Grocery shopping is a fact of life. Even with the innovative creations of the personal shopper and hands-free pickup, rarely can most people completely avoid the need to eventually go shopping for themselves. And those who most often cannot avoid entering the grocery store are parents with children. While it may seem impossible to grocery shop with children, it can be done, and it can even be done well and in a manner that leaves both the children and parent no worse for the wear.
Find a Seat
A parent can enter a grocery store with two children, but feel as if those two have multiplied to four before even setting foot in the first aisle. One of a parent’s best friends in the grocery store–besides the bakery attendant handing out child-occupying treats–is the shopping cart. Making sure each child is securely in the shopping cart cuts down on wandering feet and hands and allows parents to focus on the shopping without the concern of losing their children. This can be tricky depending on the number of children, but just check the wheels for carts and pack as many as can safely take a seat.
Get a Job
Children sometimes become irritated or disruptive when they are bored. One way to keep children busy and make a shopping trip less frustrating is to give each child a job before entering the store. Checking items off the list, grabbing items from the shelf, asking for items from the deli or bakery, unloading the cart at the register–these are all things children can do that make them a part of the shopping trip and makes the shopping a little easier and a learning opportunity for the children.
Play a Game
Sometimes children benefit from a distraction while their parents tackle a task the children find less than interesting or, perhaps, too interesting. A scavenger hunt is a great way to focus children’s attention in a manner that is orderly yet entertaining for them. A scavenger hunt or any game that can be played on the move will work. The game just needs to be engaging and fun for the children. Having a game for children to play during the grocery shopping makes the trip more amusing for everyone.
Grocery shopping with children is not an insurmountable task. It may take some forethought, attention and creativity, but grocery shopping with children can be an experience that is productive and pleasant.