We have all been there when we have taken our kids shopping. The kids are beginning to meltdown at the grocery store and we frantically search for something in the aisles that will help keep them occupied, as well as, not add to the terror of low-blood sugar by spiking it sky-high with a sugary treat. Taking kids shopping is no easy feat.
There are plenty of options around but all the ones you are wishing they would take won’t work in this moment of panic. But if you set yourself up right before you even head into the store, you might be able to offset heading to Melt Down City when taking your kids shopping.
5 Ideas For Taking Kids Shopping
Have Them Make Their Own Grocery List
Before you head out the door to take your kids shopping, help your kids write down some of their favorite snacks as well as the needs of the family. By doing so, you will be helping set them up for life-long skills needed for when they leave the nest. You can help them create the list by going down the different aisles in your head: “Ok, what do we need for fruit? What about vegetables?” Once you have the family needs covered, you can ask them to pick a few favorite snacks to put on the list too. When you get to the store, it can be their responsibility to help get those items into the cart.
Get Them A Mini Cart
Some stores have already fallen into line with this (ahem, Trader Joe’s), but if your local grocery store doesn’t already do this, it might be worth the investment. As you know, kids like to be just like us and the best way for them to behave the way we want them to is to model good behavior. Bringing a shopping cart like this one along with you on your grocery trips might make it easier to do your grocery shopping.
For one, your kids get to be big just like Mommy and Daddy. And two, they stay engaged while you are doing your shopping instead of sitting in the cart totally bored out of their minds. Just be sure to set a few ground rules before you take your kids shopping, like no running with the cart, only put in things Mommy or Daddy ask you to put in the cart and stay close to Mom and Dad. It’s never too early to foster independence.
Focus On A Color
If you’re working on learning colors in your house, pick one before you leave and point out all the items in the store that are that color. For example, if you choose the color red you will be able to see things like apples, pomegranates, and red potatoes. Some cereal boxes and some coffee cans are red. It’s a fun way to reinforce color recognition while taking your kids shopping.
Work On Estimation
Your list is huge. You don’t know how many things are on it, but Lordy it is long. Before you take kids shopping, ask your child how many items you think you will have in your cart by the end of your shopping. Have them try to keep track as you go through the store.
At the end of the trip, have them estimate again based on their counting and on how full the grocery cart appears. The bottom of most grocery store receipts will state how many items were purchased. Compare the actual number of items to the estimated number of items from your child, and discuss how even adults have trouble guesstimating whether they can go in the “under 20 items” line. You can even turn this into a friendly competition between siblings for when you take multiple kids shopping.
Have Them Plan A Meal
Have your child help you plan one of your meals for the week before you venture out to the store. Depending on their age, this can range from simply picking out the things they want to eat to planning the entire meal including the ingredients needed. If your child is old enough, you can even have them help cook the meal at home! Take it one step further by giving your child a budget and having them shop for the groceries themselves using the money they have and keeping in mind what ingredients might already be at home. This is a great math and budgeting lesson to incorporate into your shopping adventure.
Grocery shopping is one of those adulting tasks that aren’t always super fun. But as parents, it is our job to ensure that no only do our kids have food to eat (and we don’t think they ever actually stop eating from the number of snacks they ask for each day), but also to ensure that they know how to pick healthy items from the store. Taking kids shopping and teaching them these life skills will come in handy when they are no longer under our wings. By using these shopping tips and tricks when you take your kids shopping, you can make grocery shopping fun and something your child might actually look forward to each week.
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