Moving to a brand new place every three or so years is just life.
We arrive, we live, we pack, we move.
It can be super easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stuff that we forget to explore our new hometowns.
Treat your new home like a field trip, or series of trips. It will get you out of the house, and bust the boredom of routine!
Stumped on where to get started? Here are a four fun, and easy, steps to help you out!
1.Build background knowledge
When you find out where you are moving, do a quick google search or check in with the local military spouses Facebook page. Simple questions like: family friendly (city name) OR things to do in (city name) with kids. Write down a few quick things that caught your eye.
For example, during our most recent move to San Diego, my search turned up: San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Coronado Island, Balboa Park Museums, Stroller Warriors, beaches.
2. Bring in the kids
With younger kids, start talking about your new home. Tell them about some of the fun things that you will do. Get out your calendar and map out the move for them.
Say: “We will leave Camp Lejeune on April 15. We will drive to San Diego and get there by the end of April. What is the first thing you want to do?”
Let your kids decide.
With toddlers, showing them pictures side by side might be helpful to allow them to visualize where they are going.
With older kids, have each child pick his/her preferred destination and let the research begin. Help them to find the appropriate websites or request travel brochures from AAA.
3. Older kids only: Sell it to me
After each child has researched his or her potential favorite place, have them present it to the family.
Each child could explain what the activity entails. (EX: At the zoo, we will see many animals from around the world. We can talk to animal keepers and learn about the animals in this world.) He/She could also tell the cost, whether there are discounts, and where it is located. This allowed them to practice comparing, finding places on a map, and calculating with money.
Once all the children have presented, put each activity into a hat and pull randomly to determine the order that these activities occur.
4. Set the date
Consult with your work schedules, HHG shipment arrival, and the school calendar.
Then work as a family to figure out when each activity should happen. If apple picking is one of your choices, you will also need to look at the growing seasons and when apples will be harvested.
Mark the dates, sync your watches, or start a countdown. This will help young children understand the passage of time and learn patience. Older kids can help with making sure the family is prepared for the next great adventure.
We are already having a blast exploring our new home. Even the baby is learning about the neighborhood, environment, and trying new things.
What are your strategies to become familiar with a new home? How do you get the kids involved?