In an ideal world, on moving day the kids are at school, grandma has taken them for a joy ride around town, or some wonderful friend has offered to take them for the day. Sweet dreams…
So what exactly should you do with kids on the day of your move? Well, the possibilities are endless.
Lock them in a closet! Don’t worry, we won’t call child services on you we’ll actually bow down to your ingenuity. Just kidding, don’t lock your kids in a closet. The sound of them banging their teeny tiny little hands against the door will actually be worse than them being out and about.
Put them to sleep! Alright, the probability of kids actually sleeping while packers or movers are shuffling around is pretty slim. However, if you see a drooping eyelid or even the tiniest of yawns, be sure to take your chance to whisk them away into a quiet part of the house (use your imagination!) and put your tired little gremlins to sleep. We can’t guarantee that your movers will adopt an air of silence and magically make moving or packing a quiet process, but you should know that we are backing your various attempts to keep them sleeping. We’re on your side. On a side note though, we can guarantee that you’re sleeping children will not be packed into the truck.
Why not sanction the kids to the garden, weather permitting of course. If you have a pool, let them wreak havoc because outdoors is better than indoors where your moving team is usually on the go all the time. If not, find a patch of lawn that doesn’t block the busy team, lay out a big comfy picnic blanket and let the kids have their own little picnic. The kids will love this!. Give them a tea set, a few stuffed animals and some little nibbles and they’ll be entertained for hours.
On scorching hot days, your moving team can feel a little like a lone small tree stranded in the dessert and victim to the sun’s burning rays. Exaggeration…? Ok, I’ll admit it, but the boys do get hot and that’s no secret. So why not let your kids act as “waterkid’s” for your team? All sports teams have them. Let the kids be in charge of supplying water to the movers, they’ll be out of your hair for a bit and provide some light-hearted fun on the day.
Let them clean the car. Everybody has to do their bit on move day, so snatch up the opportunity to be a slave driver and put your kids to work! Cleaning the car puts them out of the house, out of your hair and engaged in an activity that builds character. We all remember Mr.Miyagi’s infamous “wax on, wax off” in the ‘Karate Kid’. Who knows what washing the car taught the Karate Kid, but it was something important. Give your kids the chance to learn this lesson too and why not give Dad a chance to show off his own car washing skills with the kids. Bonus: Husband out of the house too!!!
If you have a whole bunch of stuffed animals, grab a large box and put it on the opposite end of the room as the stuffed creatures. The aim is to stand as far away from the box as possible and throw the animals in. This will provide a few hours of entertainment depending of the distance, age and coordination of your kids (the less coordinated the better, the activity will take longer!). Add a few boxes around the room, at a greater distance or at more difficult heights/angles. Add a points system and presto, the kids have a game!
The same goes if you have a fair few cars or tiny little animals. Grab a box, let the kids create some sort of ramp into the box – whether they just use a table surface or a piece of metal – and the kids can zoom their cars into the box at top speed, or walk the animals in. I can just imagine my own little brother doing this years ago when we moved. There were cars flying everywhere and he absolutely loved it!
We all like a good beat to set the pace and keep us in good spirits, use this to your advantage and let the kiddies be in charge of music. Whether they’re pumping out Miley Cyrus, ACDC, Taylor Swift or Mackenzie from ‘Dance Moms’ (anyone?? Must just be my sister, killing my ears with the sweet auto-tuned musings of this young feisty thing) your movers will thank you for providing some entertainment. And, who doesn’t want to see their kiddies dance around to their favourite song. Gosh you can just imagine how adorable they’d look, I’m swooning at the thought!
If you have older kids, there are a variety of things they can pack themselves. Clothes for example are easily done . There is the easy option of just getting the kids to chuck the clothes into a box or, if you like to keep your clothes organized, grab a large box from the packers and a few sheets of butchers paper. Help the kids to write ‘tshirts’, ‘pants’, ‘tops’ etc. on different pieces of butchers paper. After packing each different type of clothing, place the label on top and start packing the next layer. Like Shrek says, önions are like ogres, they have layers” and so too do boxes have layers. Let the kids follow Shrek’s analogy and they’ll be kept busy with an activity that teaches them valuable lessons in organization and tidiness.
When unpacking boxes, the biggest problem are the many empty boxes that are left lying around. We are often too focussed on getting everything out of the boxes and into the cupboards, that within a few hours we become trapped in a sea of boxes. But have no fear, there is an answer to what can almost be described as an existential crisis, almost. Kids are the answer, yes I mean it… kids!!! How often do you use kids as an answer to a problem? Well, here’s your opportunity. As you unpack, get the kids to collect the boxes and use them to create a fort. Whether it be inside or outside, as long as they’re out of your way and having fun.
So there you have it, just a few ideas on how to keep your kids entertained. Of course, kids are kids for a reason. They run their own agenda. Sometimes they are very, very good and sometimes they are very, very bad. We all love them either way and completely understand the dilemma of mixing kids and moving. Remain calm, everything will be alright in the end and if it isn’t, then you haven’t yet reached the end.