The process of working with your home builder to build your dream home can be exciting, even exhilarating. Perhaps you’ve been in your current home for years, and a relocation is just the thing you’re looking for to start fresh and get some excitement into your life. But the move itself can be stressful. Factor children into the mix and things can get downright chaotic.

But adults often forget just how resilient kids truly are. By taking a little time preparing them for what to expect, and treating the experience as an adventure, the odds are excellent that your kids will make it through just fine and settle in quickly to their new home. Keep reading for a few tips to make your move easier for your kids.

  • Very young children may have some difficulty grasping the concept of moving. Be sure to explain exactly what’s going to happen, but reassure them that you’ll be there with them every step of the way. A little research will turn up some age-appropriate books on moving.
  • If they’re old enough, get your kids involved in packing. Younger kids can still help to wrap toys in bubble wrap and put books in boxes. If you’re planning to put things in storage for a lengthy period of time, make sure to ask the kids what they need to hang onto and what they can part with for a while.
  • Most, if not all kids, love parties. Budget some time to not only say goodbyes but to have a goodbye party. A celebration can take a potentially sad celebration and turn it into a happy memory.
  • For a long-distance move, it may be a long time before you see certain friends or family members again. Help your kids to make a memory board with photographs and drawings of their favorite people and places. Once you arrive at the new home, your kids can pick out a special place to hang it up.
  • Every parent knows that it’s difficult to get things done quickly when kids are underfoot. Plan extra time for packing, the move itself, and unpacking.
  • While you might be comfortable with a move and know the ins and outs of the process, your children may feel differently. They’re going to have lots of questions, some of them being a little goofy. Even if some questions are silly, the feelings behind them are deadly serious, so be sure to take their questions seriously and respectfully.
  • Sometimes we can’t always pick the right time to move. If possible, however, try to time your move during a relatively calm period for your child. Try to avoid a move during periods of potty training, sleep transitions, and take school schedules into account.
  • Get an overnight bag and fill it with toys and activities that are special to your child. Make sure it stays with him or her for the duration of the move. It gives them a sense of consistency to have a well-loved doll or stuffed animal along for the ride, plus it will give them something to do.