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    Create an "Imagination Station" while Unpacking from your PCS move!

    moving with kids resized 600Took the long route through the neighborhood today, and noted the familiar sight of a giant moving truck parked in front of a home. As I passed by, a crew member balanced a bulky stack of brown boxes through the propped open front door of the home. Squeals and laughter echoed out from the backyard as two young boys ran through a lazy lawn sprinkler. It made me wonder, “What do parents do to keep the kids busy while their goods are being unloaded, and while the full-fledged unpacking begins?”


    Yesterday Karina talked about how to get motivated to unpack; what about keeping the kiddos engaged in the unpacking scenario.  The question was posed to a few spouses of active duty military. “Imaginative play” was the resounding answer for keeping curious little ones occupied, and out of the way of the unloading crew.

    • When those brown cardboard gems are emptied, they become valuable resources for the kids to enjoy! Buy crayons and markers on back-to-school sales and have the children color all over the empty moving boxes. Allow their imaginations to soar. A box may become anything from a playhouse, to a fort, to spaceship!
    • The large empty wardrobe boxes bring rounds of the classic game “Hide and Seek” to another level!
    • Wad sheets of packing paper into ball forms and have a toss contest into empty boxes at staggered distances.

                    Or, from behind the safety of an empty box fortress, have a snowball fight of wadded packing paper.

    • If the weather does not allow the children to play outside, a trip to the local library may be a helpful destination.
    • Take a trip to the dollar section of a Target store. Allow the children to choose a bouncy ball, a coloring book, a large piece puzzle, or something else (relatively small) that they can feel excited about buying.
    • If helpful, have the children help unpack their playroom toys. Old things may seem new again when delivered to the new address.


    Additionally, these suggestions for childcare were offered from fellow military spouses:

    • The parents may contact the installation Family Support office for information on complimentary childcare, potentially available when a military family arrives at their assignment.
    • The parents may ask around the new neighborhood for babysitter recommendations. Or, consider hiring childcare through the websites www.sittercity.com or www.care.com, frequently used by military families.
    • The parents may look up information on relocation assistance services at www.militaryonesource.mil.


    Making the most of the early days in the new location helps set the tone for the experiences ahead. Soon the neighborhood will begin to feel like home, and the memories made will last far longer than a decorated empty moving box! Click below for more tips!

     Ten Tips to Help Your Children with a Military Move

    Mary Ann Eckberg


    Mary Ann Eckberg

    Originally from Nebraska, Mary Ann Eckberg is a writer, a dreamer, an animal rescue softie, a laundry ninja, a football fanatic, and a cupcake connoisseur. Honored to be a military spouse, Mary Ann collects good friends and good memories at every assignment.

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