Grocery shopping with your preschooler doesn’t have to be on your top ten list of things you hate to do with your preschooler. I’ve met so many moms that tell me they shop when their preschooler is at preschool or in the evening when Daddy can take care of the little one. Not me. I love grocery shopping with my preschooler. Am I insane? No, well, not for this reason anyway.
Before we leave for the grocery store, I take a little extra time and effort into planning our grocery trip to make it enjoyable. Here are a few tips that can get you and your preschooler back in the grocery store together — and loving it.
Set Aside Ample Time for Grocery Shopping
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This is the number one key to an enjoyable trip. If you’re rushing and feeling stressed, you will surely have a miserable experience. Remember, your preschooler can sense your stress. I figure that I can grocery shop alone in about an hour, so I give myself two hours to grocery shop with my preschooler.
Make A List of What You Need
Knowing exactly what you need before you get to the store will keep you focused. Then you won’t need to be using your brainpower for thinking, “Do we need that?” This is important because you will need all that brainpower for entertaining and watching over your preschooler while in the grocery store.
Get Your Preschooler Excited About The Trip
As I’ve always said, “Presentation is everything!” You can get a preschooler to eat a sardine if you present it right. Muster up as much enthusiasm as you possibly can and talk to your preschooler about the grocery shopping trip. Emphasize the fun and excitement of choosing what you need and use words like “big helper” and “fun” and “healthy goodies”. Preschoolers like to be prepared; they like to know what to expect next. They want to know where you’re going and what will happen when you get there.
Bring Your Preschooler’s Toy Shopping Cart With You
If you don’t have a toy shopping cart, buy one. It will be the best money you’ve ever spent. You can’t always count on your grocery store to have the small ones or if they do have them, you can’t always count on them having one available. Besides, most preschoolers want their own shopping cart anyway. This is their own “big boy” or “big girl” shopping cart for helping Mommy.
Take Your Time Grocery Shopping
Since you’ve set aside ample time for grocery shopping, take your time. There’s no need to rush up and down every aisle like your on a shopping spree. Move at your preschooler’s speed, but it’s not to say that you can’t encourage them to move along. Just don’t hound them. Remember, the grocery store is a big place with lots of stuff to look at! You may have seen it a million times, but your preschooler hasn’t. Have you ever looked at the world from their perspective? Crouch down to your preschooler’s level while in the store and look at how overwhelming it is.
Let Your Preschooler Help You Shop
Items that can withstand damage or items that are for your preschooler can be placed in your preschooler’s shopping cart. Let them feel important by pushing around some goodies in their cart as you shop. For non-breakable items, let your preschooler take them off the shelf, too.
Play Games While Grocery Shopping
No, I don’t mean you should sit down and break out a board game. Play “I Spy…” Instead of pointing what you need on the shelf, play “I Spy…” When your preschooler finds it, they can put it in their shopping cart. This keeps your preschooler’s mind (and hands) busy and keeps both of you happy.
Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a household chore. I guarantee that if you follow these tips you, too, can turn this household chore into quality time with your preschooler.