Moving can be exciting — but it can also be stressful, especially for little ones along for the ride. Smooth your move with these seven tips to help your kids stay calm amidst the chaos.

Talk about it as a family.

Set aside some time for a family meeting where you let your kids know why you’re moving and let them share their feelings about it. If they’re nervous about moving for the first time, tell them about your first move. Hearing that you felt that way too (and it still worked out fine) reassures them that their fear is normal, but they’ll be okay.

Emphasize what will stay the same.

Let them know that even though you’ll be a in new place, their bed, stuffed animals, books and toys will be coming with you.

Give them a sneak peek.

If your new home is nearby, take them to see it. While you’re there, tour the local playground, library, and other highlights for your kids. If it’s too far, take lots of photos and/or videos and share with them that way.

Make or get a book about moving.

You can check out children’s books about moving from the library, but kids often love homemade books featuring simple drawings and stick figures even more. Show your family saying goodbye to your old home and celebrating being in your new one, including the fun things nearby, the familiar things in your kids’ rooms, etc.

Stick to the routine.

Keep up family traditions like family movie night or Saturday morning pancakes. Likewise, maintain bedtime routines as much as possible. Sticking with structure makes the transition to a new place easier.

Prioritize play.

Pack large favorite toys at the last minute, keep small favorites out for the trip, and get a couple of new toys for the journey and the first day in your new place. Finally, cram in a little special time with your kids every day, even if it’s literally five minutes–this is when they may need it most.

Host a housewarming party.

Celebrate your new home–and meet new neighborhood families in the process.

Next: Soothe moving jitters with the cuddly, go-anywhere Q-Time Buddy.