Make Grocery Shopping Fun and Educational
Take the chore out of grocery shopping with your little one. Turn it into a fun, educational experience you can both look forward to each week (or at least not dread). Kids usually get bored with shopping, making them more likely for them to act out, and more likely for you both to end up frustrated. So here are some tips to make your trips more enjoyable:
Before you go to the store:
Tell your child that you need their help with a very important job then have him/her help you make the grocery list. Give them some choices in what you will buy for that week. Maybe offer to make them their favorite meal and have them help you write down the ingredients needed. If your child needs work on writing or spelling, you could have them help you make the list. If your child needs work on reading, write the list out in big letters so your child can read the list to you at the store. If your child is a toddler, you could draw some of the items on your list (or use cut outs or stickers) instead of writing them. That way, even your toddler can help you “read” the list.
Let your child pack a favorite snack to take the store, and let them bring a small bag of toys with them. I’ve found that if I allow my son to pack his toddler-size Elmo backpack full of toys and give him a snack, he is most happy to go anywhere I take him. I shoul note, however, that you have to be careful not rush your child because that only leads to frustration and it starts the trip off on the wrong foot. Young children do not transition from activity to activity well, so I respect the 15 minutes it takes him to choose the “perfect” toys for the trip, and we are both happy.
Let your child help clip coupons.
Give your child something to look forward to. Maybe that means giving him 50 cents and telling him he can ride the fire truck when he gets to Walmart.
Let your child help you find the items on the list. Have him read the list to you if he is old enough. You might even turn into scavenger hunt and help your chid read the signs above the aisles to help locate items. You could even draw a little map of the store and work on his map-reading skills. (If you are crunched for time, you can make it race against the clock). If your child is younger, you can simply point to the item and have him put it in your cart. If you are working on colors, you could say, “Take the red fruit and put it in the cart.” For babies, you could simply just point to items and work on their vocabulary: “Apple,” “Bananas,” etc.When walking through the store, teach your children about the nutritional value of the food you are buying. For example, “Strawberries have a lot of Vitamin C which strengthens you immune system and helps keep you healthy. They grow on a ……..”
Let your child pick out a variety of fruits and veggies to try.
Bring cash with you to pay or your groceries and allow older children to pay, counting out the correct amount and assuring they get the accurate change. Not only does this help children mathematically, but it also helps them appreciate how much money it costs to feed a family. In other words, it is a good lesson on the value of a dollar. With teenagers, you can also teach them about budgeting when at the grocery store.
As moms, we spend so much time at the grocery store kids with our kids, so it only makes sense to make the trips as fun and educational as possible. With a little change of perspective, grocery shopping can be something you all look forward to.