Moving can be a difficult challenge for anyone, add kids to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for an even bigger challenge. Thankfully, there are many great ways that you can incorporate kids into the move without too much difficulty. These tips are sure to help you, regardless of the age of your kids. We’ll start with specific age brackets and go from there for our tips. Remember, the sooner you can begin packing, the easier your move is going to be.
Ages 2 And Under
This is perhaps the toughest yet easiest age bracket to deal with when moving long distance. Kids ages 2 and under aren’t quite aware of what is going on, and your biggest challenge will be keeping them occupied long enough to get a few boxes packed each day. Start by setting aside the central area of your house. This area should be in or near the main room you’re going to be working in for any given day.
Child gates, play yard areas, or even a small stack of boxes that won’t injure your child are ideal ways to section off an area. Place a few rarely used toys in the room to entertain the kids. Kids have a few favorite things at this age; try to find those few toys and incorporate them into your area, overcoming the obstacles of long distance moving with kids.
Keep a running dialog going with the kids while you’re packing, and usually, you’ll be able to pack a small box or two at a time or maybe one large-sized box.
Ages 3 To 7
This is a fun age, and you can get help from this age bracket. Talk to the kids about what is going on, “We’re moving to a new house soon, and we need to pack up your toys so you can take them with you,” “Would you like to help me pack this box?”.
These are ideal ways to incorporate kids into the move and get them to help you get things packed up. Another fun idea is to give each child a crayon of a different color and allow them to decorate their specific boxes. Younger children can draw pictures on their boxes, while older children can write their names on their boxes.
Kids love to help, and it will keep them busy to have them pack a few of their favorite things and identify which boxes are theirs. Kids will usually tire of this after a time and either take a nap, watch a program on television, or need to be redirected.
Ages 8 To 12
This age bracket is very similar to the ages 3 to 7 age bracket; however, you can begin to give them other household items to pack. Consider a small bookshelf or other items that are relatively easy to pack. Set a goal of so many boxes for each child or allow to close in age children to have a contest to see who can pack the most in a set amount of time.
The more you involve your kids in the move, the more excited they will be about leaving their old home and friends. Be creative and consider the kids’ ages when you’re coming up with ways that they can help you in the move. Throw a going-away party and allow them to invite a few friends. Take plenty of pictures.
Ages 13 And Up
This age bracket is perhaps the most helpful of all. At this age, you can assign them specific areas of your home to help pack up. Start with their room and go from there. Not all kids in this age bracket will want to move, and you may have to deal with some teenaged angst.
Be creative and remember you were once that age and try to deal with each specific issue as it comes. Focus on fun and make the move an adventure, and you’re far more likely to get more cooperation. You can also sometimes put an older child in this age bracket in charge of a younger age bracket or divide them into teams and team them up with a younger child for a “contest” to see who can do the most in a specific room. When teens feel important, you’re going to get a lot more cooperation from them.
More Key Tips To Move With Kids
A going-away party allows kids to feel like they have some closure on the move. You should also consider taking them to tour the new home and choose their rooms if it’s possible.
Find fun things for them to do in the new area so that they won’t feel so bored. Maybe they’re closer to a park or another area where they could meet new friends. Pay a few visits to these areas so that they feel connected and look forward to the move.
Even if you’re upset by the move, try not to show it to the kids. You want their cooperation, not their angst. The more you can make the move look like a fun adventure, the more cooperation you’re going to get from the kids.
These tips will help you to move with your kids and enjoy your move without a lot of difficulties. Even the most challenging child can be coerced into helping you if you apply a few of these tips.
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