Moving with kids underfoot can add extra stress and difficulty to an already grueling process. How can you engage the little ones in the work? If you play your cards right, you’ll keep the kids occupied and get some quality help with your packing as well.
Here are categories of things you can have kids pack, as well as specific tasks they can help with.
Have kids pack . . .
- Their own things. Set out several boxes and have the youngsters put toys and games in one, clothes in another, and odds and ends in a third. Older kids can learn to wrap anything fragile and pack boxes tightly.
- Pillows and linens. Younger kids can go wild stuffing the softer items into big boxes and bags. Things won’t stay folded, but the mess will be worth having the little ones in on the action.
- Tupperware and other plastic items. Kids are of course best with unbreakable items, so food storage containers and plastic kitchen utensils can be left to their care.
- Stuffing paper or packing peanuts into the space on the edges and at the top of boxes.
- Sticking color-coded labels on the boxes in each room; red for kitchen, green for dining room, etc.
- Labeling boxes, an especially engaging task for those just learning to write.
Add a little bit of fun to the proceedings — and provide a good absorbing distraction — by encouraging the kids decorate some boxes with markers, stickers, colored tape, and other embellishments. Promise them they can keep those they decorate to make a fort after the move and you’ll have them out from underfoot while unpacking as well.
How did you get your kids involved in packing for your most recent move? Were there certain tasks they really enjoyed or excelled at?Moving: Get the Kids Involved by Dayna Hathaway