How would you feel if you were told that you had to up and leave your home within a week or so? You suddenly have to leave the surroundings that you’re familiar with and the people you know. That’s exactly how many kids feel when they told by the parents that they’re about to move.

In addition, if the children grew up only in your current home, they’ll be abandoning the only place they’ve ever known. So it’s no surprise that they may balk, cry, and complain about something that you consider to be good news. Here are a few tips for making the transition to the new home easy and fun for your offspring.

Before the Move

Take your kids on the house hunt so that they can become part of the process as soon as possible. Ask them their opinions of any house your considering but do it from their point of view. Ask them how they would feel about playing in the new outdoor space or which of the new bedrooms they would like as their own.

Once you’ve settled on a specific home, take a field trip to the community surrounding it. Look for parks, stores, and other locations that your kid might like to spend time in once you’ve settled in. Ask the principal of their new school for a tour, so your kids get a sense of where they’ll be spending most of their day.

Sign them up for clubs, sports teams, and other activities that they can get started on even before the move. Have them spend an hour or two at the local playground meeting the neighboring kids and potential playmates. This will allow them to start making friends that they will look forward to seeing once you’ve settled into the new neighborhood.

During and After the Move

Allow your kids to do some or all of their own packing. Older kids and teens can take charge of putting away their entire room. Give younger kids and toddlers a box that they can pack with their favorite toys and clothes, while you take care of the rest.

Depending on their age, you children can have a hand in decorating their own spaces. Let them pick wall colors, floor coverings, and paint colors. Older kids can go shopping with you for their own furniture and linens.

At the new home, keep toddlers and young kids in their own room, so they’re away from the moving men and any potential safety issues. They can unpack their box at the time so they have something to do and can play with their favorite toys. Older kids can help with unpacking boxes and fixing up the interior.

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