The big move: How to prepare your family for their new home

Like any child moving to a new town, Leo was understandably nervous about the new life he would find there. Fortunately for him, he found a group of supportive new friends who helped him settle in quickly.

It’s a happy end to the house-moving story that every parent wishes for their own child. The reality of the moving journey is that every child needs your help to adapt to leaving the familiar behind and adjusting to the unknown, long before the move itself happens.

Children can be incredibly resilient, but there are lots of things you can do to make this period of change as easy – and enjoyable – as possible.

Naturally, it’s a challenging time for parents too, so taking time as a family to remind yourself of the positive reasons that motivated you to make the move can be beneficial for everyone – and a chance to have fun!

We met Emmett, who is currently in the process of moving with his family to Margate, 90 miles (145 km) away from their current home. He shares with us an insight into how he is coping with the big change and some of the things that you can do to help prepare your kids for any changes they may be going through.

With all the preparation that’s required to move house, it’s easy to forget that your children might be unfamiliar with how it all works. Aim to involve them as early in the process as you can, so that they feel included and informed.

This can start right at the beginning! Take them along to property viewings so that they can already form a picture of what their new bedroom might look like, where they’ll be eating their meals and especially where they’ll play with their LEGO® bricks.

You can also use other media to help tell the story; there are a number of illustrated books that provide a gentle introduction to moving house, or you could even use LEGO bricks to explain the process yourself.

Offer control

Participating in a move can be a lot more rewarding for children than watching it all happen from the sidelines.

Give them some packing boxes and let them pack their own books, games, toys and LEGO bricks. This not only helps them feel that they’re contributing to this big operation, but also reassures them that their favorite things will be coming with them. Emmett decided to draw his name and add a bunch of doodles to his box to really give it a personal touch.

It can also be a chance for them to declutter. Rather than telling them that they have to give anything away, reserve a packing box and put your own spin on its purpose. You can tell them it’s for things they don’t play with any more, or that they think they’re too big for. The important thing is that they have the freedom to choose – even if that box might end up being disappointingly empty!

Emmett prepares another box for moving home
You can use other media to help tell the story; there are a number of illustrated books that provide a gentle introduction to moving house, or you could even use LEGO® bricks to explain the process yourself.

To ensure that their boxes can be easily found after the move, encourage them to personalize each box with their name and decorations. Consider also creating a special ‘favorites box’ filled with reassuring items that they will always have access to throughout the whole process.

To get them excited about their new bedroom, ask them to build a recreation using their bricks that will help them plan where to put their furniture and belongings, and perhaps even consider how they’d like to decorate their personal space.

Leo from LEGO Friends
Like Emmett, Leo was nervous when he moved to Heartlake City, but new friends like Zac from school made him feel excited to live there.

Leo’s Harmony Beach bedroom reflects his passion for cooking and good times on the beach. Given no limits, what dream bedroom would your child create?

Make memories

Before you move, give your children the chance to say their goodbyes to the people and places they’re about to leave behind. Respect their sadness as a healthy emotion, and support their efforts to adjust to this big upcoming change.

You could try:

  • Arranging a farewell party, decorating the space with art, photos and objects that celebrate your child’s friendships and favorite memories

  • Creating a memories book that can be filled with photos of your child’s favorite places and people, and pictures to remind them of your old house

  • Talking to your child about what they’ll miss most and also what they’re looking forward to in their new home (make sure you do the same!)

LEGO bricks can be a great role-playing tool to help your kids prepare for the daunting task of making new friends. Create situations that reflect the real opportunities they’ll have to meet new people, then act out scenarios to let them figure out how best to approach potential new pals.

Stay connected

Leaving your friends behind is an unavoidably painful part of moving away. While adults now have access to many means of staying in touch over long distances, your children don’t – at least not without your help.

Talk with your children’s friends’ parents and arrange video calls to help your kids maintain the meaningful connections they’ve made. You may find that the kids connect by play rather than conversation, so think about activities beforehand.

Emmet draws some doodles at a desk
To ensure that their boxes can be easily found after the move, encourage them to personalize each box with their name and decorations.

You may notice that some relationships naturally fade as they make new friends, but you could also help to forge lifelong friendships.

Whatever happens, be sure to keep the conversations going!

New Friends, New Adventures

Discover how our 8 new characters, including Aliya, Leo and Autumn, are expanding the world of LEGO® Friends.