Remember the times when a day of shopping involved hanging out with friends and casually cruising from store to store, searching for fun, usually unnecessary, items? Now, as a parent, most shopping happens with kids in tow, lists itemized so nothing gets forgotten, carried on with a feeling more chore-like than hey-this-is-fun! *sigh*
Bring back some of the enjoyment once experienced while shopping using a few tricks, a couple games, and just a little planning. Your trips to the store may just become anything but ordinary, and maybe even something to look forward to!
- Play “I Spy” as you cruise the aisles. As soon as an item is found, your kids get a snack or sticker, or the winner gets to be the next one to “spy”.
- Words are everywhere in a supermarket! Pick a letter (the beginning letter of your child’s name?) and see how many words that start with that letter you can find. Learning colors as well as letters? See if you can find a blue letter P, then count how many you can find. This combines letters, numbers, and colors – all sorts of fun and learning happens from aisle to aisle.
- Some stores offer child-sized carts for little ones. Of course, this takes more time and has to happen when your schedule contains space for the “help,” but this can turn a shopping trip into a role-playing game!
- Create a special “for the store only” bag of toys that comes out only when you shop. Kids will look forward to shopping because they get to play with these coveted items on the outing. Keep the collection in your car so you never leave home without it.
Sure, meltdowns in stores still may happen – even with every trick and all the planning. Face it, we all experience moments when we feel like letting it all out with a good cry, right? Maybe these tips can create that pleasant shopping outing (just a few times would feel great)!
(Hopefully) happy shopping!