How to Make Yourself at Home
Once you've set up camp, try these tactics to help your children get acquainted with their new home and 'hood.
Explore your house. Make it fun with a game of hide-and-seek. Or give your kids projects to tackle. Ask them to count the rooms, rank them in size order, and tell you how many tiles are in the bathroom.
Track down local kids. Take a walk around the neighborhood together, searching for signs that kids live nearby. "Look for toys and trikes in yards, tire swings, basketball hoops," says Lori Collins Burgan. "And put some play equipment out in your yard too."
Teach your child to meet and greet. Give her a lesson in introducing herself, something along the lines of "Hi, I'm Kelsey, and I just moved here. Would you like to play?" If you see any children outside with their parents when you're exploring, stop and introduce your child: She'll learn from watching you.
Plan a welcome party. Once you've met a few neighbors with kids, host an event like an ice cream social, a pizza party, a movie night, or a scavenger hunt. Go to parentsmag.com for fun treasure- and scavenger-hunt printables.
Clue yourself in to the community. The library is a good place to ask about local kid-friendly facilities. Check out the YMCA, community pool, and churches too -- all great places to meet families.
Do the grand tour. Think like a tourist and go see the local sights. Your town's Chamber of Commerce Web site should have plenty of suggestions for what to see and do.