Grocery shopping with kids is a great learning experience if you do it right. It helps to choose a time when they are in a good mood and have a realistic list of items to get. Make them responsible for searching + clipping coupons that match with the items on your grocery list. It is a great way to teach them about money, budgets, and savings.
Create a Shopping List
If you go to the store without a list, it’s easy to forget essential items or overspend. You can keep on track and avoid using more petrol than necessary by making a shopping list. Asking your children to write their visual grocery list can be a fun way to practice writing while helping you with the weekly shop. Older kids can use a simple alphabet chart, and younger ones can draw pictures of the foods they want you to buy. It is also a great opportunity to incorporate a little math practice. You can shop at Walmart and make use of coupons and promo codes. This way, you get to let the kids choose what they want, and at the same time, you won’t be spending a lot on it. Just click here and sort the coupons you’ll need for your next shopping schedule. You can also encourage them to be involved by having them help you bag the groceries properly. It is a great way to reinforce the importance of sorting heavy and light items, not overfilling bags, and placing food in bags to protect it from spills. Kids are alert and will quickly pick up on these cues, increasing their understanding of their diet and how to handle it at home.
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but grocery shopping with kids is best when you have a game plan. So before you head out, sit down and make a list (it’s even better if it’s an app or a printed sheet!). It will help you move through the store quickly and keep you on track. If your children are old enough, let them create their mini shopping list (there are some great printables online!). They can also use it as a learning tool while you shop. Explain the items on the list and have them identify colors, sizes or shapes of foods or packages. Older kids can even practice their math skills by guessing how much a produce item weighs or counting the number of items in their cart. Try to schedule your supermarket trips around your children’s eating schedule. It will help you avoid hunger-induced tantrums and impulse purchases. If your child has an especially busy day or nap time is nearing, it may be best to skip the trip altogether.
Make It Fun
Kids often need to be more enthusiastic about grocery shopping because it seems like a tedious chore to them. It is also a very adult activity that they might not be used to, so it can be challenging for them. A good way to make the trip more fun is to play games. One easy game is to have your kids help you find items on your list. It helps them have more buy-in to the process and is a great way to teach them about reading. Another simple game is to look for things that are a certain color. For example, you could ask your kids to find all the orange items in the store (cereal, apples, peppers, etc.). You can even take it further and count how many items there are. Being consistent with your kids regarding begging and whining in the store is also important. Giving in may make them think begging for treats is okay in public. Being firm and consistent with your family rules makes it easier for everyone to enjoy the trip.
Give Them Something to Do
While this may seem counterproductive to your goal of quickly getting out of the grocery store, kids need to burn energy. Please give them a job, like pushing a cart or helping you scan items (depending on their age). If they’re older, let them go to other aisles without you (while keeping an eye on them) to help alleviate the total time spent in the store. You can also turn shopping into a learning experience by asking your kids questions that help them develop important skills. For example, if they’re young, you can ask them to find things that are a certain color (i.e., orange). You can then move on to numbers. Or, if they’re old enough, you can teach them to be wise shoppers by allowing them to look for deals and compare ingredients and prices. If your kids maintain good behavior during the trip, you should reward them. The use of food as a reward for grocery shopping should be avoided, though, as it might encourage emotional eating and educate kids to link grocery shopping with goodies.
Grocery shopping with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With a little forethought and preparation, your children can learn about the process and even enjoy it. Plus, it gives them exercise and a chance to practice their social skills in public without feeling overwhelmed. It’s important to be consistent when grocery shopping with your kids so they know how things will go. For example, when your child starts whining about what they can and cannot get, remind them of the family rules and how the grocery shopping experience will go. Also, only take your kids grocery shopping when hungry or tired. They’re more likely to have a meltdown, and it can be not easy to reason with them in this state.
When your kids do well during the grocery shopping experience, make sure you reward them. It can be anything from a sticker to an extra special trip. Be careful not to use food or treats as rewards since this may encourage emotional eating and teach children to value sweets more than nutritious items.
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