Moving home is stressful, and trying to keep the kids entertained makes things even harder. If you think numbing the pain with beer is your only escape, think again. (We’re not gonna lie though: an icy cold beer can totally help.)
Putting things in boxes can be a dull task. Let’s be honest: it’s not much fun for us adults either. Think outside the box (ha!) with these ideas to liven up the packing process.
Nothing motivates a child more than the chance to claim victory over a sibling. Try setting a challenge for your kids to see who can pack their things away the fastest (or neatest), and sweeten the deal by offering a prize as an incentive. You might need to perform umpire duties though, to avoid accusations of cheating, and to prevent the goldfish from being thrown in with the shoes. (Note: This probably won’t work with your average teenager.)
Can’t be bothered labelling boxes? Let the kids decorate them with crayons and stickers instead. They’re more likely to get excited about packing things into a box that looks like a castle or a firetruck. This is also a great way to know which box belongs where when it’s time to unpack.
Play with Boxes
If you’d prefer to have the kids out of the way while you tackle the packing, give them some spare boxes or bubblewrap to play with. They’ll be a lot easier to handle if they’re building forts or making masks out of cardboard.
On the Road
A game of I Spy can only get you so far before the dreaded “Are we there yet?” rears its ugly head. Avoid backseat boredom with these tips for a fun car trip between houses.
Create a Playlist
Put together a playlist of your kids’ favourite songs and have yourself a family singalong. From the latest pop hits to classic Disney ballads, with any luck, your kids will tire themselves out after a few songs and fall asleep so you can enjoy a quiet ride. And if not, you’ll just have to let it go.
Play Games That Last
Fill the time with games that take longer to play. I’m Going on a Picnic is great for killing time while flexing your family’s memory muscles. It begins with someone saying “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” followed by something that begins with A, such as apples. The next person repeats this and adds something beginning with B. This continues through the entire alphabet – and if someone forgets an item in the list, they’re out.
Good Old-Fashioned Bribery
When all else fails, the offer of getting first pick of bedrooms will keep even the most restless of passengers quiet.
So you’ve packed up your home and made the trip to your new address. You’re exhausted. You just want to sit down. Don’t let your kids smell your fear or sense your weakness. Keep it together and get unpacked with these handy hints for keeping the kids entertained.
Hide Little Surprises
You know who unpacks boxes really fast? Kids looking for prizes. Hide little surprises inside your moving boxes for your kids to find, or place a puzzle piece in each box for them to put together as they unpack.
Keep your kids occupied by getting them to create a sign for each family member’s new room. They’ll love this fun activity and you’ll love having them out of your hair while you get unpacked and organised – it’s a win-win. Just make sure to hide the permanent markers.
Map it Out
Get your kids involved by having them draw a floorplan of their new bedroom and mapping out where they want their furniture to be placed. It’s important for them to feel like they have some control in their new room in order to settle in, and it’ll keep them out of your way for a little while.
Bravo! You have now successfully moved home while keeping your kids entertained and your sanity intact.
Remember: spare boxes keep bored kids busy. Sacrifice the tattered old ones for the cause, and stock up on some crisp new ones at our Box Shop.
Tags: life with kids