Entertaining toddlers during a move can be quite the challenge. This post will give some great tips to make it work!
I wrote this review/blog post while participating in the Kids II Blogger Campaign and received monetary compensation and/or free products to facilitate my review.
Our family moved to a new home in August, and I’m now convinced that people must suppress the memories of moving once it’s finished because I surely didn’t remember how much work it is!
The last time we moved was just over five years ago. Back then, we had three children ages 5 and under. This time, we had added Toddler Boy–now 18 months.
Our girls–now 10, 7, and 6–can mostly entertain themselves now. (Cue the hallelujah music!) But our son is a whole different ballgame.
While we were packing up our house, I found it difficult to get anything done unless he was sleeping.
Moving with a toddler has made me at odds with myself–I want to cultivate his curiosity while also keeping him safe.
Thankfully, the past month has armed with me with a few tricks to keep toddlers entertained during a move.
I hope my experience will help you with any future moves with toddlers as well!
1. Provide plenty of snacks.
When packing, I noticed that my mind was so focused on the task at hand that I would forget that my little ones were hungry!
Sometimes, the only thing it takes for their fussiness to subside is a snack.
Even when we were packing up our pantry and clearing out the fridge, I made sure we were stocked with plenty of toddler-size snacks. Hoist your toddler up in his high chair and lay out a snack on the tray. I promise it will keep him entertained for at least a few minutes!
2. Cultivate their curiosity.
Toddlers are naturally curious, and they don’t mean to get in their parents’ way when they are packing up for a move.
To the contrary, all of the boxes and packing tape and paper and bubble wrap excites them.
Their curious little minds want to explore all the newness with all five of their senses.
The best way I found to “distract” my son from all the hustle and bustle of the moving boxes and supplies was to provide him with a new toy that piqued his curiosity just as much–if not more–than the packing supplies!
We’ve kept Toddler Boy’s toys to a minimum, but getting him a Baby Einstein™ Curiosity Table was well worth the investment.
Even before we installed the batteries, our son’s curiosity was about to explode with all the little gears and buttons on the table. When we put in the batteries, he had a ball playing the music and listening to the sounds.
We have kept the Baby Einstein™ Curiosity Table in the center of our home while we’re unpacking, and it’s been such a blessing for him to have a go-to toy while we’re setting up the house.
It keeps him entertained, but even more than that, it is helping him develop his creativity and inspiring him to keep being curious! While we currently have the table in between the kitchen and the great room, it’s mobile enough that we can take it from room-to-room as we are unpacking.
He’s enjoying this table so much that I am seriously considering it as a great baby gift for my expecting friends. If you are expecting a baby soon, be sure to add this to your registry. It’s just that awesome.
3. Keep them safe.
Our family jokes a lot about how our son loves hammers and screwdrivers and all kinds of tools. He is our first and only son, and I can say that our girls definitely didn’t gravitate to all of these objects like our toddler son already does!
In all seriousness, though, I’ve had to keep a close eye on where we place various tools when not in use. For example, when I saw our son carrying around two curtain rods the other night, I knew that I needed to immediately take them away and store them in a place where he could not reach them.
Yes, he began to cry and throw a little fit, but his safety was not worth me letting him play with something that is not designed for a toddler’s little hands.
4. Let them “help.”
Little man already enjoys “helping” his daddy around the house.
While there isn’t much an 18-month-old can do, we’ve learned that letting them “help” in their own way can do so much to build their self-esteem, satisfy their curiosity, and learn the ways of this crazy world.
My husband let our toddler “help” him and my brother-in-law install cabinets in our laundry room the other night. Sure, he was only handing them tools, but it made him feel like he was on top of the world!
5. Call in the reinforcements.
While I would love to pretend that packing and moving with a toddler underfoot is something you can do on your own, let me be clear in that we did call in reinforcements several times during our move. My parents, our pastor and his wife, and several other friends helped us with all four of the kids–especially with our toddler.
Do not feel bad asking for help–especially if people have offered!
Micah | Home Faith Family
We made a move from Mississippi to Washington state with our four under 5 (one of them being 8 weeks old). You’re definitely right about asking for help and calling in reinforcements. If it wasn’t for the sweet ladies from my church coming to help watch our children and bring a warm meal, my husband and I wouldn’t have made it.
We moved 4 times in 4 years with 2 little ones! Absolute craziness. It’s all a blur so I can’t remember a lot of tips or hacks. But I do remember that my kids didn’t miss their packed-up toys nearly as much as I thought they would! And, LOTS of prayer for me though those crazy days 😉