While it might seem like the end goal is to have a white picket fence and a giant backyard, but that's not everyone's family journey. Plenty of people are finding ways to live in apartments with kids.
There are certainly perks to living out in the country with the chance to garden in your own private yard. However, there are so many perks and lessons that can come from living a little closer together and in a more urban setting, too.
Apartment living doesn't have to be a setback. In fact, for many families, it's an experience they'd never give up. Here's how you can enjoy apartment living with your family.
Searching for apartments in a family-friendly area can be a game-changer. One benefit of apartment living that isn't usually available to more secluded kids is finding quick, meaningful social interaction. Kids need to socialize, and they're often naturally primed to do so.
Make friends with the families in your neighborhood and apartment complex, or attend groups and activities if they're available to you. Soak up your chances to find your tribe.
Without personal, private outdoor space, you'll need to seek your family's time in the sunshine. Spending time in local parks, recreation areas and nature spots can create an intentional family activity.
When looking for an apartment with kids, consider proximity to playgrounds and green spaces. There are probably plenty of local parks in your area, and scheduling a few hours to hang out there is a playful, free activity that can boost connection and promote physical exercise for you and your kids.
When you're low on storage space, bringing some minimalist principles into your household can keep the clutter at bay and help your kids get a little more intentional about their possessions. Carving out regular time to declutter and encouraging them to only keep toys they regularly play with can build positive life skills while keeping your space tidy.
Renting an apartment can limit your ability to fully make a space your own. However, even without paint or home projects, there are plenty of ways to make the most of an apartment and help you and the kids feel at home for as long as you live there.
Use the refrigerator to display your kids' art and letters. Let the children pick out some curtains, wall art and other temporary décor options that personalize their rooms. In common spaces, family photos can do wonders for brightening up neutral walls and making your mark.
When outdoor time is sparse and needs to be planned with intention, it might be tempting to toss the kids some screens or plop them in front of the TV whenever you're busy at home or get hit with a rainy day.
However, being indoors doesn't have to mean screen time — and it also doesn't require quiet time spent in solitude. Planning family fun nights with board games, hide-and-seek or other activities can keep your kids active and engaged, even when they're spending time indoors.
Like game nights, cooking and baking together is a conscious activity that can help get your kids motivated and involved even when they're inside. When you're packed in tight and trying to make dinner, it's often better to let kids participate in the process than work around them.
Plus, cooking together can help teach your kids hands-on skills no matter where you are. Start with a few easy tasks and recipes that let your kids gain confidence in the kitchen. Even better, poll the kids to find out what they'd like to eat and let them start taking charge of the meal.
No matter your budget, you can get your kids involved with programs in your community to broaden their horizons and get them out of the house. They'll make new friends, engage with their community and learn new skills in the process.
Whether you take them to swimming lessons, sports, music programs or events happening at your local library, healthy interaction and activity is great for kids of all ages.
Apartment living with kids can pose some challenges, but it can also bring plenty of opportunities to develop creative traditions. Children don't need lots of stuff, fancy toys or big houses to be happy. No matter how small your space is, the memories are what they'll look back on fondly for years to come.