When it comes to grocery shopping, most parents have three choices – 1) Choose delivery or grocery pick-up, 2) Load up the kids, get your list, and try to survive with your sanity, or 3) Swear off the grocery store forever and take up hunting and gathering. If delivery or pick-up is available, it’s a great option at times, but not always practical, and hunting and gathering will cut into your Netflix time. Sometimes your only option is to take the kids to the grocery store and just brace yourself for the endless questions, requests, and tantrums.
Fortunately, grocery shopping with preschoolers and toddlers doesn’t have to be a disaster. Our 5-star preschool in Raleigh is sharing some tips to make a family shopping trip a fun family bonding time!
Create a Scavenger Hunt
Keep your child occupied with a modified scavenger hunt. While you probably don’t want to send your child throughout the store on their own, depending on your child’s age and abilities, you can create a list of things to find or see, and your child can point them out and cross them off as you walk through the aisles. You can start off simple, like looking for general things like colors or shapes, (something blue, something square) but then as your kids get older, they can start looking for specific items. Consider this great training to help you do the shopping in a few years!
If you don’t have time to make a list of items to look for, a simple game of iSpy is enough to keep your little ones occupied and, like a hunt, is something you can get more specific with as your child’s skills grow.
Learn About Nutrition
Talk about the food groups with your child – grains, dairy, meat/proteins, and produce. The next time you go to the grocery store, play a guessing game with your child, such as holding up a lemon or chicken nuggets and asking what group it’s in. Preschool aged children may also like keeping track on a tally sheet of what was purchased – how many dairy items, meat items, and so forth. As children get older, you can get more specific and talk about certain vitamins and minerals, what they do for the body, and what foods are rich in it.
Get Your Preschooler Shopping with You
Children love to be involved in what you’re doing, and the grocery store offers plenty of opportunities for involvement. See if your grocery store has a child-size cart for them to push beside you (this works well if the store isn’t too busy). They can also help you find items on your list, get things off the bottom shelves, and help make choices like “Apples or bananas?” that foster healthy eating.
Never Go Shopping Hungry
While this isn’t an activity, if your child is at the grocery store and it’s before dinner time, no one will be having fun during this trip. Hunger takes over, and it becomes a constant battle of “I want this…” and any thought of play or fun is forgotten. Try to plan shopping after meals, or if you’re stopping at the store on your way home from picking up your child from their Raleigh preschool or other location, grab a snack like a granola bar or a banana for them to eat before hand. Some grocery stores offer free fruit or snacks for children in the deli and bakery sections which can be a great option, too.
Enjoy Tips from our Raleigh Child Care Center
With our preschool and child care center, while your child plays, grows, and learns, you can use this time to pick up your groceries before getting the kids, saving you time and stress! To learn more about our 5-star child care and take a tour, call our North Hills Drive location at 919-785-0303 or our Spring Forest location at 919-790-6888, or fill out our convenient contact form to get started!