Category Archives: Children

Reading with Kids

8 Books to Share with Your Kids Before a Move

The transition from an old house to a new house affects children in different ways than adults. Many children lack previous experience with moving, so they don’t know what to expect with such a major life change.

As a parent, you want to make a move as comfortable as possible for your children. One tool that helps you in your efforts is children’s literature. In a previous blog, we listed some helpful children’s books about moving. In this blog, we’ll name even more titles about moving created for children. Choose a few books from the list below to help your child prepare for your upcoming move.

For Toddlers

1. I Want to Go Home by Tony Ross

The Little Princess from I Want My Potty makes more demands in this fun story. This time she insists that her family move back to their former castle despite the extra room available in the new castle. This hilarious story will help children realize t he perks of moving house.


2. Bunny Bungalow by Cynthia Rylant Bunny Bungalow

A family of bunnies moves to a new bungalow and spruces it up to their liking in this short rhyming story. Toddler-aged readers will enjoy the whimsical illustrations. As you read, point out ways your child can personalize his or her new room just like the bunnies do with their bungalow.

For School-Age Kids

Chester's Way3. Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

Chester and his friend Wilson are best friends, but when Lilly moves in down the street, the dynamic of their friendship changes. Teach children to be nice as the new kid or to other new kids with this book. It’s a must for fans of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.


4. The Berenstein Bears Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstein Bernstein Bears

Your child’s favorite talking bears move into their well-known tree house from their former home, a cave. Your kids will notice the Bear family doing typical moving activities, such as packing belongings into boxes, and feel more prepared for your move.


5. Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst alexander who's not

The same Alexander who had a terrible, horrible day puts his foot down about moving in this picture book. Read through this book with your strong-willed child if he or she has negative thoughts and feelings about moving.


6. Big Dan’s Moving Van by Leslie McGuire; illustrated by Joe Mahtieu Big Dan's Moving Van

Use this book to introduce your kids to how moving companies help with your family’s move. Readers follow Dan on a typical work day, from loading furniture into a moving truck to driving it to a new home. The story and the colorful illustrations familiarize children with moving professionals and reassure them that they’ll see their packed belongings again soon.

For Advanced Readers

7. Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon by Paula Danziger Amber Brown

Advanced elementary school readers will appreciate the candor and humor of the Amber Brown series as they approach your family’s move. In this first book in the series, Amber Brown does not move, but she deals with moving in two ways. First, her parents are separated, and her dad is moving to Paris. Second, her best friend and his family will be moving soon. Both situations cause Amber to confront the painful emotions caused by change and separation.

8. Superfudge by Judy Blume Superfudge

The hilarious cast of characters from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing returns in this novel for pre-teens. Peter feels unhappy when he learns his family will move out of Manhattan to the New Jersey suburbs for a year. In their new neighborhood, Peter makes friends, tries new activities, and learns to handle the change.

If you’re preparing for a move, share these books with your children. Use them to start discussions about the good and difficult things about moving so your kids feel ready when moving day arrives.


Moving? How to Help Kids Adjust to a New Community

Moving can be exciting and exhilarating for people of all ages. Moving brings the promise of a fresh start, interesting places and faces, and new adventures.

But moving also means leaving friends, familiar places, and sights of home behind. While leaving these things behind is hard for adults, children and teenagers often experience additional difficulty. Children may feel intimidated by the thought of living in a new town, attending a new school, and making new friends.

Moving doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating though. Use the tips below to help your kids adjust to a new community.

Make Special Considerations for Children of Different Ages

Your children’s ages and personalities affect how they will respond to moving. While one of your children might adapt easily to a new place, another might need more help and emotional support to make the adjustment. Keep the following in mind:

  • Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers will not understand the meaning and complexity of a move. They don’t interact with very many people outside of the home, and they don’t experience change very often. Young children thrive on predictably, so try to keep their routines as normal as possible once you’ve moved.
  • Elementary school-aged children want to fit in with their peers. As a result, your children might feel scared about living in a new community. Focus on the excitement of attending nervous-boy-back-to-schoola new school and meeting new people. Tell them about a person or group of people, such as immigrants, who overcame their fears to come to exciting new places.
  • Although teens are old enough to understand the need to move, they might resist change. Teens may feel like they can’t establish valuable friendships in a new community, which might make it hard for them to transition into a new school. Moving is especially hard on teens who participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. To help ease your teens’ worry, research the programs in your new town. Does the high school have a state championship swimming team? Is there a state-of-the-art performance hall?

You have to focus on the positive to help kids transition to a new. Listen to their questions and concerns, and reassure them that they have things to look forward to.

Provide Support After the Move

The first few months in a new town prove volatile for many children, so pay extra attention to their emotional needs. Here are a few ways you can provide emotional support as your children settle into a new community:

  • Explore your new community. Visiting nearby parks and finding the best local restaurants can help your whole family feel more at home.

    Teenagers Basketball

    Photo credit:

  • Find ways for your children to get involved in the new community. If your children participated in music or drama clubs in your former town, help them get involved in the same activities in your new town.
  • Encourage your children to express their feelings. Many children want to know that they have a friend and confidant who understands what they’re going through. You can be that confidant. Listen carefully and intently as your children vent their frustrations. Don’t get short with them, as this can make them feel even more insecure.

Set an Example for Your Children

Children of all ages take cues from their parents, especially in new or scary situations. As you settle into your new community, model the kind of behavior and attitude you want your children to adopt. For example:

  • Socialize with families in your new neighborhood. If you encourage your kids to get involved in the community but never leave the house, your children might take this is as a sign that they don’t need to branch out. Invite your neighbors and their children over for a dessert night. This will allow your children to meet new people in a nChildrenon-threatening setting.
  • Stay up-to-date on events at school and in the community. The more you know and learn about your new community, the more your children will feel at home. On the other hand, the less you know about the community, the less likely your children are to embrace their new surroundings.
  • Don’t complain about your new house or community in front of your kids. Chances are, you’ll feel frustrated or stressed about unpacking and settling into a new home. Try not to let your children see this frustration. If they hear you badmouthing your new community, they might do the same. This makes it harder for them to settle in.

Adjusting to a new community doesn’t have to be stressful or scary for you or your children. Focus on the positive aspects of the new community. Provide outlets from your children to vent their feelings and frustration. Set an example for them to look to as they adjust. By helping them feel at home in a new community, you’ll be able to enjoy your new adventure that much more.

Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

Save on Back to School Shopping

With another busy moving season wrapping up, it is about time to get your kids ready for school and with that comes back to school shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family is expected to spend $606 per child for back to school shopping. If you have more than one child, the dollars add up fast. Here are a few ways to save this year:

Take inventory – Take inventory of what your child already has for clothes and shoes in order to avoid burning money on items that are already in the closet. Take the opportunity to teach your child a lesson in charity and donate any outgrown clothes or shoes. Articles of clothing that are beyond repair can be torn up and used as rags for cleaning.

Also, take inventory of office supplies sitting around the house. You may find some notebooks, folders, pens and pencils that can be of used for the upcoming school year.

Create a shopping list with your child and stick with it – After taking inventory you will have a pretty good idea about what items are needed for the year ahead. If you have just moved, be sure to consider what might be needed with the weather at your new home. Sit down with your child and discuss what supplies they think they will need. Stick to the list and avoid falling for the deals that aren’t needed.  Just because an item is “on sale” doesn’t mean you’re saving money by buying it. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Take advantage of sales tax holidays – This is a great way to save if your state offers it. There are different requirements for each state, so do your research and double check what is being offered.

Plan lunch – If your child does not eat school lunch, you will most likely be the one to prepare it. The best way to do this is plan lunches for a week out by making a grocery list and sticking with it. Check for weekly deals on meat products and other items used for lunch. Consider going to big box stores to stock up on items that are non-perishable.

Get next year’s supplies this fall – The best and cheapest time to get school supplies is after school has already started. Stock up on supplies for the following school year or for next semester.

Back-to school swap – Coordinate with mothers of children the same gender as yours but different ages to host an annual clothes swap.  This is a great way to meet families in the area after moving, while saving money, too!

Track the sales and shop online – The easiest and most time-effective way to compare sales is online. It’s also easier to find coupons online and use them on the spot when purchasing items. By shopping online, you are also saving on gas and lunch that usually goes into a day of shopping.

Use apps to get some couponsShop Kick, Retail Me Not and Target’s Cartwheel offer coupons based on your location. With Target’s app, you can scan items and it will bring up their available coupons.

Happy shopping!