that you always know where to find them.
Having your kids around during a relocation can be really stressful. However, there are some ways you can keep them busy on a moving day. While you are preparing for the move, try to think of the activities that your child can take part in while movers are around. You have various options: from making the creative activity kits and organizing a cartoon marathon to asking somebody to babysit. The choice is all yours!
Bio: Layla Stewart is a freelance blogger who writes parenting articles and travel guides. Since she is working from home and raising three young children, her stories are often based on everyday events at her home. She can help you find the best possible help for your move and clean your home, as well as offer many other useful tips.