Going grocery shopping with your children can be a hectic experience. With so many different colors to look at, and so many different shapes and styles to play with, your children might cause more havoc then you really want. But if you're willing to brave it, here are a few suggestions that might help you get through the grocery store without any headaches:
- Keep everyone interested – A grocery store can be an exciting place for a kid, but if the fun wears off, things are bound to get tense very quickly. If your child starts to turn sour, keep their interest by telling them something interesting about the different foods, or by occupying their attention with a colorful label. It will smooth out the process for everyone.
- Turn it into a learning experience – Since you're spending time together, why not have an educational lesson while you shop? The grocery store is filled with all of the right tools for word games, spelling games, or even math games! Have your children use the nutrition information in an equation, ask them to spell words using the first letters of all of the vitamins, or just have them read to you everything they can find on the side of a label. It will be a great chance to stimulate their minds, and a good way to keep everyone happy.
- Have your kids help you – If they're of the right age, head to a specific aisle (usually the bulk or produce aisles) and have them search out items on your grocery list. This will keep them entertained, and will make them value the trip more by feeling like a part of the process. If you're feeling extra brave, have them make suggestions about what you could get to spice up the meals for the week. As long as it's nothing crazy, letting your children help out with the shopping will only make them feel proud of their choices.
- Play a game, or bring games with you – One of the best games you can play in a grocery store is "I Spy". "I Spy" involves one person declaring that they see something with specific attributes (for example, "I Spy something big, red, and green), and the rest of the people guessing what it is (for example, "Is it a watermelon?"). For others, the Fun and Play Tablet, a tablet that teaches children everything from animals, numbers, colors, shapes, and music, will entertain for the whole trip. The Boogie Board eWriter is another great option – with this useful toy you can have your children drawing pictures during the trip, or ask them to practice writing their letters or numbers while you shop for food for the week.
Remember that grocery shopping as a family doesn't have to be a chaotic experience. With the right tools and the right mindset, bringing your kids to the store can turn a survival mission into a math or reading lesson, and more important a chance to teach your children about the world.