Category Archives: Kids on the Move

Ten Questions for Kids on the Move

Moving with kids this summer? Heading to a new home, a new city, or even a new country? When faced with the chaos of a move, many times it is hard to remember to slow down, talk, share, and really listen. These questions can help you really figure out how your child is dealing with your move. It might be helpful for adults to answer these questions as well!

  1. WhScreen Shot 2014-05-02 at 9.55.32 PMat five words describe how you feel about our move?
  2. Who will you miss the most and why? How would you like to keep in touch with this person?
  3. What was your favorite place to visit here and why?
  4. What would you like to do first at our new home?
  5. What can you teach others about how to deal with a move?
  6. What is the best/worst thing about moving to a new home?
  7. Of all the things that you are learning with this move, which will be most useful when you grow up?
  8. What do you think life will be like in our new home?
  9. What would you change about our move, if you could?
  10. What one thing can we do at our new home to make you feel most comfortable there?

What questions would you add?

Good luck with those transitions!

Top Ten Travel Items with Kids

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Do you often travel with small children? Going on your first trip? We have done several international flights with three small children and a baby. We’ve made plenty of mistakes but we have learned a lot (although we still don’t know it all and probably never will). It gets easier as they get bigger, but it is never fun. We hate the overnight trips and multiple plane changes. But, ultimately, the trip is usually worth it. This is our list of must-haves for any trip:

  1. Electronics – usually we are not a fan of kids and electronics. On a long trip, we quickly change our tune. Load up a kindle with educational apps or mind-numbing movies. Whatever it takes to get you where you want to go.
  2. Snacks – food options are often sketchy, late, or non-existent. Pack lots of snacks to get you through meals and moments of crankiness. We pack M&M’s and Starbursts because they can be handed out slowly and take time and concentration for the little ones.
  3. Change of clothes – this might seem obvious, but don’t forget a change of clothes for each adult. Nothing worse than getting thrown-up on, spit on, or spilled on at the beginning of a long trip.
  4. Sippy Cups – I suggest that you bring these for everyone, adults included. Well, a water bottle might be more appropriate for those over age 7, but bumps, elbows, and spills happen. Save yourself a headache and make sure everyone has a top on their beverage.
  5. Color Wonder, Mosaic Coloring Books, Mandela Books, etc. – Even I love a good Mandela to color! These books can be tossed at any time, won’t make a huge mess, and can entertain kids of all ages!
  6. Play dough – make plates, bowls, animals, machines, and cities. Another disposable craft that can entertain lots of kids for hours. Use the cutlery that comes with your meal to work on your shapes, stick everything to the pull-down tray, and toss in the trash when you are done.
  7. Bendi-stix – these are one of our favorites. Kids can play with them for hours and even adults sitting in near-by seats will ask for a stick to bend!
  8. Books (preferably on an electronic device so you don’t have to carry them!) – get older kids something entertaining and with a racing plot so they won’t be able to put the book down!
  9. Comic Books – our kids love Archie comic books, even the little ones love to look at the pictures. You can tear off and throw away the sections that are already consumed and toss everything in the trash on your way out the door.
  10. Travel chess and other travel games – any board game with magnets will entertain older kids. Take the opportunity of hours together to teach your kids chess! Bring along a book that explains strategies and then challenge your seat-mates!

Have you traveled a lot with children? What are your must-haves for a trip?

In our next post we’ll share our top five travel tips for flying long distances with children.

Embassy Kids Coloring Book

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.33.56 PMWe are excited to offer our newest resource for expat kids! Our coloring book helps children learn all about an embassy while completing activities and letting those artistic inclinations loose! The coloring book has forty pages that cover who you would meet at an embassy, what services you might find, and even a bit about expat life.

Click Here to Download for $4.99

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.34.22 PMYou will learn about the Ambassador, the Deputy Chief of Mission or DCM, services such as the commissary, health unit, and Community Liaison Office, or CLO. You can fill a shelf with your favorite American foods, decorate the Defense Attache’s desk, and create your own local artwork for the Public Affairs Office (PAO). Just don’t forget to memorize the phone number for Post One!

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.35.04 PMThis book is for children in pre-school through fifth grade. Parents can read the book to younger children but older children can read, learn, and color! Take it along on your plane ride or review a few pages a night as you prepare to leave for your first post. We’d love to hear feedback. Email us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com with any suggestions for improving this book.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.35.48 PMHow do you order? It’s simple. In the next few days you will be able to purchase a copy from our publisher, CreateSpace.com, or order it from Amazon.com here for $6.99. In the meantime, you can download a PDF to print off at home and start reading, learning, and coloring right away! Please, one download per family!

You can also download your 41 page document here for $4.99.

Preparing for a Move with Kids

Relocating to a new home this spring or summer? Start preparing your kids now! Here are our top five tips for getting your kids ready to relocate.

  1. Create a timeline. Using butcher paper or taping several pieces of paper together, divide the paper into sections for each month surrounding your preparation for your move, your actual move, and your time settling in. Then, write what will happen in each month. Include purging, packing, farewell parties, the actual move, unpacking, exploring your neighborhood, writing to old friends, starting school, etc. Include all the big stuff but also include as many details as possible. Then, review on a regular basis.
  2. Have family meetings once a week. Go over your calendar and/or timeline. Ask everyone how they are doing. Share complaints and concerns. End with a discussion of what you are excited about!
  3. Make a to-do list for every kid. Even little kids can have items such as picking their favorite toys to put in their suitcase, sweeping up their room after the packers have left, and writing their name or symbol on each box of their toys and clothes.
  4. Research your new home. Gather as much information as possible and share it with your kids so they have a sense of where they are going. Use the internet, order videos, read books about your new home. If possible, share pictures of your new house, school, and neighborhood. Make a list of places you want to visit when you are there.
  5. Start planning how you will say good-bye. It is important to feel like there is closure. Plan a party to say farewell to friends, plan a farewell tour to stop by and take a picture of all of your favorite places.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 6.29.57 AMFor help with some of these activities, and many more, you can purchase our Relocation Workbook. This gives you one central location for storing photos and memories, planning for the move, and celebrating your new home. For more information, click here: RELOCATION WORKBOOK

This workbook is part scrapbook, part photo album, part planner, and part activity book. Kids will love the illustrations, activities, and ideas to help make for a smoother move. Younger children can complete the book with the help of parents and children who can write and read can complete the book on their own. Appropriate for ages 3 – 12. This is a great place to compile pictures and memories of your former home and to revisit during times of questions, concern, and homesickness.