Aside from putting a pause on life as we know it, the 2020 Covid pandemic caused many families to move out of their homes. In fact, according to Nancy Zafrani, the General Manager at Oz Moving & Storage, their company was “busier than ever” last year in August. “We’ve noticed a trend after major events like that, that people do leave the city for economic reasons. We did expect an increase, we just didn’t expect it to be this quickly or this intense”, said Zafrani.
As if that wasn’t enough, the move itself can be tedious and exhausting. And when you add kids to the equation, it becomes that much trickier to stay on top of everything. Be that as it may, including your kids in the process and making it fun for them could help ease their transition. Essentially, everybody wins — your kids get to play in a fort of boxes and you get some additional help with packing!
Here are some ideas how you can make moving an exciting family activity rather than a major burden:
Host a Yard Sale Together
When packing for the move, give your kids control over some of their belongings, such as old toys. Form two piles (i.e. “keep” and “donate”) and let them sort their own stuff.
After that, grab some paper, markers, and stickers, and get the kids to help you prep everything you need for the yard/garage sale. They’ll most likely be glad to help you host the sale, as well. Apart from giving them the thrill of making their own decisions, this activity could also teach your kids to share with others and deal with money.
Let Them Play With the Leftovers
Don’t know what to do with the leftover consumables, such as food and cosmetics? Instead of throwing it all away, let your kids play with products that are safe to use.
For instance, kids love pretending to cook and preparing nasty concoctions for their parents to “degustate”. Besides that, they could mix leftover bath products together to create magic super-potions and elixirs. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to supervise younger children to prevent ingestion.
Have Them Decorate Boxes
Even if your kids aren’t of much help when it comes to packing itself, you can still make them feel involved. Purchase some decorative tape, markers, and stickers, and give your kids the task of beautifying the plain and boring cardboard boxes. They could even mark the boxes with cute lettering and drawings.
In case you have some extra boxes that you don’t need, consider making a fort out of them together for more believable and immersive pretend play. That will provide your kids with hours of entertainment while you deal with the formalities.
Leave Some Decisions to Them
Although parents always think they know best when it comes to their children’s lives, they must not exclude them from decision-making entirely. When moving, make sure your kids have a say too, at least in some minor decisions.
For example, you can let your kids pick the color of the walls in their new room or the furniture. They could also help you narrow down some choices for the living room. All in all, just make sure to acknowledge your kids’ wishes and concerns.
Make a Game Out of Mundane Tasks
Nobody likes to get down and dirty, especially for a house they don’t plan on living in anymore. However, given that cleaning is inevitable, you might as well try to make the best of it. By including the whole family in such tasks, you will not only keep the kids entertained but also get some help along the way and finish the job quicker. To make cleaning more interesting, you can make a competition out of it. As an example, you can prepare prizes beforehand and give them away for every job well done.
Similarly, you can make unpacking more exciting by hiding small treasures among the boxes, such as toys, candy, etc. Then, your kids can scavenge for them and enjoy the treats while they unpack.
Go Camping In the Yard
After packing everything up, there’s typically some time to kill. And given that you don’t have access to many of your things, you have to get creative. Instead of sitting around and staring at smartphones, you and your family could take this situation as an opportunity to do something different and fun. For instance, why not have a camp-out in the empty house or out in the yard?
Throw a Going Away Party
Another way to make the transition less intimidating for your kids is by hosting a going away party. Invite all of your family and neighbors, as well as your kids’ friends and schoolmates. That way, they’ll be able to get some closure before leaving for an unfamiliar place, where they don’t know anyone at all.
What’s more, you can encourage their friends to bring a symbolic gift that your kids can remember them by. Also, when you move, help your kids stay in touch with their old friends and arrange occasional visits if possible.
Explore the New Neighborhood
If you introduce your child to their new neighborhood before actually moving there, it won’t be so unfamiliar and scary to them. Start by showing them pictures and videos of their new room, home, or town. Tell them about what they can expect upon arrival and answer all of their many questions. We also suggest visiting the new neighborhood with the kids and making an adventure out of it.