No, I’m not really a glutton for punishment. Yes, I do usually take all five of my children grocery shopping. This week I’m sharing some of the strategies I’ve developed over the years.
Yesterday: Tips for Kids at the Grocery Store: Pep Talk
Grocery Shopping Tip: Give the kids jobs at the grocery store.
One thing that makes grocery shopping with children miserable is their boundless energy being unleashed in a new arena. In addition to giving them a pep talk about expectations, you need to give them a useful outlet for that energy.
Here are some of the jobs I’ve given my kids at the store. Most kids genuinely do want to contribute value, be helpful, and be thanked for their efforts. Grocery shopping is one avenue I give this to my children.
- Sometimes I have a tall-enough child push a cart. I’ll push a cart full of children and have the other child push a cart for the groceries. This only works when the store isn’t very busy and when the child is tall enough to make sure of his way.
- Let a child put 5 onions or oranges or whatever in the bag. Or, if it’s a fragile fruit, pick them and give them to me so I can put them in the bag.
- Let a child grab the celery or the tuna or the can of tomatoes and put it in the cart.
- Have a child write the numbers on the bulk tag.
- Have a child pick which shape pasta you buy this time.
- Pick an empty aisle and send them running down and back to use up antsy energy.
- Talk to older ones about price per ounce and show them how to read the price tags on the shelf. See if they can figure out which olive oil is cheaper per ounce before you do.
- Have them help put groceries on the conveyor belt to check out.
- Have them help bag the groceries, if needed.
- Have them help unload at home.
The more practice they have, the more of a true help your kids really can be at the store!
Tomorrow: Sort your cart as you go.
[category: tips | tags: grocery-shopping]
Mystie Winckler began menu planning at 11 years old when her mom delegated one dinner a week to her. Marrying at 19, she’s had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling her family, meal planning often requires brain power that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is her solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too!
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