As we prepare for yet another move, I’m working hard to help my children transition with as much ease as possible. My two and four year old children will probably be fine. They are still adaptable and flexible and, frankly, a bit clueless. My six year and eight year old children are leaving good friends, a wonderful school, and many memories behind. I’m trying to help them capture those memories and feel as if they can leave a bit of themselves behind as well.
I’ve searched the web for great ideas and asked everyone I know who is experienced in moving (we are surrounded by these gurus, luckily). This has been my plan for this move. I hope to improve on it for the next time!
- Each child made a list of there three favorite places (it ended up being four each). Then, we painted American pennies to personalize them. We visited each place and took lots of pictures and left a penny in a secret spot. Then, we found a small stone or pebble and each child put them in a tiny drawstring bag that we labeled with the name of the city. So, we took a bit with us and we left a bit of ourselves behind.
- Each child picked two to three favorite friends and we made “Circle Journal” packets for them. In a large manilla envelope we included a blank journal (each child decorated the cover and then wrote a special letter to the friend on the inside.) We also include four stamped and addressed envelopes to our new address. We added a book of stamps, three pages of fun stickers, a pen, and a pack of markers for drawing and decorating.
- We hosted a “Goodbye Friends” playgroup. Each child invited as many friends as they wanted and we had cookies, juice, and milk (wine and cheese for the adults). We had initially thought about a BBQ or dinner party but decided to keep it simple and easy since we would be in the middle of packing and organizing.
- Together, we wrote a letter to the Director of the school thanking the teachers and other staff for a wonderful experience. We wrote a paragraph about each teacher. Then, we took pictures of each child with their teacher and turned the pictures into greeting cards. Each child wrote a personal letter to their teacher and I included a note as well. We attached the cards to a decadent box of chocolates and presented them on the last day.
- For the last day of school, each child took a bunch of cookies and juice for a last day celebration (we left before the year was over, so this was possible.)
- When the packers came we took the excellent advice of letting the kids decorate and label the boxes that contain their own things. We labeled them with the child’s name and our destination. This helped cement the fact that we would be reunited with our stuff very soon!
There are so many great ideas to help children transition when they move. Since we move every two to three years, this is important to my entire family. We leave in a week, so we’ll see if we actually were prepared and if the transition is as smooth as I hope. Many thanks to all the moving experts out there who helped me come up with a concrete moving plan to ease the transition for my kids. Let’s hope it works!