Moving can be stressful at the best of times. When you have a toddler, you also have to ensure that your stress doesn't get passed on to her. In the weeks leading up the move, perform a few simple activities with your toddler to help her learn about what's going to happen and even involve her in the process. She may feel more secure and less worried about moving if she knows what to expect.
Let Your Toddler Pack
Instead of making your toddler simply watch you do all the packing, give him a small box in which to put his favorite toys. Chances are, he will pack and repack it several times before the move. Helping you pack will make him feel that he is important, too. Unpack his special box immediately upon arrival at the new home. This practice will give him a few familiar toys to play with while the rest of your items are being unpacked.
Playing and Reading
Play games that demonstrate what will be happening on moving day using toy trucks and toy furniture. Let your child either play the people who are moving or the movers who will help pack and unpack the truck. Read stories about moving so your toddler will have some idea of what to expect before, during and after.
If possible, visit the new home whenever you can with your toddler. Take pictures of her favorite areas of the house, print them and give them to her in a small photo album so she can look at them whenever she wants. This way, she will feel more familiar with the new house when moving day comes. Take pictures of the old house, too, so she has something to remember. If you're moving to a new neighborhood, add photos of her favorite spots from the one you're leaving.
Create a Moving Celebration
On the last day in your old house, when most of your possessions are packed, ask your toddler to pick what takeout food she would like to have for dinner. Eat outside on the patio if the weather is nice, or even inside on the living room floor for an indoor "picnic." Repeat the process on the first night in your new home. This activity will create positive memories at a time that can be otherwise stressful.
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