Moving house with kids is undeniably challenging especially for parents with toddlers and pre-schoolers. They have to deal with the tantrums, the crying, and all the side-dramas of moving like missing their best friends, leaving their room, even wanting the toy that’s already packed and loaded in the removalist’s truck.
If your family is moving to a new house and your kids are really young and are already showing signs of dreading the move, here are some tips we at Emmanuel Transport recommend to help lighten it up for them. This can also help you make the trip to the new house fun especially if there’s a chance you’d be stuck in traffic or moving a fair distance.
• Give them their own moving box to fill.
Let them pack some of their items in their own moving box. Let’s call this their “treasure chest” or “special box”. You and your child can paint it, name it, draw flowers on it and put stickers on it. It’s one way of showing you understand how they feel and you’d want them to be a part of the move… not just move with them.
Of course, you should help them decide which items to put in the box!
• Let them decide which toy they can bring in the car.
Before filling up their special box, give your child a selection of toys they can possibly bring in the car with them. Make sure these toys are not something that can distract the driver. You can have magnetic board games too. Of course, the selection should depend on your kid’s age. Let them choose and ask them to put in their special box the toys they didn’t select to bring in the car.
• Create a map to the new house.
Make the trip fun by drawing a map to the new house. They will surely be on the lookout for signs and buildings (make sure to include this on the map) while on the way.
• Prepare treats.
Keep kids occupied with treats. Have granola bars or yoghurt with raisins and nuts ready packed in zip locks or plastic wares in case they get hungry during their trip. As parents we know not to have anything sticky or messy, but making it a special treat that can last is always good
• Have a medicine kit with you.
There are kids who get easily sick when they travel. Make sure you have a medicine kit for tummy ache or to help them cope with dizziness. It is even best to have a wet towel especially when it’s a hot day, as well as plenty of water!
• Pack an extra shirt for your kids.
Extra shirts can help your child feel comfortable whenever he or she needs to change – especially if they spilled food or drink on their shirt. This can also help if you plan to have a short stop for a bite to eat or park while on your way to the new house.
• Have a list of games you can play in the car.
The games always make the trip fun. If you’re stuck in traffic, you can create a name game using the numbers and letters you and your kids see on car plate numbers. If your child is in preschool, you can ask him to identify the letters and ask what animal or object starts with it, or count the colours of cars going past.
• Find the nearest park
Find a park near the new house where they can run about and stretch their legs after the drive, or somewhere to take them while all the heavy furniture is being unloaded – we all know they are great ‘helpers’ but best to keep them out the way if possible
• Set up their room first
We know you may want to get the kitchen ready as soon as possible, but getting your child’s new room setup first can help them with the transition, give them as sense of both something new in being in a new house, as well as having their familiar furniture and toys. This can help them adjust to the new house faster. If possible, having the room setup in a similar style to their old room can help them feel more comfortable sleeping in the new house too
Moving house with kids can be fun with a bit of imagination involved. Plan it with them, make the trip interesting, and show them you understand how they feel.