According to child psychologists, children can experience moving as a type of loss. “A child loses friends, a home, and her early childhood program, the losses often resulting in feelings of sadness and anxiety or even anger,” says professor Marian Marion, Ph.D.
Equipping children with coping skills and teaching them how to manage the stress of moving could help ease their sadness and anxiety, particularly if these lessons are delivered in a relatable form, like a children’s story.
Here are eight children’s books to help your child adjust to moving. Click on each book cover to learn more about each story.
Big Ernie’s New Home is about a cat, Big Ernie, and his transformational journey as he embarks on a move. Big Ernie is struggling with the move, but his human, a little boy called Henry, is there to help and support him through the transition. Authors Teresa and Whitney Martin touch on the sadness, anxiety, and even anger that children may experience during this time, also offering suggestions to help make their adjustment smooth.
Age range: 2 – 5 years
Grade level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Number of pages: 32
A New House turns moving into an adventure and will keep your kids busy at the same time. This is an activity book with games and puzzles that addresses the emotions surrounding buying and moving into a new home.
Age range: 4 – 10 years
Grade level: Kindergarten – 4
Number of pages: 28
Alexander’s family is moving 1,000 miles away, but he’s adamant about staying right where he is. Why would he even consider leaving his best friend, the best babysitter in the world, his soccer team, his special places etc.? Of course the author, Judith Viorst, presents compelling reasons, making it impossible to keep up his very comical rebellion. But when he does come around, he does so on his own terms, so he’s still winning.
Age range: 5 – 8 years
Grade level: Kindergarten – 3
Number of pages: 32
The Moving Book doubles as a scrap book and guide, offering practical tips and suggestions to help your child prepare for a move. Covering pre-, during and post-move experiences, the book even includes change-of-address cards to mail to friends, pages for memories and photos, and ideas for organizing and decorating your child’s new bedroom. As an added bonus for caregivers, author Sue Dennen also included tips for parents.
Age range: 6 – 11 years
Kindergarten to 5
Number of pages: 160
Told in free-verse, Where I Live is a story about a girl called Diana, whose life changes suddenly when her Dad loses his job. Forced to move as a result, Diana has to leave her best friend and the familiarity and comfort of her home. However, this isn’t the end of her story, it’s just the beginning, because “sometimes a little uprooting and change is necessary for growth.”
Age range: 7 – 10 years
Grade level: 2 – 5
Number of pages: 112
The Essential Moving Guided Journal for Pre-teens is an activity book that encourages young adults to work through their feelings about moving, with writing prompts to guide them along the way. This book also makes moving a shared and collective experience, with helpful advice from their peers offering some solace as well. Author Sara Elizabeth Boehm moved 12 times as a child and an adult, so she took her own experiences of moving and turned them into practical advice and encouragement for pre-teens who may be struggling with this change. The book also includes games and activities.
Number of pages: 114
Boomer’s Big Day perfectly captures the chaos, anxiety and excitement of moving. Expecting the day to be like any other day, Boomer is surprised to find that his toys are nowhere in sight, the house is cluttered with boxes, and there are several strangers in the house playing an odd game with the boxes, somehow disappearing the boxes from the house. After a very long and very cramped car ride, Boomer finds himself in an empty and foreign house. Everything is very confusing, but by the end of the day Boomer is back to his happy puppy-self and wagging his tail.
Age range: 2- 7 years
Grade level: Preschool – 7
Number of pages: 32
Moving Day! is a fun and upbeat book and a great conversation starter, encouraging further dialogue between the reader and child. The illustrated book offers some insight into the moving experience so that your little one has a good idea of what to expect. The book also uses pretend play and real tasks, seamlessly incorporating child development theory into the storytelling process. Age range: 3 – 6 years Grade level: Preschool – 1 Number of pages: 24
Moving to a new home is one of the most stress-inducing experiences that a family can face, but turning it into an adventure can help ease some of the tension. What are some strategies that you have used to help adjust to a new home?