Whether in Van Nuys or anywhere else, moving is stressful and exhausting. Add kids to mix and the level of tension and fatigue is multiplied. If the daunting take of juggling between packing chores and parenting responsibilities a must this summer while school is out, follow these tips to help keep summer vacation fun and the move entertaining for those little ones full of curiosity and energy.
Kids are hands-on learners. Moving offers a teaching opportunity for kids of any age. Keeping kids actively involved in the moving process not only teaches them skills they will use later on as adults, but will also keep them occupied as they help the family in moving.
Smaller Moving Boxes for Smaller Movers
Show your child how to properly pack using smaller boxes based on the size of their belongings. This encourages them to be active participants as they pack their own boxes with their favorite toys and carry them to the moving truck. Smaller boxes can include old shoe boxes which your child can easily place their action figures or Barbie’s into. If the small boxes can be made as light as possible, you can also have your child carry their own boxes from their rooms to the moving truck or garage. This experience teaches your child to have responsibility for their toys and makes them feel part of the moving team!
The Game of Moving
Who hasn’t played (or at least heard about) the game TETRIS? The goal of the game is to fit different sized pieces together without leaving gaps and without allowing the area to overflow. Add a timer to it and the challenge has been heightened! Moving is a lot like TETRIS. Have your child figure out how to make all their toys fit in a small box. This will encourage him/her to organize all those toys better. For older kids, have them time themselves to see how fast they can finish packing up their toy room! Encourage them to maximize the space of the box by utilizing their TETRIS skills. Congratulate them when they show you that they are applying their game skills and reward them for jobs well-done with treats during breaks. Using games to engage your children during the relocation process makes the task of packing more enjoyable for kids and very helpful for you.
Creating Art on Moving Boxes with Children
After your child is done packing a small box with their toys or clothes have them note what is in the box by writing or drawing at the sides of the boxes. This teaches them to organize and help find that specific toy there are sure to need as soon as you go to your new home. Creating art on the boxes is a fun experience that will keep them both productive and occupied. When it comes time to unpacking the boxes in your new home, have your kids help by having them seek out the boxes based on their own labeling. Ask them to find a specific toy to show them how their organizing and labeling helped you out!
Moving is hard on kids not only because their caregivers are preoccupied with packing, but also because they are nervous about the change. Make them feel comfortable by keeping their favorite toys and activities accessible to them throughout the relocation. A backpack for them to keep around them is a convenient way of not losing track of these items and an easy place for your child to store their items.
Keep Them Reading!
Marvel comic books, bed-time fairytales, or the latest magical series, keep kids occupied with learning. Before the hectic packing and moving period starts, make a visit to the book store or library and have them pick out books specifically for that week. While their minds escape to the far and wide adventures, you can focus on the moving chaos.
Coloring & Activity Books
Keep your child’s creative juices flowing! Coloring & activity books will keep their minds engaged and is a stress-reliever for them. Have them get a head start on the summer homework or make birthday cards for any upcoming celebrations. The best part of having coloring and activity books for them is they are easy to carry and don’t take up much space. Your child can work on them in the car or even at the self-storage unit while you’re busy working in your unit.
Electronics & Learning Apps
With the ever-changing options on electronic devices these days, learning apps that entertain your children while teaching them math, reading or creative thinking, are life-savers during home moving! Managing screen time when you’re busy is difficult, setting up screen time parental controls on iPhones and tablets will help control what they are doing and for how long they are on the device. Don’t forget to fully-charge the devices in case you need it at the self-storage unit or on the long drive to your new home.
Pack for a 3-Day Vacation
Moving to a new home is certainly not anything like a vacation. But, when it comes to the first few nights in your new residence, packing for a three-day trip will make those transition days much easier. Packing, loading, unloading and unpacking rarely come without any hiccups: misplaced phone, forget to empty out the fridge or don’t know who has the new apartment keys. When 9 PM hits, the last thing you want to worry about is where the tooth brushes and favorite blankets are. Have each person’s essentials packed up in their individual luggage and alleviate the night and morning frustrations of a “just-moved in” unorganized home.
Sleeping bags are a crucial must when moving, especially when you have disassembled and packed away the bed. You may not be able to re-assemble the bed frames in the new bedrooms. Keep this in mind and anticipate that there may be a possibility of sleeping on the floors on the first night. Having the sleeping bags and pillows accessible will allow for a quick setup for the night.
If reading bedtime stories is a nightly routine on a normal (non-moving) day, stick to the routine and provide comfort through stability. Have the kids choose a few books to pack in their luggage so you can read during bedtime as you help them fall asleep. For older children, ask them about their week and talk to them about how the move went. Spending some time with them will help them feel at ease as they try to wrap their minds around the big move.
Teddy Bear & Night Lights
Moving can be scary for younger children. The unfamiliarity of the new home can be frightening especially during the dark night hours. Pack your child’s comfort toys in the luggage along with some night lights throughout the new place. This will also minimize bumps in to moving boxes as you try to get to the restroom in the unfamiliar home in the middle of the night.
Soon after your family is moved in, the focus is on unpacking and settling your things into the new spaces. But, it’s also important to settle into your neighborhood. Take a break from the packing for an hour or two and explore the neighborhood. Take a family stroll to the nearby parks or the local store. You and your kids will enjoy the break together as you meet your new neighbors and get familiar with your surroundings. After all, the task of moving may not be fun but a new beginning in a new neighborhood is exciting!
If moving to Van Nuys near QuikStor Self Storage, visit the following links for helpful family-friendly activities and resources:
Discover Los Angeles–A list of all the activities you and your family can do in the greater Los Angeles area!
Kids activities in Van Nuys–A list of great activities to take your children to in the Van Nuys area!