8 Ways to Make Moving With Kids Easier + More Fun

Children can feel powerless when you tell them you’re moving. “They usually don’t have any input in the decision,” says Lori Collins Burgan, social worker and author of Moving with Kids. “So involve them in as many other decisions as you can.” This helps them feel part of the experience and empowered. 

You might not be able to let them choose the next house (or even the town you move to), but there are a number of ways to include them in the process. Our top eight are outlined in the list below:

#1: Make a Family Wishlist

A family wish list will help you reach a consensus on some of the things you all want from your new home: a bigger backyard, a basement playroom, separate rooms for the kids. For Jennifer Thompson’s daughter Raegan, 5 the beach was tops. “My husband’s new job was in Jacksonville, North Carolina, but we chose a house in Emerald Isle — a 30-minute commute for him — so we could be near the water,” says Thompson. Allowing your children to take part in the decision-making helps them feel “at home” in their new house. 

#2: House Hunt Together

If it’s practical, take your children to see prospective houses with you. If you’re searching online, bookmark your favorites so your kids can take a look. Ask for their input, and let them know how important their opinion is in this big family decision. Show them they matter.

#3: Give Them the Job Title “Junior Designer”

Creativity is your child’s specialty! Bring home paint swatches so that your child or children can choose a color. Then make it an art project: Have your child(ren) paste snapshots of their bed and furniture onto a sheet of construction paper… and watch as his or her new room comes to life! 

#4: Get Crafty While Decorating Moving Boxes

Give your child his or her own packing box that can be decorated with stickers or drawn on with markers or crayons. Use this special box for his or her favorite things only. Make sure to take it in the car with you when you move so it can be kept close by.

#5: Throw a “Goodbye Party”

Host a goodbye party. “It will bring closure to the friendships you’re leaving behind,” Burgan says. Keep it simple: a basic chips-and-dips affair or a potluck, a picnic, or a pool day. The point is to spend a nice day together with those you love and care about.

#6: Tour Your Favorite Spots

Visit special neighborhood spots one last time before you move. “My sons Alex, 8, and Andrew, 6, had become really close to their babysitters,” says Jeanhee Hoffman, from Honolulu. “So before we moved we arranged for the sitters to spend time with the boys and take them to say goodbye to their favorite places.” Plan a fun day trip stopping at the places you have enjoyed together as a family. You can even take photos and create a scrapbook together.

#7: Make a Memory Book

Create a memory book that your child can fill with photos of your home and friends, along with their email addresses or phone numbers.

#8: Bid Your Old Home Farewell

During a family meal before you move, ask each child to recall a favorite memory in the house. They can elaborate and talk about all the fun times, or why they loved living there. Once you move, at another family meal, go around the table and say what you are each excited about in the new home. 

Going through each of these steps, or even just a few, is sure to make the moving process easier on your kids by making them feel included, providing closure, and giving them hope for fun adventures in the future. Don’t forget to let us know how it goes, and let us know if we can do anything to help along the way. Moving is a big deal, no matter how young or old we may be!

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