7 Stress Free Ways to Prepare Kids for a Move
Whether you’re planning a move to the next town over or hours away, it’s always a good idea to prepare kids for a move. After all, they’re about to have some big changes in their lives, so you might as well make it as stress-free as possible, right?
Growing up, I lived in one home for the first two years of my life and then lived in the second home for 21 years until I got married. There were times my parents thought about moving, but, whenever it was brought up, I remember my brother and I would get so upset. We didn’t want to lose our friends. We didn’t want to go to a new school. We didn’t want a new house.
Just thinking about it was overwhelming and made us super sad.
We never ended up moving, but, now that I have kids of my own, it’s a very real possibility that my family could end up moving in the near future. After all, since we’re a homeschooling family, we no longer need to live in an area with “highly rated” schools. Now, instead of focusing on the quality of nearby public education, we can focus more on quality of life and adventures available to us!
So, since I’m a planner with a hobby of scrolling through realtor.com (you too?), I’ve been brainstorming all the ways to prepare kids for a move. Who knows where we’ll end up, but it’s always good to be prepared and have some ideas for making a future move as stress-free as possible, right? Let’s do this!
7 Ways to Prepare Kids for a Move
1. Read Books about Moving
Of course, the books you choose will be based upon your kids ages and interests, but there are plenty of books about moving available through Amazon. If you’re planning on moving multiple times with your kids, it could be worth it to purchase a book or two for the sake of starting a predictable tradition with the kids. For even more options, you might also consider checking out these 13 Ways to get Free or Cheap Books for Kids, too!
2. Visit Favorite Spots Before the Move
I’m willing to bet you and your kids have made some pretty special memories around town! Whether it be grabbing ice cream from the local mom & pop shop, spending afternoons playing at the playground, or enjoying a meal at a family-owned restaurant, every memory made is an important one. When you begin to prepare kids for a move, do what you can to make one last memory at those special places. Of course, time may not always allow, but there’s just something comforting about being able to say “see you later” to all those special places.
Tip: Our “My Family is Moving” journal includes a page for “10 things to do before we move”!
3. Prepare Kids for a Move by Saying “See You Later” to Friends
These days, we are SO lucky to have the power of the internet. We no longer need to say “goodbye” to friends, but can say “see you later” instead!
If time allows, schedule one last in-person playdate with friends or plan a “going away” party. After saying “see you later” to friends, friendships can continue through virtual chats, letter-writing (yes, I’m going old school with this one!), and maybe even visits in the future. Moving away doesn’t have to mean the end of friendships.
Tip: Our “My Family is Moving” journal includes a “keeping in touch” address book so your kids can keep in touch with their friends!
4. Start a Moving Journal
Might as well encourage those writing skills, am I right?!
Just like writing in a diary or a personal journal, utilizing a moving journal can help to both record an important moment in life and encourage kids to get their feelings written down on paper. Putting pen (or pencil) to paper can be therapeutic and can help with the adjustment period between moving between homes. Many years from now, a moving journal could also be a nice way to look back in time, too!
Our “My Family is Moving” Journal printable set would be perfect for this! In addition to including a number of relevant moving activities, it includes reproduceable journaling pages for both “before” and “after” moving.
5. Learn About the New Area Together
One of the most exciting (and scary) things about moving to a new area is just that – everything is new! To help prepare kids for a move, take some time to learn about the new area together. Some ways you can do this are:
- watching YouTube videos about your location (if possible, you might want to preview them first)
- do a Google search for the new area + keywords such as “restaurant,” “playgrounds,” “events”
- read a book about the area. We have some of the Images of America books and have enjoyed them. If your town is well known, it may be included in the series!
- join a location-specific Facebook group about the area and scroll through together. (scroll through on your own first just to get a general “vibe” of the group. I’ve found some are child-friendly and some not so much)
6. Prepare Kids for a Move by Including Them in the Home Search
Leaving a familiar home behind can result in some (understandable) anxiety. By including your kids in the home search, you could actually get them excited about the move!
Since the real estate market can be unpredictable and fast-paced at times, let your kids know that your family is not guaranteed to get any of the homes you’re looking at. Instead, use this as an experience to open up communication about moving by chatting about the possibilities.
For example, when looking through photos of bedrooms, you could ask your child if they have any ideas for decorating their new bedroom. When looking at photos of kitchens, you could ask them about their favorite breakfast foods and imagine enjoying a meal together in the new home.
7. Make a List of Fun Things to do After Moving
After you’ve researched the new area, create some excitement by making a list of all the fun things you can do together after the move! Planning ahead for trying a new-to-you restaurant, visiting a local store, getting some ice cream together, etc. will give you AND the kids something to look forward to when preparing for a move.
Tip: Our “My Family is Moving” journal includes a page for “10 things to do after we move”!
Are you planning on moving into a new home with your family soon? Are there any other resources we could create to help with that move? Send an email and let us know – if we end up creating it, we’ll send a copy to you for free!
Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family!
Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.
Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!
Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!
I really loved the segment of your article that talked about how to make your kids excited about the move. The idea of going to a new house in a place they’re not familiar with definitely sounds scary to my kids, so I want to reassure them that the place is awesome. I’ll take your advice and bring them on a few trips first before we hire movers and get some help with relocation.