Can you have fun grocery shopping with a child?
If you have poked around this blog you may know that I created this blog as encouragement to consistently get out of the house with my daughter. My goal is to plan at least one outing each week (outside of our usual errands, daycare drop off, and chores). But let’s face it… as a full-time working momma to a busy one year old, there is not always time to take a day or even a morning for a new adventure.
There is also one thing that you should know about me; I am not one to take missing a goal lightly. This got me thinking that maybe I could bend the rules and kill two birds with one stone. Could I make my usual grocery shopping trip a fun outing for my daughter?
I decided YES! However, there were two things I needed to do. First, this would need to be a well-planned out grocery shopping trip. It would be much easier to have fun with my daughter if I wasn’t also trying to figure out what was for dinner. Second, if I was going to use a grocery shopping trip to meet my goal then I was going to need to take the time to have fun with my daughter. These days I am programmed to get in and out of the grocery store in as little amount of time as possible.
Here are a few fun options for having fun in the grocery store with your child:
1. Mini Fashion Show
To make your grocery shopping trip fun you could consider having a Mini Fashion Show. If your local grocery store has an apparel section then this is a great option! First, decide what you would like to try on. Some ideas of items that you could easily try on are hats, scarves, or sun glasses. If you are feeling adventurous try all three! Don’t forget to test out your new look in a nearby mirror. My one year old thoroughly enjoyed trying on the over-sized hats!
2. Toy Aisle
Another idea is to steer your child in the direction of the toys. Almost all grocery stores these days have some sort of toy aisle or toy section that you can browse. Your child will love browsing through the brightly colored toys and dolls on the shelf. As a fun game, see who can find the silliest toy!
A word of caution, if you have a toddler you may want to skip this idea unless you plan on buying them a small toy. Luckily, my one year old does not yet understand the concept of getting new toys. So, it was easy to walk away from the toy aisle without a tantrum.
3. Strange Fruit
If you are looking for an idea that is both fun and educational, then you should consider playing the Strange Fruit game. Spend some time walking through the produce section of the grocery store. If you have a little tot they may enjoy just feeling the different textures of a variety of fruits and veggies. My one year old particularly loved feeling a kiwi fruit. If your child is a bit older, then see who can find the strangest fruit. Some examples of strange produce you may come across are jackfruit, durian, or passion fruit. Your child will have a blast while also learning about new fruits and vegetables.
4. Eye Spy
The favorite game of millions of Moms trying to distract their little one is Eye Spy. This is a very easy game to modify for your child’s age. My one year old does not understand many words yet, so the game mostly consisted of me saying things like, “Look! This is a bottle of milk.” This encouraged her to follow my finger while I was naming the object. However if your child is older, then you can say phrases like, “I spy with my little eye something green” or “I spy something that starts with the letter C.”
My daughter and I spent a few fun hours strolling around the grocery store trying each of the ideas. All of these ideas can be easily modified based on your child’s age. After trying these ideas out, I would like to reiterate that there are a few keys to success here. (1) Plan your grocery shopping trip ahead of time. (2) Don’t pick a busy stressful day. Pick a day where you can take plenty of time to have fun. These keys will make it a little less stressful if your little one chooses to have an unexpected meltdown.
What other ideas have you used to make your grocery shopping trip fun for your little one?