Oh the joy of grocery shopping with your children. They are so quiet, helpful, calm and just relax as you stroll around the store, passing by endless rows of candy and frozen treats.
The kids! They try to grab things, sing loud noises (are some even really words..who knows) or cry because they don't want to be there. They "seem to" not hear you say "Just five more minutes and then we are done!"
Shopping doesn't have to be frustrating or head-ache inducing. Here are 5 Tips on how to have a pleasant shopping experience with your children!
1) Engage your children in the shopping process. Look for different ways to include your child in the shopping trip. Have them look through the shopping list with you, go on a color hunt throughout the store or name numbers on price tags of different items. There are so many ways that you can engage your child in the shopping experience, while also providing a learning experience! For specific activities for kids ages 2 through 6, check out our Shopping Learning Activities HERE.
2) Tell your child what to expect ahead of time. Tell your child the main items you will be purchasing while you are in the grocery store and then tell them what you are going to do when you are finished. For example:
"We are going to go get some food for dinner tonight. We will need pasta, pasta sauce, green beans and french bread. Once we pay for the food, we are going to go home and play."
3) Have your child help. Waiting in line at the checkout stand is usually when children will start to get bored and loose interest in what is happening. Ask your child to help you get items ready to put on the conveyor belt. Can they help you find items in the cart that start with a certain letter? Can they point to items that are specific colors?
4) Talk to your child about what they see while you are shopping. Children love attention and one of the main reasons they start to get "jittery" in a store is because you are paying more attention to a list and the food boxes, then you are to them. Engage your child in conversations and process while searching for food. Some examples include:
"We are walking down the freezer section right now. It is very cold. I am looking for a green box with peas on the front. Can you help me find it."
"I notice that there are a lot of people also looking at the apples right now. There are so many different kinds to choose from. I think we are going to choose some from this set because they are on sale today. Which 5 apples do you think we should pick?"
5) Pack the bags while you shop. If you have reusable bags, encourage your child to help you sort items that you are going to buy by placing them into "category bags" in the cart. All meat items in one bag, cold items in another, fruits in one and boxed goods in another. Giving your child a job will help them feel important and keep focused on a task.
For more tips on shopping with kids in grocery stores, hardware stores, big box stores and others... check out our Shopping Activities.
You don't have to dread going shopping with your little angels! Use some of the tips above and see if your experience gets better. Do you have more tips or ideas? Leave a comment below so we can try them out!